Heliotrope, 1865

Jan. 26, 2021

Heliotrope, 1865

A South American plant of the genus Heliotropium, especially H. arborescens, with small, fragrant purplish flowers.

Tender History:

The Heliotrope began life as the 134-foot, 239 ton steamer Maggie Baker, launched in 1863.  She was purchased by the Navy on 16 December 1863 for $38,000 for use as a tug and ordnance supply boat for service on the upper Chesapeake Bay.  After conversion at New York, she was commissioned as the USS Heliotrope on 24 April 1864.  The Navy decommissioned her on 12 January 1865 and transferred her to the Lighthouse Board on 17 June 1865 at Washington, D.C., for use as an inspection tender.  She was assigned to the 5th Lighthouse District.

She was decommissioned and then sold at auction on 10 November 1881.


Douglas Peterson.  United States Lighthouse Service Tenders, 1840-1939. Annapolis: Eastwind Publishing, 2000.