Lily, 1875

Feb. 7, 2021

Lily, 1875

Any of various plants of the genus Lilium, having variously colored, often trumpet-shaped flowers.

Builder: ?; in Jeffersonville, Indiana

Length: 178'

Beam: 28'

Draft: 4' 4"

Displacement: 507 tons

Cost: $25,000

Commissioned: 28 July 1875

Decommissioned: N/A; sunk 23 November 1911

Disposition: N/A

Machinery: Steam engine; IHP 307 / BHP 90; coal-fired boilers; side paddle wheels

Performance & Endurance:


Deck Gear: twin booms, manual

Complement: 14 (1888)

Armament: None

Tender History:

The United States Lighthouse Tender Lily was built in Jeffersonville, Indiana and was the first tender built specifically for river service.  She entered commissioned service in 1875 and served in the 14th Lighthouse District on the upper Mississippi River.  She was gutted by fire while tied up at Cincinnati, Ohio in September of 1884 and was completely rebuilt by the Madison Marine Railway for a cost of $10,850.  She returned to service in January of 1885.

She transferred to the 15th Lighthouse District in 1888 to replace the USLHT Ivy that had been wrecked.  In 1909 she was transferred to Rock Island, Illinois, on the Missouri River.  She sank on 17 October 1911 near Washington, Missouri.  She was refloated but sank again after hitting a snag near St. Albans, Missouri on 23 November 1911.  She was declared a total loss.

Apparently her wreck silted up to the point that it formed an island and is now known as "Lily Island."


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