Pansy, 1878

March 6, 2021

Pansy, 1878 

later-USCGC Mayfair

The Pansy was named for the garden plant derived chiefly from the wild Pansy of Europe by hybridizing the latter with other wild violets.

Builder: Baird & Huston, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Length: 152'

Beam: 25'

Draft: 7' 11" maximum

Displacement: 454 tons (full load)

Cost: $48,739.14

Launched: 1877

Commissioned:  May, 1878 (USLHS); 13 May 1942 (USCG as Mayfair)

Decommissioned: ? (USLHS); 31 August 1942 (USCG)

Disposition: Sold, 29 January 1933

Machinery:  2 independent steam engines with 1 return tubular coal-fired boiler; 250 IHP; twin propellers

Performance & Endurance:

        Max: ?
        Cruising: ?
        Economic: ?

Deck Gear: ?

Complement: 4 officers, 17 men (1910)

Armament: None

Tender History:

The United States Lighthouse Tender Pansy was built as an inspection tender for the Lighthouse Service by Baird & Huston of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at a cost of $48,739.14.  She was launched in 1877 and was placed in commissioned service in May of 1878.  She was first assigned to the Eighth Lighthouse District to replace the aging tender Dandelion.  She was transferred to Puerto Rico in 1904 and was briefly laid up in October 1907.  She was then transferred to the Third Lighthouse District where she sailed out of Staten Island, New York.  She was refurbished in 1915, receiving a new boiler and machinery.

She remained in service until she was sold to a private party in 1933.  After being rebuilt in 1941, she was charted by the Navy from her private owners for Coast Guard use on 8 May 1942 "to be employed as a unit of the Maritime Service with station at Hoffman Island, N.Y., releasing the 125-foot Cutter KIMBALL for duty with the Atlantic Fleet.  Assigned permanent station at Merchant Marine Training School, Hoffman Island, N.Y., replacing KIMBALL on 13 May 1942."  The Coast Guard retained her civilian name, Mayfair.

She was placed in commission on 13 May 1942 and was turned over to the Maritime Commission on 31 August 1942.  She was returned to her private owners after the war and she remained in service as a passenger excursion vessel into the early 1980s.

No caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.

U.S. Lighthouse Service photo of the tender Pansy


Douglas Peterson.  U.S. Lighthouse Service Tenders, 1840 - 1939.  Annapolis, Maryland: Eastwind Publishing, 2000, p. 43.

Robert Scheina.  U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft of World War II.  Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1982, p. 202.