Polaris, 1872

March 12, 2021

Polaris, 1872

A star of the second magnitude, at the end of the handle of the Little Dipper and almost at the north celestial pole.

Builder: John Mahoney, Mobile, Alabama

Length: 45'

Beam: 15' 3"

Draft: 3'

Displacement: 15 tons

Cost: $1,100.00

Commissioned: 1872

Decommissioned: 1875

Disposition: Sold

Rig: Schooner-rigged launch

Machinery: None

Complement: ?

Armament: None


One of four Lyra-class wooden-hulled launches built for the Lighthouse Service.  They were paid for with funds appropriated for the construction of the Trinity Shoals and Timbalier lighthouses in Louisiana.

Each was used as a freight boat in the 8th Lighthouse District.  Note that these were the first craft in the Lighthouse Service that were not named for flora and fauna.


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