Eastern Steamship Lines was one of the last American flag coastal passenger services.
The steamship Calvin Austin pulls away from the Eastern Steamship Company wharf in Lubec. Pope’s Folly island appears in the immediate background. Austin was President of the Eastern Steamship Company, formed in 1901 by a merger of the Eastern Steam Ship Co. with other lines.
In 1901, Charles Wyman Morse merged together the Boston &. Bangor Steamship Company, the Portland Steam Packet Company, the International Steamship Company, and several local lines on the Maine coast to form the Eastern Steamship Company.
1910 Postcard photograph of passengers arriving/departing from the Eastern Steamship Landing where steamships bound for Boston docked. Message on back of the card reads: “This is where we land when we get off the large steamers. Mabelle”
Because of the financial dealings of Mr Morse. and the competition Eastern gave the Fall River Line which was owned by the New Haven Railroad and backed by JP Morgan, a “bankers war” ensued between the two empire builders. Morse was eventually indicted in 1907 for conspiracy and the New Haven Railroad temporarily gained a controlling interest in Eastern, increasing its strength Eastern merged in 1911 with the Metropolitan Steamship Company and the Maine Steamship Company, but was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1914.
SS Evangeline at Pier 18 New York – This ship was built in Philadelphia in 1927 for the Eastern Steamship Company services along the U.S. East Coast. She could carry 751 passengers at 18 knots speed and was of 5043 grt and 378 feet in length. She ended her days as SS Yarmouth Castle by burning near Florida with the loss of 89 lives in 1965.