M/V Endion at the Government Dock, Dunmore Town, Harbour Island Eleuthera – undated photo
Source: Illustration 78, between pages 196 and 197 of “The Harbour Island Story,” Jim & Anne Lawlor, MacMillan Caribbean, Oxford UK, 2008
MAILBOAT NAME: M/V Endion
PAST NAMES: none
DIMENSIONS: 90.8′ long, 14.1′ wide, 8.6′ deep, 45 net tons, 61 tons gross, 60hp, Official # 151278, Fairbanks-Morse crude oil burning engine, 18 passenger berths, two staterooms
YEAR BUILT: 1898
BUILDER: Built in Boston, Massachusetts in 1898 as a private yacht, converted to US Navy boat
OWNER: Harbour Island Steamship Company Limited, Harbour Island, Eleuthera
EARLY CAREER: began as a private yacht “Endion” in Boston from 1898- 17 May, 1917, then commissioned into the US Navy as SP-707, patrolled New England until after WWI, then sold in public auction from 19 March, 1921. It would have taken almost a year to register her to Bahamas.
BAHAMAS CAREER: “intended for the Nassau-Miami-Harbour island run”, replaced S/V Dart in 1922, replaced by M/V Lady Dundas in 1939. Captain Harris commanded all 3 ships. Serviced Dunmore Town, Harbour Island, North Eleuthera CAPTAINS: Albert Sweeting from 1922 – 1939, from 1917-1919 Chief Boatswain’s Mate F. R. Neal, USNRF, from 1922-1939 William G. Harris (at times, this conflicts with Capt. Sweeting’s career). Delivered by Capt. E. B. Sweeting, with crew Gerald Johnson, Roy Sweeting, Percy Bethel, Frank Johnson, Nick Sawyer and Captain Albert Sweeting.
FATE: not known
NOTES: From Anne & Jim Lawlor’s “The Harbour Island Story”, MacMillan Caribbean, Oxford, 2008:
“The schooner, Dart, had the contract to carry the mail, freight and passengers from 1870 until 1922, when the MV Endion replaced her.” (p.248).
“In October, 1921 the sailing ship Endion was bought in New York, refitted and converted and converted to a power vessel, in Harbour Island, to accommodate passengers.” (p.149).
“Commissioner McKinney…. pushed forward great improvements to infrastructure and services. …The first priority was the purchase of the 103-foot Endion, with a Fairbanks-Morse crude oil burning engine capable of carrying 18 passengers in her two staterooms, intended fo rhe Nassau-Miami-Harbour Island run. She was brought over from Miami by Capt. E. B. Sweeting and crewmen Gerald Johnson, Roy Sweeting, Percy Bethel, Frank Johnson, Nick Sawyer, and Capt. Albert Sweeting, a director of the purchasing company and her captain over the next 20 years.
The Endion received the contract for passenger and mail service to Harbour Island and Spanish Wells and made her first trip on 17 January, 1922. An advertisement in the Nassau Guardian showed that every 10 days, for the price of 8 shillings cabin or 5 shillings steerage, tourists and locals could visit historic and picturesque Dunmore Town – the ideal health resort of the Bahamas.” (p. 250, Nassau Guardian, 26 January 1922)
“Captain William G. Harris, a veteran sailor, had captained both previous harbor island mailboats, the Dart and the Endion.” (page 1510
It would appear that the Endion began as US Navy vessel SP 707 in Boston in 1898 and was for sale in 1919 and purchased by Bahamian interests and registered to the Bahamas in 1922:
“The Endion, S. P. 707, is a motor boat built in Boston, length 100 feet, beam 14 feet 2 inches, draft 8 feet, 61 T gross, speed 10 knots; has a semi-Diesel engine, 4-cyl., I. H. P. 60. She is now in First Naval District…. Commandant…. Little Building, Boston, Mass. Appraised value, $7,000.”
From “United Business Service, Volume 1,” 1919:
This is confirmed in the following Wikipedia entry:
USS Endion (SP-707) was a United States Navy patrol vessel in commission from 1917 to 1919.
Endion was built as a private motorboat of the same name in 1898. On 1 May 1917, the U.S. Navy purchased her for use as a section patrol boat during World War I. She was commissioned the same day as USS Endion (SP-707) with Chief Boatswain’s Mate F. R. Neal, USNRF, in command.
Assigned to the 1st Naval District in northern New England, Endion carried out patrol duties for the rest of World War I. Endion was stricken from the Navy List on 6 October 1919 and subsequently sold.