Georgetown Time Machine: Oops

This week on Georgetown Time Machine, GM visits the aftermath of a steamboat collision in 1897. It comes from the archives of the Historical Society of Washington DC, and particularly from the Henry Wagner collection.

The archive states merely that it is of the “side-wheeler steamboat “Columbia” after sinking at dock on the Georgetown Waterfront.” A little digging by GM reveals that this mishap occurred September 6, 1897. It was the subject of an inquiry at the Georgetown customs house (now our post office) several weeks later, as reported by the Washington Post:

It’s unclear who was ultimately found at fault, but this apparently was hardly the end for the steamship Columbia. Nine years later, the Columbia’s hull was used for a steamboat gambling operation:

GM really can’t top a phrase like that, so he’ll just leave it at that.

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