This photograph is of a picture of the steamer "Chester", built in Portland in 1897 and used until 1919 when it was abandoned. It was one of a new design of very shallow draft boats built specifically for operation in shallow waters. It had a very full forward to give the greatest bearing surface possible so that it practically floated. When it came to sand bars it was able to slide up onto them, spin its wheels and suck out the sand so that it could inch across. In narrow spots it could just stop at the landing and the horses and wagons could pull right up to the boat to load and unload, as seen in the picture. For small loads, a deckhand could just roll up his pants and wade ashore to deliver packages. It operated on the Cowlitz River in Washington until 1910 when the river fell so low they could not even maintain a channel one foot deep. The original photo is from the collection of Captain Eckhart.