Sailing on the Russian River

images of boating on the Russian RiverJohn King built a small stern-wheel steamboat in 1869 and sailed it along the Russian River. Named the Enterprise, there are no known photos of the vessel but it probably resembled the Montrio (upper photo), which plied the waters as far west as the old Monte Rio footbridge.  King’s little ship was fifty feet long and sat high in the water, with a draft of only a foot, perfect for the shallow stream.   He carried cargo from Heald and Guern Lumber Mill (near Guerneville’s Safeway today) to the mouth of the river at Jenner. On occasion he would promote excursions, towing two barges upon which revelers would dance to live music while under steam.   After several failed attempts, the Enterprise sunk trying to reach Healdsburg. (more…)

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