Shaver Transportation: From Sternwheels to Stern Drives on the Columbia River

SHAVER TRANSPORTATION of Portland, Oregon has been a fixture on the Columbia River since 1880 when George Washington Shaver progressed from supplying wood to fuel steamboats to operating his first sternwheeler. On the Manzanillo, he began hauling freight to the downriver communities as far as Clatskanie, Oregon. By 1893, Shaver and his two sons James W. and George M. Shaver were ready to incorporate and open their own boatyard. They launched two luxurious passenger carriers named the George W. Shaver and the Sarah Dixon after himself and his wife. There was fierce competition among the numerous passenger carriers on the run to Astoria, especially from the famous sidewheeler T. J. Potter, owned by the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company (ORNC). This rivalry was only resolved in 1896, when Shaver was persuaded to take its boats off the Portland/Astoria run in return for a monthly subsidy.

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