“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Seattle in King County, Washington — The American West (Northwest)

Steamer Idaho Wreckage

Historical Point of Interest

Steamer Idaho Wreckage Marker image. Click for full size.
1. Steamer Idaho Wreckage Marker
Inscription.  Beneath your feet lies the wreckage of the pioneer sidewheel steamer "Idaho", which served from 1900 until 1909 as Dr. Alexander de Soto's famous wayside mission hospital. Here Dr. de Soto ministered to the needs of seafarers and the destitute, donating his time and funds to their care.

Erected National Maritime Day 1960
Erected 1960 by Yukon Club & Propeller Club - Port of Seattle.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Science & MedicineWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1900.
Location. 47° 36.055′ N, 122° 20.177′ W. Marker is in Seattle, Washington, in King County. Marker is on Alaskan Way. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Seattle WA 98104, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Ballast Island (within shouting distance of this marker); Indians Attack Seattle! Jan. 26, 1856 (within shouting distance of this marker); Seattle’s First Pier (within shouting distance of this marker); Maynard Building (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Schwabacher’s Store
Steamer Idaho image. Click for full size.
2. Steamer Idaho
Click or scan to see
this page online
(about 500 feet away); What do you need to rush for gold? (about 500 feet away); Grand Central Hotel (about 600 feet away); Mutual Life Building (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Seattle.
More about this marker. This historical marker resided inside the Washington Street Public Boat Landing until 2014 when it, along with the boat landing, were temporarily relocated to another pier south of here for restoration while the Elliot Bay Seawall undergoes renovation. Both the marker and boat landing will be replaced sometime in 2018-19.
Regarding Steamer Idaho Wreckage. A blog site (link below) provides additional history: The Idaho was probably one of the last ships to be buried beneath Seattle’s waterfront. The irony of this sidewheeler’s last days was sensational enough to be popularly told and retold. As a 1903 article in the weekly Commonwealth put it, the Idaho’s career was “a happy instance of compensation” in which an “opium-smuggling ship became an ark of refuge for opium victims.” ... Built to work on the Columbia River out of The Dalles, the Idaho was soon successfully taken over that river’s treacherous cascades and then, in 1882, was sent on to Puget Sound. Here its shadier labors included smuggling illegal aliens and opium. But in 1899 the ship was redeemed by a Spanish Jesuit turned surgeon ... Dr. Alexander de Soto bought the steamer with money made from practicing surgery on the well-to-do and converted it into a hospital for the down-and-out. With the ship set above
Steamer Idaho image. Click for full size.
3. Steamer Idaho
high tide on pilings at the foot of Jackson Street, De Soto and his wards abandoned their first hospital, a borrowed bam where he not only cared for but also lived with his indigent patients. The good works of De Soto’s Wayside Mission were so in demand that his example eventually spurred the city itself to provide health care for the indigent. With the 1909 completion of the new Public Safety ·Building (now the 400 Yesler Building); Seattle opened its own clinic ... Two years earlier, in 1907, the Wayside Mission was forced from its land-bound sidewheeler and moved to a temporary site at Second and Republican, now the part of the Seattle Center taken by the Bagley Write Repertory Theatre. Soon after, the redeemed Idaho was laid to rest beneath fill near the foot of Jackson Street.
Steamer Idaho Wreckage Marker image. Click for full size.
By Douglass Halvorsen, December 30, 2012
4. Steamer Idaho Wreckage Marker
Washington Street Public Boat Landing image. Click for full size.
By Google Maps
5. Washington Street Public Boat Landing
The boat landing and historical marker were temporarily moved to another location in 2014 while the Elliot Bay seawall is being renovated. The boat landing and marker will be placed back in their original location sometime in 2018-2019.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 14, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 19, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. This page has been viewed 156 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on January 19, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Aug. 1, 2021