The Big RiverMaru – a stern driven paddle wheeler operated by the Mendocino Lumber Company on Big River

Sadly I can’t find out too much about her. Here’s what I know:

The first Maru was built by John Peterson. He named her the ”Maru” after seeing the word on Japanese boats thinking it was a pretty name. The Maru’s job was to bring rafts of logs to the mill from the boom. On social occasions in summer, picnickers would ride the Maru up Big River, courtesy of the lumber company.

The Big River Maru was launched at the Mendocino Lumber Company mill on June 13, 1900 without fanfare. The stern wheeler was 40 feet long, 16 feet wide and approximately 3 feet high, with a flat bottom. A stern driven paddle wheel was its motive power. A licensed engineer was required to run the Maru. The Big River Maru was used to drive log rafts, break up logjams and ferry workers and logging camp residents up and down river. She had a licensed captain and first engineer. The engineer was George Jarvis and Phil Goodhart was the fireman.

On December 6, 1919 The new Maru, Big River #2 was launched at the mill. Its designer and builder was, again, John Peterson. The principal difference between the new craft and the old one was the shed roof over the paddle wheel. On December 29, 1919 The new Big River Maru #2, made a fast run to the Boom, taking 25 minutes on a slack tide. Some of its remains still rest in the north bank mudflat, across the river from Iron Pin Hole.

Here are the pics I have found [Click on the pics to see full size]: