Built in 1900, by the New York Burlee Drydock Company of Staten Island, New York as the Admiral Dewey for the Berwind White Coal Company.
However, when the coal market slowed she was sold to an operator in Charleston, South Carolina. Where she was renamed as the Georgetown.
In the 1989, she was acquired by McAllister Towing of New York, New York. Where she was renamed as the Helen McAllister. However in 1992, the tug was retired from active service.
In 2000, McAllister Towing donated the Helen McAllister to the South Street Seaport Museum in Manhattan, New York.
Originally powered with a triple expansion compound steam engine rated at 900 horsepower at a working pressure of 150 psi. The tug was repowered after World War II with a 1930's Fairbanks Morse diesel engine, that was rated at 1,900 horsepower.
In 2012, the tug was returned to McAllister Towing of New York, New York. Where she was placed in "lay up" at McAllister Towing's yard at Mariner's Harbor in Staten Island, New York.