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 and she was renamed as the Georgetown.
In the 1980's she was acquired by McAllister Towing of New York, New York. Where she was renamed as the Helen McAllister. The tug was eventually retired.
In 2000, McAllister Towing donated the Helen McAllister to the South Street Seaport Museum.
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 where she was placed in "lay up" at Mariner's Harbor in Staten Island, New York.