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 1989, she was acquired by the McAllister Brothers Towing Company of New York, New York. Where she was renamed as the Helen McAllister.
In 1992, the tug was retired from active service. And in 2000, McAllister Towing and Transportation donated the Helen McAllister to the South Street Seaport Museum in Manhattan, New York.
In 2012, the tug was returned to McAllister Towing and Transportation of New York, New York. Where she was placed in "lay up" at McAllister Towing and Transportation's yard at Mariner's Harbor in Staten Island, New York.
Originally powered by a single, triple expansion, compound steam engine. Rated at 900 horsepower, at a working pressure of 150 pounds per square inch. The tug was repowered after World War II, with a 1930's Fairbanks Morse diesel engine. That was rated at 1,900 horsepower.