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R.W. BURKE

Built in 1873, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as the R.W. Burke.

In 1898, the tug was acquired by Captain James McAllister of New York, New York. Where the tug retained her name. She was the McAllister Brothers's first tug. Together with his brothers, and in laws, McAllister formed the Greenpoint Lighterage Company of New York, New York.

They augmented the lighterage business with towing. With the acquisition of additional vessels. Including a small fleet of excursion vessels. Captain James McAllister eventually formed the McAllister Steamboat Company of New York, New York.

In 1907, she was acquired by Captain Daniel McElroy of New York, New York. Where she was renamed as the Reliable.

The tug was later acquired by the F.A. Verdon Company of New York, New York. Where the tug retained her name. She is no longer listed in documentation. Her current, and or, final disposition is unknown. She was fitted with a single, Steeple, compound steam, engine 13-1/2, 25 x 20. For a rated 53 horsepower.
(William Lafferty, Glenn T. Johnson)


  • Vessel Name: R.W. BURKE
  • USCG Doc. No.: 110218
  • Vessel Service: TOWING VESSEL
  • Trade Indicator: Coastwise
  • Hull Material: WOOD
  • Year Built: 1873
  • Length: 75.5
  • Hull Depth: 7.2
  • Hull Breadth: 18
  • Gross Tonnage: 49
  • Net Tonnage: 24
  • Previous Vessel Names:
    R.W. Burke, Reliable
  • Previous Vessel Owners:
    Capt. James McAllister (Greenpoint Lighterage Co.), Capt. Daniel McElroy, F.A. Verdon Co.