Timeline for Hunt Brothers Steamboating
1882 Assisted by his brother Arthur, Emmett designed and built his first steamboat, the 26-ft. Baby Mine, with a four-by-four oscillating engine. Emmett was now able to transport both freight and passengers.
1892 Emmett designed the 59-ft. Victor which was built in 1893. She had a ladies' cabin, smoking room, pilot house, and closets. Route: Gig Harbor, Quartermaster Harbor on Vashon Island, and Tacoma.
1898 Emmett, Arthur, Arda, and Lloyd began building the 102-ft. Sentinel to replace the Victor. She could carry 100 passengers. Route:, the highly prized Tacoma to Seattle. Races between steamboats on this route were common and the Sentinel acquitted herself well.
1900 Crest built, measured 91.2 ft. in length, 20 ft. at the beam, 5.9 ft. deep, and 99 gross tons and 67 tons net. Hull was built in a tear drop design, originated by Hunts. The blunt bow increased cargo space, permitting Crest to haul more passengers and freight at the same speed.
1901 The Hunt's bought Clara Brown; now running three ships: Sentinel, Crest, and Clara Brown.
1902 Interurban began railway transportation between Tacoma and Seattle. Use of steamers dropped dramatically. Emmett and Arthur divided ownership of the boats. Emmett took Crest and Arthur took Sentinel and Clara Brown.
1905 Arthur Hunt and Frank Bibbins formed the Tacoma and Burton Navigation Company. Arthur designed Burton and Magnolia.
1907 Emmett's wife Henrietta dies, Emmett retires from steamboating.
c. 1912 Arda and Lloyd purchased Bibbins' interest in Tacoma and Burton Navigation Co. and, together with Arthur, established a shipyard on the Puyallup River. Steamboats Ariel and Atalanta were built there.
1919 Tacoma and Burton Navigation Company dissolved. Arthur and Lloyd took cash, Arda took Florence K for Gig Harbor run in place of Atalanta. Arthur starts marine repair shop in Tacoma, builds ferry boats.
1912 Emmett sells Crest to farmers' cooperative Hales Passage and Wollochet Bay Navigation Co. Floyd was hired as skipper, Lloyd was engineer. Crest renamed Bay Island, carried produce from farms along Hales Passage and Wollochet Bay to Tacoma. Making as many as ten stops along the way, the steamer ran in the evening so her cargo of fruits and vegetables would be fresh when it reached market.
1922 Floyd builds Burro. It operates on the Allyn-Rocky Bay-Longbranch run. Operation of Burro was a family affair: Floyd was skipper, wife Ella cooked, and sons Maury and Ward ran the engine.
c. 1923 Arda converts steamer Florence K into a ferry and runs in competition with ferry City of Tacoma between Tacoma and Gig Harbor.1926 Floyd's son Ward drowns. Floyd sells Burro to Lloyd and retires from steamboating. Later, he came out of retirement to skipper the ferry Fox Island. Arda officially retires, although he later occasionally served as relief skipper of the ferry Fox Island.