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J. E. Boyden

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One of the oldest and best documented wrecks in Lake Union, the J.E. Boyden was built in 1888 and has been on the lake bottom since 1935.

To learn even more, visit:

DCS Films: Lake Union Relics

The Boyden played a vital role during a period when sail power and engine power coexisted in Puget Sound.  Large sailing vessels still provided an economically viable way to fish and haul cargo, but they often needed the help of an engine-powered tugboat to get in and out of port, especially in Puget Sound’s variable winds and twisting waterways. 

In the vintage photo to the right, you can

see the massive timber h-bitt the Boyden used to haul tall ships in and out of the Straits of Juan de Fuca.   In the photo below it, diver Erik Foreman examines the same h-bitt today.

Old photos show that the Boyden was quite capable of hauling more than one vessel at a time.  In the picture to the left, a group of Makah Indian whalers is hitching a ride along with a much larger sailing ship.

A name painted on the stern or side of a vessel is a welcome sight to divers like underwater photographer Chris Borgen, shown here clearing sediment from the name on the Boyden.  Finding a name greatly simplifies the job of researching a wreck’s history.