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Charles H. Spencer Hulk

Nearest city Lee's Ferry, Arizona
Built 1911
Architect Robertson,James; Schultze,Robertson & Schultze
Governing body National Park Service
NRHP Reference #


Added to NRHP October 15, 1989

The Charles H. Spencer was a steamboat that was briefly used on the Colorado River to transport coal for gold refining operations at Lee's Ferry, Arizona.

In 1910, Charles H. Spencer arrived at Lee's Ferry in search of gold hidden in the Chinle shale. The company processed the shale by creating a mud and then removing the gold deposits by mercury amalgamation, which required a steady source of power. Finding a coal seam up river, Spencer commissioned a San Francisco company, Robertson-Schultz Co., to build the paddle boat, Charles Spencer, for the American Placer Corporation. James Robertson and Herman Rosenfelt built the ship. A 110 horse-power marine boiler powered a 12' stern paddle. The various parts were manufactured in San Francisco, shipped by rail to Marysvale, Utah, and conveyed by ox-cart to the mouth of Warm Creek, where the boat was assembled. The boat averaged 5-6 tons of coal on each trip. But by the end of the summer the operation was curtailed. The boat was docked. During a flood in 1921, the boat sank in shallow water. Later the superstructure was stripped of its lumber.[2]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  2. ^ "Lees Ferry "Charles H. Spencer" Steamboat". List of Classified Structures. National Park Service. 2008-11-25. 
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