The Ida Whittier

The stern wheeler, the Ida Whittier, was built in Carleton, Saint John in 1868. She was 144 feet in length and had a 207-ton capacity.

Most of the regular steamboats on the Woodstock run during the early 1870s were owned by the People's Line that had been formed in 1872. This organization operated the Ida Whittier, the City of Fredericton, and the Andover. S.H.L. Whittier was in overall command of the company.

At this same time, the New Brunswick Railway Company was building a freight and passenger line along the east side of the river, from Fredericton to Riviere-du-Loup. When it was completed in 1875, the People's Line sold the steamers the Ida Whittier, the Highlander, and the City of Fredericton to the company and agreed to operate no more

vessels above Fredericton. Soon afterwards, the railroad ceased operating the steamboats on the upper river, thereby liquidating this competition to rail traffic. The Woodstock Sentinal expressed the opinion that the sale of the steamers would be felt by many people "to be a revolution backwards".

This proved to be the case. The removal of the steamers turned out to be too great an inconvenience for many of the valley farmers, because in places the railway passed far inland. Under the circumstances the tow boats came to have a new popularity, for the volume of business for water transportation was considerable. It is not surprising that the York and Carleton Steamboat Company was formed for the purpose of building and operating an upper river steamer.

The Ida Whittier ended her days in 1878.