The John Ward

On May 19, 1831, the steamboat John Ward was launched in Carleton, Saint John. She was a side wheeler steamboat and the first river boat to have a circular wheelhouse. It had a mast and a lug sail, a raking stem, and a standing bowsprit, and a square stern. She had a caged overhead walking beam. Her length on deck was 129 feet, (her official length was 114 feet), a beam of 19 feet, 10 1/4 inches, a depth of hold of 7 feet. The 60 horse-power engine was brought from Glasgow, Scotland, and installed at Market Slip in Saint John by Robert Foulis. She had a gross tonnage of 144.

She was named the John Ward in honor of one of her principle owners and promoters. Although at this time the Saint George was plying between Saint John and Fredericton, it was felt by the owners that the increasing volume of freight and passenger business warranted another steamboat. They also felt that the John Ward, with her greater power and hence greater speed could capture a share of the traffic.

On her first trip to Fredericton, she made seven stops and arrived at Fredericton eleven hours after leaving Indiantown.

In October 1832, the John Ward made a trip to Grand Lake. She returned with a load of coal for Saint John.

In 1833, the owners of the Saint George and John Ward came to an agreement whereby the John Ward would carry only through freight and passengers to Fredericton. Thus, by eliminating all stops she would make much better time. The Saint George would make all stops and have the way freight and passengers without competition. Both boats were advertised to go below the Falls to load freight and both advertised they would do towing of vessels or lumber at reasonable rates.

The John Ward was destroyed in 1843.