The Richmond was built by James R. Tupper of Woodstock in Indiantown in 1853. She was primarily for service between Fredericton and Grand Falls. She was 124 feet long with a beam of 21-1/2 feet and a gross tonnage of 49. She had two compound engines built by Flemming and Humbart of Saint John, which operated two separate stern wheels independently.
Before heavy lumbering operations along the river, the wooded slopes along the St. John River and its tributaries retained the moisture than in much later years. The forests slowed the runoff of the spring freshet and permitted longer periods of navigation.
By 1855, considerable work had been done in removing boulders and in generally improving the channel in the upper part of the river.
In 1856, the Richmond began service on the upper part of the river on April 26. She missed about six weeks during two dry periods in mid-summer but finished the season on October 13.
In July 1861, while on a trip downriver, the Richmond struck on Graham's Point, broke in two and sank. No lives were lost.