Extremely rare albumen photo by unknown photographer shows great detail of the U.S. Lighthouse Tender Geranium (1865-1910) underway. USLHT Geranium, a 224-ton side-wheel steamer, was built at Newburgh, New York, in 1863 as the civilian vessel John A. Dix. She was purchased by the Navy in September 1863 and commissioned in mid-October as USS Geranium for service as a tug. Assigned to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, she was used as a picket boat, dispatch vessel and transport in the coastal waters of northern Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. After the war, USS Geranium left South Carolina in June 1865 and was decommissioned at Washington, D.C. She was sold to the Treasury Department in October 1865 and became a light house tender with no change in name. She was assigned to the Eighth LH District out of New Orleans. In 1879 she was rebuilt and lengthened to 155 feet. In 1884 she was reassigned to the Fourth LH District and in 1890 transherred to the Second LH District (Massachusetts). Finally she was transferred to the First LH District (Maine & NH) in 1907. After over four decades of service supporting the Nation’s aids to navigation USLHT Geranium was sold in 1910. This image shows the tender before she was lengthened in 1879 – quite rare. Excellent view, close and clear, only very light wear. It is extremely difficult to find such early views and this view is certainly one of the larger, better ones. Measures 5 ” x 7”. (VG+). $124.
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