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Heavy Metal: 1908

Philadelphia circa 1908. "Ships at League Island Navy Yard. Cruisers Minneapolis and Columbia (center) and armored ram Katahdin." View full size.

Philadelphia circa 1908. "Ships at League Island Navy Yard. Cruisers Minneapolis and Columbia (center) and armored ram Katahdin." View full size.


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No Military Value

Annual Reports of the Navy Department
for the Fiscal Year 1907.

Report of the Secretary of the Navy.

There is at the League Island Navy-Yard the ram Katahdin, which, it is thought, has no military value. Its maintenance is a constant expense, and it is respectfully recommended that this vessel be sold, as it is probable that the maximum value could be obtained at the present time, whereas, as time goes on, the value of this vessel will decrease. The amount expended on maintenance, upkeep, and care is cumulative. There have been expended on this vessel since her last commission in 1898 about $54,061.77 in construction and repair department alone, and it is doubtful if the vessel could be sold for this amount at the present time.

Someone needs to buy some paint

Both the Columbia (CL-12) and the Minneapolis (CL-13) were in and out of service several time during their service years.

When this picture was taken the Columbia had been decommissioned since May 3, 1907 and would return to service on June 22, 1915. The Minneapolis was decommissioned November 7, 1906 and returned to service on July 2, 1917 at the beginning of World War I.

The Minneapolis was decommissioned at the Mare Island Navy Yard in San Francisco Bay on 15 March 1921, and sold on 5 August 1921.

The Columbia decommissioned at Philadelphia Navy Yard on June 29, 1921 and sold January 22, 1922.

We need volunteers

to crew our latest vessel, it's called an "armored ram"
it's already half submerged - - wait! where are you all going? ?


It looks like they have all the comforts of home: is that a single seat-er? I wonder what kind of magazines were in the rack. That was probably the only space on board that provided privacy.

optional add-on

I like the outhouse perched on the Katahdin's starboard side.

Looks like wasting funds is not new

The innovative, but weird Katahdin was obsolescent when designed, emulating British harbor rams of the 1870s-80s, and being, like them, underpowered and not very seaworthy. She was downright obsolete by the time she hit the waves in 1896. Immediately after the war she was decommissioned (October 1898). Eleven years later she was struck from the Navy Register and designated as a target. In that capacity, Katahdin was sunk off Rappahannock Spit, Virginia in the autumn of 1909.

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