The White Star, later renamed the Indian Maid, was a cruise boat that operated on the Saranac Lakes in the early 1900s.
White Star, a very nice launch built by Harry K. Martin. Along came Ben Hall who bought the White Star from Torrance and changed its name to the Indian Maid. This boat enjoyed such success that Hall also purchased the Alice from Baker and ran both boats profitably. The Indian Maid, however, became the passengers' favorite and was the best known launch of that period. It was 38 feet long and was powered by a Lozier gas engine made in Plattsburgh.
Adirondack News, August 22, 1903
Shortly after two o'clock Sunday morning a terrific explosion awakened half of the citizens of Saranac Lake and kept the police force in a state of activity in search of the cause until after daylight, when the cause of the explosion was discovered. The steamer White Star, owned by Captain Eugene Torrence, and operated between the Riverside Inn and the Club House, on Upper Saranac Lake, as the result of a deliberate attempt to wreck her, lies sunk in her dock at Lake Flower. From all appearances and the opinion of experts a dynamite cartridge was exploded close to the gasoline tank on the steamer, tearing the bow into shrews [sic: shreds?] and ripping the entire forward part of the boat for a distance of ten feet into kindling wood.
The White Star made her regular trips Saturday, and was run in for the night at the usual hour. The boat was left practically unprotected, although Captain Torrence and his family live within thirty feet of where the steamer was moored. Strange to say, neither Mr. Torrence nor his family heard the explosion, and although Officer Moore was in, search of the cause of the noise that alarmed the village, it was not until Mr. Torrence and his family arose Sunday morning that he located it. Four feet of burned fuse and a number of pieces of burned rags showed plainly that the gasoline tank was exploded and did not explode itself. The way the bow of the steamer is shattered and torn plainly shows the marks of dynamite.
There has been a great rivalry between the steamboat men there all of the season. Torrence is not popular among certain classes. Chief of Police Ryan has been at work on the case and in all probability outside help from the city detective forces will be called in.
The White Star was built this spring at a cost of $1,800, and it is estimated that the damage done will cost Torrence at least $500 to repair, to say nothing of taking the boat out of commission for the rest of the season. Torrance carried no Insurance on the boat.
Just one year ago this month, a Sunday morning, at about the same time, an attempt was made to destroy the State lock almost 7 miles from Saranac Lake, with dynamite; the attempt was only partially successful. At the time the crime was laid at a dozen different doors, but it was never traced directly to anyone. The steamer Clio, owned by Captain Thomas, of Saranac Lake was also injured during the night, and it was necessary to place a watchman on her for the balance of the season.—Ex.
Malone Farmer, June 29, 1904
The Osetah Lake Co. has just launched handsome new launch called "Indian Maid" at Saranac Lake, which began regular trips from the village up the river to Hotel Ampersand and the Algonquin on Saturday. It is the most commodious of the public launches on Saranac waters.
From Seneca Ray Stoddard's 1908 The Adirondacks, Illustrated
Lake Flower is a made lake and an exceedingly picturesque one. The dam by which its waters are held is at the village, from which point The Indian Maid makes very interesting trips, morning and afternoon, through the winding inlet, which is the Saranac River, and through Oseetah Lake into Lower Saranac Lake to the hotels on its shores, starting from its landing a few steps east from Riverside Inn. Fare, round trip, 75 cents.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, May 20, 1969, reprinting a story from the Adirondack Enterprise for June 21, 1906
The Indian Maid will begin her regular two-trip service between this village and the hotels along the Lower Saranac Lake on June 24th leaving the company's docks at Nos. 13 and 69 River street at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. and returning at 1 and 6 p.m.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, September 25, 1953
I mentioned here several columns ago the clipping that someone had sent me from the Syracuse newspaper (years ago column) about the time the "White Star" blew up in Lake Flower. I ran into Milo Moody the other day and he said he recalled the boat and the incident. The "White Star" was built and operated by Eugene Torrence, he tells me, and the accident happened while it was moored at the Saranac Lake boathouse (where the bathing beach is now). It was a 35-passenger boat that made daily trips to Ampersand and return. It afterwards became the property of Benjamin Hall, and it was renamed "Indian Maid". Some of you may remember it under that name.