Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Tonawanda I (Mon)

(Mon: t. 1,564; dp. 3,400 (approx.); 1. 258'6"; b. 52'9"; dph. 14'; dr. 12'8"; s. 10.5 k.; cpl. 150 (approx.); a. 4 15"; cl. Miantonomah)

From the creek which rises in Wyoming County, N.Y., and flows northwest through Niagara County to empty into the Niagara River. Tonawanda is a Seneca Indian word meaning "swift water," referring to river rapids.


The first Tonawanda, a double-turreted coastal monitor built by the Philadelphia Navy Yard, was launched on 6 May 1864; and commissioned on 12 October 1865, Comdr. William Ronckendorff in command. Completed too late for service in the Civil War, Tonawanda, was decommissioned at the Washington Navy Yard on 22 December 1865. Reactivated on 23 October 1866 for duty as a training ship at the United States Naval Academy, she was serving in that capacity when she was renamed Amphitrite (q.v.) on 15 June 1869. Her assignment at Annapolis ended in 1872, and she was taken to the Delaware River and broken up in 1873 and 1874 by the Harlan and Hollingsworth Co., Wilmington, Del.

Published: Wed Sep 30 13:00:10 EDT 2015