Heritage Village, East Grand Forks, Minnesota

The exhibit displays the old steam boiler from a Fram ship that was built in East Grand Forks in 1890.

A paddle steamer is a steamboat powered by a steam engine that drives paddle wheels to propel the craft through the water. The two types of paddle wheel steamer are stern-wheeler, with a single paddle wheel on the rear, and side-wheeler, with one paddle wheel on each side.


The Fram Steamboat was built in East Grand Forks in 1890. It was 71.7 feet long, 18.8 feet wide, weighed 22 tons, had a crew of 14 and sailed during the late 1800s and early 1900s. In 1900, the East Grand Forks Transportation Company took the ‘side-wheeler’ off the boat and discontinued steamboat service on the Red Lake River. The ship was converted into a ‘stern-wheeler’ and put to work on the Red River ferrying passengers and freight from Fargo to Winnipeg. After 1910 the Fram ship was moored (to secure in a particular place, as by cables and anchors) in Grand Forks. The Fram broke loose from its moorings in 1912, drifted downstream and sank 6 miles south of Oslo, MN in 1915. The Fram boiler was retrieved from the Red River in 1976 and put on exhibit at Heritage Village, East Grand Forks.

Certificate of Enrollment

In conformity to Title L. “Regulation of Vessels in Domestic Commerce” of the Revised Statutes of the United States H.P. Anderson of the city of Grand Forks in the state of North Dakota having taken and subscribed the oath required by law, and having sworn that he owning one half interest, and A. O. Lystad of East Grand Forks, in the state of Minnesota owning one half interest are citizens of the United States and the sole owners of the vessel called the Fram of East Grand Forks, Minn, where of W. J. Slattery, citizen of the United States, is master, and that said vessel was built in the year 1900 at East Grand Forks in the State of Minnesota and Robert Morrison Spl Deputy collector of customs, having certified that the said vessel is a stern wheel steamer built of wood, that she has one deck and no mast, model head, square stern; that her length is 71 7/10 feet, her breath 18 8/10 feet, her depth 3 2/10 feet. Capacity under tonnage 22.85 tons and the said H P Anderson having agreed to the description and measurement above specific said vessel has been duly Enrolled at the Port of Pembina, ND given under my hand and seal at the Port of Pembina, N. D. in the district of North Dakota this 23rd day of July in the year one thousand nine hundred.