Mud Hen (steamer)
The Mud Hen was the very appropriate name given a small sternwheeler built by the Dunhams on the Coquille River and used on Beaver Slough, a tributary of that stream. The Mud Hen was thirty-two feet long and six feet beam, a few inches narrower than the stream, and her route extended from the river to Toledo, a distance of five miles, the shrubbery on both sides of the stream forming a complete arch the greater part of the distance. Every night the beavers would build numerous dams across the diminutive marine highway, and Captain Dunham and his nephew, Robert J. Dunham (at present master of the steam coaster Alice Blanchard), would wade out in their gum boots to remove the obstructions. What you need are locks instead of dams, suggested a passenger on a trip when the tide had ebbed and left a very light depth of water in the slough. Don't mention it, retorted Lord Bennett, who was a frequent traveler on the line; there are locks of my hair on every crab-apple tree between the Coquille and Toledo. The M
Citation: Tacoma Public Library