Built by the Crescent Shipbuilding Company of Elizabeth, New Jersey and
delivered in November, 1900, Buffalo's newly commissioned fireboat was first
named the William S. Grattan.
The Grattan was equipped with coal-burning steam boilers, three 3,000 gpm
steam-operated piston fire pumps and a steam engine driving a single propeller.
She was built with a heavily reinforced bow with a projecting stem, enabling her to also function as an icebreaker in Buffalo's severe winters.