Before the coming of the railroad, St.
Andrew Bay depended on water for
transportation and the shipping and receiving of
goods and people.
On January 28, 1903, the steamship S.S.
Tarpon began sailing on a weekly trip stopping
at Panama City, Millville, St. Andrew,
Pensacola, Apalachicola, Carrabelle, and
Mobile. Captained by Willis Green Barrow, the
Tarpon was 160 feet long with a tonnage of 450
tons. Captain Barrow was the only captain of
the rugged Tarpon. He was a rough salty
seadog to his men but charming to the ladies
and a hero to the children.
For 34 years the Tarpon made scheduled
trips as the primary source of passenger and
freight traffic. The final journey ended when she
was caught in a storm on September 1, 1937
off the coast of Panama City Beach. Aboard
were 31 passengers, machinery, barrels of
flour, and about 300 cases of beer. In addition
to the loss of cargo, 18 of the 31 people aboard
were lost. The good ship Tarpon went to her
last resting place carrying her faithful captain,
Captain Barrow, to his death.