Designed as a so-called 'medium clipper', Wild Ranger was built at Medford by the renowned American shipbuilder James O. Curtis. The Boston Daily Atlas reported on 16th June 1853:
'This fine vessel is designed to stow a large cargo, and has good clipperly ends, and great length of floor, which will enable her to sail fast. She is 175 feet long between perpendiculars on deck, has 35 feet breadth of beam, 23 feet depth, including 8 feet height of between decks, and registers about 134 tons. Her lines are slightly concave below, but convex above, and, like most of the other clippers, she does smack smooth forward, without head boards, and has a gilded hound for a head. Her stern is nearly semi-circular in outline, and flares above the line of the planksheer. It looks well, and is tastefully ornamented with gilded carved work, in the centre of which is a woodland scene, with a hunter, rifle in hand, just about rising to follow the chase. The ship is sheathed with yellow metal, and painted black, and inside is buff color.
The arrangements of her decks consist of a topgallant forecastle, a house amidships, and another aft, in the front of a half poop deck. The after house contains the cabin, which has its principal entrance forward, leading to the quarter deck. The cabin is wainscotted with gothic arched panels, edged with gilding, upon a white ground, and contains in all 12 staterooms and the pantry. A curtain abaft the mizzenmast divides the cabin, and two of the rooms forward are in the wake of the vestibule.
Her frame is of seasoned white oak, and she is built and finished in the best style. Her keel is of rock maple, sided 15 inches and moulded 30, the floor timbers 15½ by 12, and she has three depths of keelsons, each 16 inches square, all fastened with copper and iron, every copper bolt driven through and clinched.
The Wild Ranger has a noble set of spars, and is fitted aloft in excellent style. We believe she will prove a fine seaboat and sail well. She was built at Medford, by Mr. James O. Curtis, who has built many fine clippers and other vessels, and is commanded by Capt. James H. Sears. Messrs. Thatcher & Sears, of this city, own her, and they are entitled to great credit for the liberal style in which they have fitted her out. She is now loading with despatch in Glidden & Williams' line of California clippers, and will sail on the 21st.’