Steamboat Documents, page 1


GRAND REPUBLIC Ticket - June 2, 1894

Ticket to a complimentary evening excursion aboard the GRAND REPUBLIC Given to the Postal workers of St. Louis (Letter Carriers) on Saturday Evening, June the 2nd, 1894 between 7:30 p.m. and 11 p.m.



D.S. BARMORE & SON (David S. Barmore and his son Edmond H. Barmore)
STEAMBOAT BUILDERS (Circa 1881 to 1886)
Specimen from the Falls city Lithograph & Job Printing Company, 241 Third Avenue, Louisville, Kentucky

Printer's proof for the logo to be printed on company business envelopes

Brief history of the Barmores, Father & Son - Steamboat Builders at Jeffersonville, Kentucky:

Edmond Herbert Barmore (February 5, 1860 - November 26, 1931) was an American football player and businessman. He was born in Jeffersonville, Indiana, on the banks of the Ohio River, in 1860. He was the son of Captain David S. Barmore (1832-1905) and Mary E. (Cash) Barmore. His father was one of the leading builders of steamboats used along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Edmond attended public schools in Indiana and Michigan, and enrolled in the Literary Department at the University of Michigan in October 1878. In the spring of 1879, a group of students formed the university's first college football team. Barmore played at the halfback position on the 1879 Michigan Wolverines football team and participated in the first Michigan football team, a victory over Racine College played at White Stockings Park in Chicago.

After leaving Michigan, Barmore joined his father in the boat-building business at Jeffersonville, Indiana, on the opposite shore of the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky. He and his father built all manner of riverboats, from small tugboats to large and powerful three and four-decked steamboats of modern commerce that pled the Ohio and Mississippi between Pittsburgh, St. Louis and New Orleans, carrying each its hundreds of passengers and thousands of tons of freight.

From 1881 to 1886, Barmore and his father did business under the name D. S. Barmore and Son. In 1886, Barmore and his father sold their business in Jeffersonville, and Edmond Barmore moved to Los Angeles, California.


Card announcing an excursion from Louisville, Kentucky to a picnic at Fern Grove which was located on the Ohio River at the mouth of Fourteen-Mile Creek near Charlestown, Indiana.

M.W.A. apparently stands for Modern Woodmen of America, founded in 1883 as "a fraternal benefit society that protected families from financial hardship after the death of a breadwinner."

Columbia (1892-1913)
Sidewheel Ferry/Excursion boat

Way's Packet Directory Number 1245

Built in 1892 at Jeffersonville, Indiana at Howard Ship Yard
Her engines and doctor came from the NEW SHALLCROSS.

Owned by Louisville and Jeffersonville Ferry Company

Original price, $17,750.

The fire that destroyed her Jeffersonville, Indiana on January 20, 1913 was discovered by watchman George Canary while the COLUMBIA Columbia was in her winter quarters at the foot of Watt Street in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

The loss was estimated at $30,000


Invitation date June 13, 1871 to Mr. E.L. Stevens announcing an excursion party and dinner to be given the following day for visitors to St. Louis from Iowa and Minnesota aboard the CITY OF VICKSBURG.

CITY OF VICKSBURG Sidewheel packet
Way's Packet Directory Number 1142
Built in 1881 at Jeffersonville, Indiana by Howard Ship Yards
Home port or owner's residence (Anchor Line) circa 1881, St. Louis, Missouri.
Original price: $73,350.
Bought by the Columbia Excursion Company, St. Louis (1894)
Damaged in the tornado at St. Louis on May 27, 1896
Sold 1898 to John T. Hardy Sons and Company, New Orleans and rebuilt into the CHALMETTE.


Splendid printed cover for an Excursion and Banquet aboard the ROB ROY at Louisiana, Missouri on May 28, 1873
Louisiana is on the Mississippi downriver from Hannibal, Missouri (boyhood home of Sam Clemens).

Rob Roy (1866-1880)

Sidewheel Packet

Way's Packet Directory Number 4769

Built in 1866 at Madison, Indiana (hull and framing); completed at St. Louis

Built for the St. Louis-Keokuk trade with the Keokuk Northern Line Packet Company

While passing through the drawbridge at Quincy, Illinois on March 27, 1870, she hit the ice breaker and lost her port wheel, blacksmith shop, pantry, and lower guard but landed safely.

On February 28, 1871 while leaving St. Louis, the head of a mud drum blew out killing a fireman and two camels belonging to Van Amburgh's menagerie.

She snagged and sunk on June 2, 1874 near Alton, Illinois while bound down river.

On February 26, 1880 she sank after hitting an obstruction below Louisiana, Missouri.

She was raised and was to be dismantled when the GOLDEN EAGLE burned.

The ROB ROY had just been brought out of retirement in late that summer when she broke a gib on the starboard engine crosshead on the inboard stroke and knocked out the cylinder head; subsequently the ROB ROY was dismantled before the end of 1880.

On the left is a detail of the ROB ROY from an 1869 painting "Down River View of the Mississippi and Hannibal, Missouri Landing"

Oil on canvas, 30"x72"; signed and dated: Crosby 1869
Mark Twain Museum, Hannibal, Missouri

George L. Crosby, born in Massachusetts in 1833, travelled west as a young man with settlers bound for Kansas. His impressions of that expedition were recorded in two paintings, "Kansas or Bust" and "Kansas and Busted". After his return to Massachusetts he was commissioned by investors in the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad to paint views of Hannibal and the surrounding terrain. Crosby married in Hannibal, returned to Marlborough, Massachusetts, and came back to Hannibal in the 1860's where he was active as a photographer and portrait painter until he and his family were drowned in a flash flood of 1877 or 1878.

Caption about the painting is from:
"Mississippi panorama: the life and landscape of the Father of Waters and its great tributary, the Missouri" A catalogue for an exhibition at the City Art Museum of St. Louis, 1950


Riverview Steamboat Co. Trifold menu printed on "parchment" stock, = 11 1/2 by 5 1/4 inches folded

Circa 1980 from a restaurant that was located on top of the Quality Inn Riverview across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, Ohio.


666 5th Street
Covington, Kentucky

Owned and operated by Frisch's Restaurants of Cincinnati.

Some samples of offerings on the menu included:

PORTSIDE - Mates in Tow (side orders):

STARBOARD - Pilot's Steak on a Skewer - Sternwheeler's Teriyaki Steak - Boilerman's Changeable Chicken

SWEET CHANNEL (Desserts): New Orleans Crepes - River Queen's Treat of the Day "Ask your mate"

River Mist (Coconut juice and Southern Rum "sure to cut the fog")
Captain's Coffee (Italian liqueur and a hint of mint topped with whipped cream)
Gale Winds (Southern fruit juices and Northern berries)

The text on the back of the menu indicates that this was a "revolving" restaurant from which guests would be getting a 360 degree view of Kentucky, Ohio and the Ohio River:


We'll be underway the moment you step on to the outer ring of our elegant traveling restaurant. Make yourself comfortable as we transport you smoothly away from your cares and anxieties.

Drink in the panoramic sweep of hills and valleys, the teeming river, the city's skyline, the quaint red rooftops and the green hillsides of Kentucky.

Relax and allow one of our friendly mates to bring you food and drink fit for such a world traveler as you."

recent acquisitions

Most likely from the 1852 Pittsburgh city directory. Steamboats built to order, fitted and furnished complete, ready for business"



This rare and rather dainty little ticket measures 2 x 3 1/4 inches
dated on the back April 26, 1862 in pencil. Front of the ticket reads:

Trip No 3 Room No 4
To "DuBuque"
(signed by) "Ditto" Clerk.

Way's Packet Directory Number 2557

Built at Shousetown, Pennsylavania in 1860 under the direction of Capt. Richard C. Gray for the Northern Line Packet Co. 405 tons along with the SUCKER STATE. Ran St. Louis-St. Paul. Departed St. Louis June 11, 1861, under the command of Captain R.C. Gray, and arrived in St. Paul three days, six hours 20 minutes, made 54 landings en route, her freight receipts totaled $2,087. Made eight rounds that season in 73 days. In 1867, Capt. Wordon, raced the PHIL SHERIDAN to Dubuque, and then continued to St. Paul. On another occasion round-tripped in six days 20 hours. The best time St. Louis-St. Paul lies between the PHIL SHERIDAN, GEM CITY, and HAWKEYE STATE, all fast nags. Dismantled and her engines went to the LAKE SUPERIOR, built in 1870.



The River and Harbor Convention, St. Paul, Minnesota 4 Sept 1885

Vintage document from ye olden days of St. Paul accompanied by a 1905 photo of the Hotel Ryan

The Citizens of Saint Paul (Minnesota) tender their compliments and request the pleasure of your presence at a Reception to be given in honor of the delegates to The River and Harbor Convention, at Hotel Ryan, Friday, September Fourth 1885 at Eight o'clock P.M.

Inside the invitation are two pages of events and names of V.I.P. guests

Synopsis - "Programme"

State and City representatives who were to receive the guests "in the parlors" from 8:30 to 9:30 PM included Governor L.F. Hubbard and 5 ex-governors

Mayor Edmund Rice

General John B. Sanborn, President of the the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce
Honorable R.A. Smith, President Common Council, City of St. Paul

Refreshments at 9:00 o'clock

"Committees" included "Common Council," "Chamber of Commerce," and "Jobbers Union"

The Introduction was to be given by D.A. Monfort, Chairman, 10 Chamber members to be present

At the bottom of the 2nd page are the words "White Badge" - the significance of which is not known.

The Ryan Hotel by Historic Buildings of Minnesota on Facebook

One of Twin Cities most luxurious hotels of the late 19th century was the Ryan Hotel in St. Paul. The founding and construction of the hotel was funded by Dennis Ryan, who had made a fortune mining gold and silver. The building was designed by architect James J. Egan, who came up with a huge Victorian Gothic creation that would be a landmark in St. Paul for years to come. Red brick and white sandstone were used to construct the huge walls. Terra cotta ornament, granite columns, arched windows, and bracketed balconies decorated the front façade. Out of the steep roof popped dormers, towers, and spires. The interior public spaces consisted of a bar, parlors, ladies rooms, a ballroom, and a billiards hall. The rest of the hotel held 335 sleeping apartments that ranged in size from one to six rooms. 300 had at least one fireplace and 100 had private baths. The Ryan had a long life of good service and even up to the end it was considered a decent hotel, but when it was losing too much money the owners decided to close it. In 1962 the building was demolished only to be replaced by a parking lot. The Minnesota Mutual Insurance Company building now occupies the site.


With the exception of images credited to public institutions,
everything on this page is from a private collection.
Please contact for permission for commercial use.*

All captions provided by Dave Thomson, primary contributor and historian.