Newly Acquired Items
Steamboat Photos


Beautiful photo of 3 sternwheelers at Marietta 2018 by Danny Carpenter

Of all the photos of the Ohio River Sternwheeler Festival this photo by Danny Carpenter is the most beautiful

Harmar Village - Marietta, Ohio
September 9, 2018

The Ohio River Sternwheel Festival was the brainchild of Harry Robinson and Captains Gene Fitch and Bob Limle.

The first Ohio River Sternwheel Festival took place the weekend after Labor Day 1976. This festival was held to encourage tourism to the Marietta area as well as preserve the riverboat heritage for which our area is well known.

Over the years, this festival has grown tremendously, attracting an estimated 100,000 people to the Marietta area during the weekend. In addition to the 30-35 authentic sternwheel boats that line the river bank, we offer a full weekend of free, quality, family oriented entertainment and the best fireworks anywhere. The Ohio River Sternwheel Festival is a not for profit organization operating on a budget of approximately $160,000 annually.

We operate and are funded through corporate sponsors, sales of souvenirs, private donations and fundraising events. Our committee is made up strictly of volunteers with a membership of 85 including officers, a board of trustees and committee chairmen.


the smoking room aboard the Sacramento River steamboat NAVAJO

For a Sacramento River steamboat page or can be a sub-classification to join the STEAMBOAT ROUND THE BEND pages We have quite a few Sacramento boats scattered around, even on on towboats pages - the California boat pulled rather than pushed barges Superb interior photograph of the smoking room aboard the Sacramento River steamboat NAVAJO from the H.E. Hinkley Collection at the San Franciso Maritime Museum


Lighthouse Tender OLEANDER with steam propellar barge TUSCALOOSA

On the left the steam propeller barge TUSCALOOSA, alongside the U.S Lighthouse Tender OLEANDER on the right somewhere on the Mississippi River. La Crosse Collection.

Oleander (1903-1926)

Sternwheel Lighthouse tender
Way's Packet Directory Number 4292

Built in 1903 at Dubuque, Iowa
Captain Thomas B. Good (master) for the U.S. Lighthouse Service
Operated on the Mississippi River

Had horizontal steeple compound engines which were different than anything on the river. In 1909 took U.S. President William Howard Taft down from St. Louis to Memphis. Replaced by the WILLOW when she retired in 1926.

In 1930 Captain Russell Warner bought her and stripped off the cabin. The steel hull was eventually acquired by the Ohio River Company and was used at Huntington, West Virginia as a coal fueling barge with a steam hoist aboard.


Steamboat Race on the Ohio River, July 1929

Video on YouTube of race 'twixt Way's BETSY ANN and the Green family's TOM GREENE.

The quality of this film could probably be restored considerably if it was entrusted to a film lab that possessed state of the art digital technology.

Steamboat Race on the Ohio River, July 1929
Speed Graphic Film and Video
Published on May 27, 2018

In the 1920's, traffic on the Ohio River looked much as it did in the 19th century--flat-bottomed paddlewheel steamboats, ideal for working a shallow waterway. Frederick Way Jr. loved the river and the boats, and in 1925 persuaded his father to help him get into the steamboat business. He operated the BETSY ANN until 1932, when the Great Depression and competition from trucking forced him to sell it. In 1928 and again in 1929, he raced the BETSY ANN against boats of the rival Greene Line, and in the process, garnered a good deal of publicity for the river trade. The press saw it as a revival of the great steamboat races of the 19th century. In truth, it was a last flourish before the end. According to contemporary accounts, the race started in Cincinnati and went upstream for about 20 miles to New Richmond.


Sidewheeler DAVID SWAIN

Photo courtesy of Carrie Stier (Riverboat TWILIGHT)

Sidewheel wooden hull packet

Way's Packet Directory Number 1469
Built by the Swains and launched in 1906 at Stillwater, Minnesota
Size: 136.6' x 26' x 4.5'
Inclined oscillating engines, 10's, 20's- 5 ft.

Operated by the Swains on the Illinois River under Captain Percy Swain
Later replaced the sunken PERCY SWAIN in the Vicksburg-Natchez trade In September 1922 was purchased by Captain George Prince

This was the last sidewheel packet on the Illinois River and the last packet in the Vicksburg-Natchez trade.

Dismantled at Vidalia, Louisiana during the early 1930's.


Ferry J.T. DAVIS that served at Hannibal, MO circa 1880 - 1917

An unusual photo of a young man named Fred Scheineman holding a camera as he stands on the main deck near the foot of the stairs leading to the boiler deck of the ferry J.T. DAVIS in 1915. This is from Steve Chou's collection. Fred Way's profile of the ferry mentions its career in Hannibal, Missouri where it steamed back and forth to Illinois on the opposite shore. Perhaps the owners Hufner & Morris resided in St. Louis which would explain why the words "PORT OF ST. LOUIS" are featured under the boat's name.

Way's Packet Directory Number 2887

Centerwheel ferry built at Grafton, Illinois in 1880.
122.5 x 32.5 x 4.1. Single engine 16 inches x 4 1/2 ft.
One boiler 46 inches x 18 feet.
Owned by Hufner and Morris and ran at Hannibal, MO.
She was still in business in 1917.


Str EVANSVILLE (1880-1931)

Sternwheel Packet
Way's Packet Directory Numbers 1922 & 1923
Built in 1880 at Cincinnati, Ohio
OWNERS: Captain John F. Klein (1895);
Evansville and Bowling Green Packet Company; Captain Hite (1896)
This boat was originally named EVANSVILLE and owned by the Evansville, Green and Barren River Navigation Company; Captain Cole Boren and others (1890); but in 1897 she was renamed CRESCENT CITY and retained that name until 1903. Sometime after that, she was completely rebuilt at Madison, Indiana and in 1906 was documented as a new boat named EVANSVILLE. She had 22 staterooms and the original cost was $22,000. Cabin was built by Elias Ealer, engines by C.T. Dumont. Sold to Captain Boren in July 1890 for the Cairo-Tiptonville trade but returned to Green River that November. After being sold to Captain Klein in 1895, she ran in the Wheeling-Clarington trade, about six weeks after which she again returned to Green River. After the rebuilding program, she was owned by Evansville and Bowling Green Packet Company. She sank at Aberdeen, Kentucky on July 11, 1919 and was quickly raised. After she burned at Bowling Green, Kentucky on July 25, 1931 her whistle went to the towboat TOM WILLIAMS. She carried a "mockingbird whistle" also upon which tunes were played by pilot Gene Lunn. Captain Elmore Bewley (first master, 1880); T. L. Burnham (clerk, 1880); T. K. Knowles (pilot, 1898) Officers in 1912: Lee Howell, president; T.A. Williams, superintendent; Jeff H. Williams, agent at Evansville; Lucian Graham, agent at Bowling Green. Officers in 1923: Captain Abbott Veatch; Captain William Williams (master); Captain Gene Lunn (pilot); Captain Owen P. Jones (pilot); Lou Walker (mate); Tim Hill (1923); Ben Ellis (engineer); Len Johnson (engineer).





The three steamboats from the center to ar right are
LORENA 1895 - 1916
ROSE HITE 1895 - 1907
EDGAR CHERRY 1894 - 1903

"Monongahela wharves, Pittsburgh"
William Henry Jackson, photographer Detroit Publishing Co.
WHJ 274-02 on negative.
Detroit Publishing Co. No. 014271.


Steamboat CHALMETTE High Water at New Orleans wharf 23 March 1903 from SHORPY

Boat's history from University of Missouri St. Louis:

The CHALMETTE was built in 1881 at Jeffersonville, Indiana as the City of Vicksburg for the Anchor Line Packet Company of St. Louis, Missouri. She was wrecked by the cyclone in St. Louis on May 27, 1896 along with four other Anchor Line steamers. In the process of rebuilding by Captain W. H. Thorwegan as an excursion boat she was purchased by the Illinois Central Railroad interests and renamed CHALMETTE, after a New Orleans suburb. She continued to operate as a packet boat on the lower Mississippi but sank in 1904 at the head of Deadman's Bend, about 60 miles below Natchez.

AMERICA1910Angola LandingLouisianaStatePrisonForNORI

Captain Cooley's AMERICA at Angola, 1910

Cropped high angle photo taken in 1910 of Captain Cooley's AMERICA at Angola Landing, adjacent to Louisiana State Prison Farm on the Mississippi River. The AMERICA was one of the most photogenic and iconic of all the sternwheelers and was Cooley's favorite boat as well. With few exceptions all photos of the boat are inspirational when it comes to an "ideal" Western Rivers steamboat realizing its full potential.


An excursion on the St. Croix River in Minnesota aboard the Taylors Falls Princess

Wild Mountain : Taylors Falls Recreation - Daily Excursions

Since 1906 tourists by the thousands have enjoyed the scenic beauty of the world famous Dalles of the St. Croix River by excursion boat. Our fleet of excursion boats includes the Taylors Falls Queen and the Taylors Falls Princess.

Since 1906 tourists by the thousands have enjoyed the scenic beauty of the world famous Dalles of the St. Croix River by excursion boat. Our fleet of excursion boats includes the Taylors Falls Queen and the Taylors Falls Princess. The "Princess" can carry up to 250 passengers with The "Queen" holding up to 149. Both boats are enclosed on the lower level & the upper decks are open.

Daily Excursions are either 45 or 80 minutes. Your licensed boat pilot and tour guide will point out the unique rock formations that were left behind as the glaciers retreated thousands of years ago. Among the most outstanding formations is the huge stone cross for which the St. Croix River was named. "St. Croix" means Holy Cross.

Other sites that can be seen from the boats include the world's largest glacial kettles or "potholes", Lion's Head, Turk's Head and the highlight of the boat tour, The Old Man of the Dalles - the most outstanding natural rock face you'll ever see.

An afternoon on the St. Croix Published on Sep 16, 2015 Youtube An excursion on the St. Croix River aboard the Taylors Falls Princess - an 80 foot long authentic sternwheeler. Here, near my home, the St. Croix River is its most scenic, running through towering basaltic cliffs and ledges (known as 'the dalles") and bordered by white pines - a ghost of the plentiful logging stands of centuries past.



Steamboats DEXTER & PEYTONA painted on China plates by Rudolph Theodor Lux

Steamboat DEXTER 1868 - 1874 painted on a China plate by New Orleans artist Rudolph Theodor Lux. This is a detail from the color photograph of the plate on the cover of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts catalogue for the exhibition CURRENTS OF CHANGE - "Art and Life Along the Mississippi River 1850-1861."

Lux's 1865 painted plate of the steamboat PEYTONA 1859-1861 is from the Historic New Orleans Collection.

Rudolph Lux was active in New Orleans from 1856 to 1858 and was considered to have been the premier porcelain painter and gilder working in New Orleans in the mid 19th century. He was born in Germany, and specialized in portraying prominent persons including Civil War figures on porcelain plates and cups.


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.*