Steamboat People, page 4

steamboat photo

7.5 x 9 inches original print size
Probably circa 1913 - 1919
"Good Time Charlies!" No wives or girl friends to make them behave, but what kind of trouble can they get in without women?

Just arrived latest addition. The lower left corner was torn off so I attempted to restore it as best I could.

Chain drive paddlewheel, initials D.W. . . . haven't come across any further history outside of the dealer's description:

Real photo of a paddleboat in the late 1890's on a trip down the Ohio River. It was found in an estate of photos that were dated in that era. The men on board are members of a hunting and fishing group that traveled down the Ohio River and stopped at various towns along the way and camped on their journey.

steamboat photo

Passengers onboard the St. Lucie. Nice clear date of May 6, 1900.

This is a Florida boat. Moisture damage and abrasions all over the 10 gents made restoration labor intensive. This is one third of the size I scanned it and retouched it at.I like the shiny black twin stacks forward of the neat little pilot house. Must be photos of the entire craft someplace.


This photo of an interesting character leaning on the counter of a clerk's office in the cabin of a steamboat.

The boat is not identified but the picture came from a group of Upper Mississippi River snapshots and could have been taken aboard the QUINCY or a similar boat that ran between St. Louis, MO and Keokuk, Iowa.

Nice detail and a range of tonal values in this photo that conveys a genuine flavor of the old packets.

older boat photo

This was taken aboard the Princess, photo by Lawrence J. Neumann, 945 Gest Street, Cincinnati.

Edna Walker onboard the Steamer Rose Hite

Attached is the best of 5 photos taken aboard the ROSE HITE and at Donora, PA on the Monongahela that I won on eBay. I love "Captain" Edna Walker's prim pose with sweet face and features which finally dawned on me resembled Drew Barrymore's.

Am sure this was just a "gag" where she borrowed the Captain's cap for the picture. She moved her left shoulder a bit which resulted in a blur on the sleeve of her blouse. Love the fashions of those days.

Rose Hite Steamboat

Steamer Rose Hite, 1895-1907. PittsburghMonongahelaWharfDetailLOCexport




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.


This rafter was very photogenic, came across these two photos of the KIT CARSON in the La Crosse collection and combined them here.

Named for legendary frontiersman Christopher Houston "Kit" Carson (1809-1868) Also included a vignette portrait of Carson himself with the lower photo.

Sternwheel Rafter
1880 - 1916

Way's Steam Towboat Directory Number T1522

Built at South Stillwater, Minnesota circa 1880.
Owned in 1883 by Burlington Lumber Company, McDonald Brothers of La Crosse, Wisconsin and Captain A. R. Young who commanded her.

Later she was sold south to the Patton-Tully Lumber Company of Memphis, Tennessee. Condemned at Memphis and dismantled in 1916.


1880: Captain A. R. Young (master), N. B. Lucas (pilot)

1886-1889: Captain R. N. Cassidy (master) William Wooders (pilot)

1888-1889: Sol S. Fuller (chief engineer)

1890: Harry Walker (master), Captain Charley Meeds (first engineer)

1890-91 Captain John Bradley and Frank D. Wettenhall (pilots)

1890-1894: Captain William Slocumb (master and pilot)

1892: Captain B. B. Bradley (master)

1894: George Dunbar (pilot)

1899: Captain H. Bresee (master and pilot)

1900-1904 Captain William Dobler (master and pilot)

1901-1902: John Schmidt (pilot)

1916: Captain Cornelius Knapp (master)


Standing in front of the name board at the rear of the pilot house of the PRINCESS are two gentlemen who I gather from their uniforms were musicians "on a break" between giving performances on the boat.

(Excursion boat 1924 - 32)

Sidewheel Packet

Way's Packet Directory Number 1033;
Hull built by Midland Barge Company, Midland, Pennsylvania and completed at Cincinnati, 1924 Ran on Ohio and Mississippi rivers

This boat had a double cabin, parlor rooms, baths, separate dining room, steam heat and all the trimmings. She was designed by marine architect Tom Dunbar as a single-cabin packet for the Cincinnati-Louisville trade. Before completion, the stateroom capacity was vastly enlarged by the building of a second passenger cabin. The original cost of this boat was $417,000 of which she made back about $200,000 in the first eight years of operation. The boat was owned by John W. Hubbard, Pittsburgh and operated by the Louisville and Cincinnati Packet Company. She made Cincinnati-New Orleans Mardi Gras trips without a break from 1924-1930 and cleared $40,000 on her first Mardi Gras trip. She was in Pittsburgh on several occasions, and brought the 31st annual convention of the Ohio Valley Improvement Association there in October, 1925. She appeared for the 1929 celebration of the completion of the Ohio River locks and dams. Her principal business was regular summer operation in the Louisville-Cincinnati packet trade. On May 24, 1928 while between Carrollton and Madison, she collided with the M.V. BELFONT and engineer Homer Johnston was killed. Hard times came with the Louisville and Cincinnati Packet Company having financial troubles. The Cincinnati was sold to Streckfus Steamers, Incorporated, St. Louis. They tore her down to the hull and built a superstructure for an excursion boat named PRESIDENT.







1880's negatives aboard taken aboard steamboats

Six scans, the best of 17 glass negatives of steamboats, most of them 4x5 inches

These negs appear to date from the late 1800's and early 1900's and haD a multitude of flaws that took hours of Photoshop finessing to clean up. Results attached. I added the "Golden Hour" sepia tone effect, using an "ON1" effects option.

The three vertical format pictures I cropped to showcase First, the three gals around the bell, Second, the same 3 women seated in the foreground with 2 gents standing behind them and Third the searchlight attendant. This saved a lot of man hours cleaning up heavily spotted, less non-essential areas to the left and right of the central figures.

The 2 gents and 2 ladies seated on a bench behind the pilot house (whose visor was "buttoned up" while in port evidently; the pilot wheel is clearly visible through the open sliding window) are interesting folks. The fellow wearing the uniform cap may have been a pilot but possibly more likely a passenger who was loaned the cap by a member of the crew to wear while he was posing.

The other three ladies sitting on the porch of the texas cabin aboard the BELLE OF CALHOUN look like they're having a good time, the two on the left are wearing caps and a there is a pilot's cap placed upside down on the deck, lower left which may have been intended to have been worn by the bemused lady on the far right. The BELLE's name is stenciled on the two axes mounted to the bulkhead of the texas cabin.

A solitary gentleman sits on a table inside the main cabin of the BELLE OF CALHOUN. The interior is atmospherically illuminated primarily from sunshine through the portside skylights overhead and possibly from a door that was open into a stateroom whose secondary door opened from the room to the deck outside. The BELLE's name is painted high on the rear bulkhead of the cabin just below the ceiling.

Sternwheel Packet
Built at the Carondelet marine ways and completed at the St. Louis wharf in 1895 Became the JULIA in May of 1899; original name restored in 1905
Burned in winter 1930-1931 at Alton Slough

Original owner St. Louis and Clarksville Packet Company, Frederick W. Schwartz (president); Captain T.B. Sims owned her in 1897; 1898 owned by J.W. Fristoe, Frank P. Hearne and Captain Byrd Burton; May 1899 sold to Memphis and Vicksburg Packet Company; name changed to JULIA; 1905 owned by the St. Louis and Calhoun Packet Corporation, Captain Lee Cummings and name reverted to BELLE OF CALHOUN; 1913 owned by Captain H.W. Sebastian

Original crew, 1895, Captain Aaron Hall (master), Joe Chatterton and Harry H. Monaghan (pilots), Edward Young (first clerk), Zollie Block (second clerk), Oliver Cotrell (chief engineer) and William Tracy (mate). H.S. Ruby (pilot); 1913, Captain George Carvell (master), Captain Roy Watson (master), William Blaine (steward); 1914 and 1915, Selby Crader (pilot); 1915, William Bush (pilot); 1917, Captain Ed Nowland (master)

Way's Packet Directory Number 0516

The BELLE OF CALHOUN was named for Miss Anna Wood, chosen as the "belle of Calhoun County, Illinois" in a contest run by the Hardin Herald. She later married Zollie Block. In 1895 the Waterways Journal ran a contest for the most popular packet crew members out of St. Louis. The BELLE OF CALHOUN hauled off all honors. On May 27, 1896 she was badly damaged by the tornado at St. Louis and sank up to the cabin; was raised and repaired. October 1914 she sank four miles above Alton with 4,700 barrels of apples. Her head was on shore and the stern in 20 feet. About 800 barrels were lost. Again she was raised and repaired. In October 1929 she once again sank about three miles above Hannibal, Missouri and was raised.


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.