JOHN BOWMAN

Author, Historian, (West Virginia History Hero) And Steamboat Model Builder......... The steamer “City of Wheeling” and the "Crockard & Booth Steamboat Agents" Wharfboat sitting at Wheeling's Wharf September 2, 1900

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Wheeling Steamboat History and other Wheeling Historical Articles by JOHN BOWMAN

AMERICA’S FIRST STEAMBOAT EXPLOSION by John Bowman

Henry Miller Shreve’s Steamboat Washington blows her head! Eight persons scalded to death!  EXCERPT from the book, “A HISTORY OF THE STEAMBOAT WASHINGTON THE FIRST SUCCESSFUL WESTERN RIVERS STEAMBOAT” © 2013 John Bowman Wheeling, WV Henry Miller Shreve laid the keel of the riverboat Washington September 10, 1815 in Wheeling, Virginia.  The sternwheel steam-powered Washington was […]

WHEELING BUILT CARRIAGES, COACHES AND WAGONS 1820 – 1920 © by John Bowman

In 1820, Joshua Bodley and Thomas M. Galley collaborated and established the “Bodley & Galley” [1]wagon factory in Wheeling, Virginia.  In the late 1820s, it became the “Joshua Bodley” wagon works, and in 1832, it became “Bodley & Richards” wagon works (Bodley, Joshua and Richards, David).  In 1865, Mr. Frome joined Bodley as the “Frome […]

WHEELING’S FIRST TELEPHONE 1879 by John Bowman

The TELEPHONE, A device nearly everyone everyday has in their hand, but this was the first telephone in Wheeling, West Virginia. In 1879, a telephone line connecting two telephones was strung between the H.F. Behrens Co. grocery store at 2217 Market Street and their warehouse at 2219 Market Street.  The novel invention, then just three […]

WHEELING STEEL CORP. TOWBOAT FLEET by John Bowman

WHEELING STEEL CORP. – WHEELING-PITTSBURG STEEL CORP. WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA WHEELING STEEL & IRON CO. was formed by the consolidation of the Benwood, Belmont and Top Mills, and was incorporated April 16, 1892 as the Wheeling Steel Works.  Wheeling Steel’s plants in Wheeling in the early 1900s were the La Belle Works at Thirty-First Street, […]

STEAMBOAT STACKS LOWERED FOR THE WHEELING SUSPENSION BRIDGE by John Bowman

The River Coal or River Combine (R.C.) 1894 Coal Towboat Valiant down bound at Wheeling has just cleared the Wheeling Suspension Bridge, and the Steel Bridge with lowered stacks.  In this, a second photo, the River Combine (R.C.) 1880 Coal Towboat Iron Age down bound at Wheeling has just cleared the Wheeling Suspension Bridge, and […]

HOW WHEELING WEST VIRGINIA GOT ITS NAME by John Bowman

HOW DID WHEELING WEST VIRGINIA GET ITS NAME? In the late summer of 1769, brothers Silas, Jonathan, and Ebenezer Zane left Red Stone Old Fort Pennsylvania, and traveled over a path, well known to frontier scouts, Indian traders and Indians alike, and made claim to land that would one day become Wheeling.[1]  Delf Norona, a […]

STANDARD SAND & GRAVEL CO. WHEELING Towboats, Derrick Boats, and Sand Dredges by John Bowman

Standard Sand & Gravel Co. of Wheeling, West Virginia, was established in 1922.  The company started out with the sternwheel, wood hulled, gas-engined towboat Sandow built at Clarington, Ohio, which they converted to a 120 hp Bethlehem diesel in the 1930s.  In the 1930s, Standard Sand & Gravel Co. had the Sandow, the 1916, sternwheel, […]

WHEELING BUILT ‘APALACHEE’ STEAMBOAT 1890-1899 by John Bowman

The sternwheel steamboat Apalachee, the First steamboat with a composite hull built on the Western Rivers.  Western Rivers are United States Rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico. Apalachee was designed and built in 1890 by John M. Sweeney at the ‘A.J. Sweeney & Sons’ Boat Yard, Wheeling, West Virginia.  One of the last […]

WHEELING’S LINK TO THE ‘EDMUND FITZGERALD’ OGLEBAY NORTON’S GREAT LAKES FLAGSHIP by John Bowman

In 1958, the Great Lakes Engineering Works at River Rouge, Michigan, built the bulk freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald named for Mr. Edmund Fitzgerald of the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. who owned her.  Her 729’3” x 75’ x 39’ registered hull number was 301.  When launched June 7, 1958, she was the largest ship on […]

WELLSBURG BETHANY TROLLEY WRECK May 7, 1917 by John Bowman

The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer May 8, 1917 “Car No. 5 of the Wellsburg, Bethany and Washington Street Railway company wreck.  ONE KILLED, MANY HURT WHEN TROLLEY CAR LEAVES TRACK” “Mr. John Bowman was just getting ready to leave his home when the coach was wrecked on the southern side of the track, just below his […]

RUSSELL’S DADDY RAT© 1988 by Glinda Bowman

Now what I’m going to tell you is a true story, it’s about a black man that don’t get much glory.  He found out you never take more than you need, and he learned a lesson from his one day of greed. Daddy Rat was an old man; he was jet black, he lived his […]