Category Archives: Ohio Valley River Museum

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 […]

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SECESSIONISTS TICKET May 23, 1861 WHEELING, VIRGINIA by John Bowman

SECESSIONISTS TICKET May 23, 1861, the people of the state of Virginia ratified the Virginia Ordinance of Secession by a vote of 132,201 to 37,451.  The Poll-book of Wheeling listed those who voted to approve the Ordinance of Secession and to secede from the Union.[1] [2] Wheeling persons voting to approve the ordinance of Secession […]

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POINT PLEASANT RIVER MUSEUM FIRE Point Pleasant, West Virginia by John Bowman

The Point Pleasant River Museum was heavily damaged by fire July 1, 2018.  Several (eight) of my boat models were displayed at the museum. For the Loomis family, in 2019, I am presently rebuilding two Loomis boat models, the Capt. Jack Loomis towboat model and the Roy L. towboat model. If you would like to […]

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STEAMBOATS SERVING WHEELING 1811 – 1920 By John Bowman

A 100-year listing of approximately 500 steamboats that served Wheeling businesses. The year shown is the first year they served the port and some would serve Wheeling for many years.  From the Civil War years to 1900, eighteen steamboats docked daily at Wheeling.  Steamboats porting at Wheeling were charged a wharfage fee of $3.00 per […]

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WHARFBOATS AT WHEELING WEST VIRGINIA By John Bowman

You may wonder, what is a Wharfboat?  A Wharfboat was a floating warehouse found moored (tied-up) at a waterfront.  If you wanted to mail a letter, you took it to a Post Office.  If you wanted to send something by train, you took it to the Railroad’s Depot.  If you wanted to send an item […]

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BOOKS by WHEELING AUTHOR John Bowman

John Bowman Author, Historian, West Virginia History Hero and Steamboat Model Builder. John’s writings concentrate on Wheeling’s boat history.  Wheeling began building boats, Barges, Bateaux, Flatboats, Keelboats, and Pirogues in 1774, the first Ohio River city to build boats, and the third settlement on the ‘Western Rivers’ to have a boat building industry.  ‘Western Rivers’ […]

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SISTERSVILLE FERRYBOAT HISTORY by John Bowman

SISTERSVILLE FERRYBOAT HISTORY by John Bowman The Ohio Historical Highway Marker at the Fly Landing tells us that the Sistersville Ferry was in operation in 1815, other local histories tell us the Sistersville1 ferry was established in 1817. This we know for sure, January 28, 1818 the General Assembly of Virginia passed an act granting […]

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“INLAND RIVER RECORD” 1945 Book by Way, Frederick, Jr. History by John Bowman

“INLAND RIVER RECORD” 1945 Book by Way, Frederick, Jr. History by John Bowman INLAND RIVER RECORD 1945 Way, Frederick, Jr. Steam and Diesel Vessels of the Mississippi River System in Operation as of March 1, 1945 Compiled by Frederick Way, Jr. 1945 121 River Avenue Sewickley, Pa. Sewickley Printing Shop, Inc. 148 pages 5 ½” […]

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SISTERSVILLE FERRYBOAT “RIDES” built in Wheeling, West Virginia in 1955 by John Bowman

RIDES was built by YATES MARINE CONSTRUCTION CO. (Yates, Jack and Pluckebaum, Arthur) in Wheeling, (Wheeling Island) West Virginia in 1955 as a steel-hulled single prop Diesel ferry towboat with a 180 hp Cummins diesel engine for the Sistersville Ferry Co. which operated its ferry service from Sistersville, West Virginia to Fly, Ohio. In 1957, […]

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YATES MARINE CONSTRUCTION CO. WHEELING WEST VIRGINIA 1953 – 1967

YATES MARINE CONSTRUCTION CO. WHEELING WEST VIRGINIA 1953 – 1967 by John Bowman In 1953, YATES MARINE CONSTRUCTION CO. (Yates, Thomas ‘Jack’ and Pluckebaum, Arthur) began building diesel towboats, ferry flats and barges in Wheeling, (Wheeling Island) West Virginia. Yates and Pluckebaum had worked in the Louisville, Kentucky, Jeffersonville, Indiana boat yards, and in 1953, […]

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