Category Archives: Point Pleasant 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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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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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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SUNNY SOUTH DISH BOAT and a HOUSE or SHANTY BOAT

The SUNNY SOUTH DISH BOAT and a HOUSE or SHANTY BOAT Models by John Bowman The Sunny South was a houseboat or shanty boat with about one third of the interior fitted out as a country store, (Aka) also known as a “Dish Boat” (so called as it featured china from the upper Ohio River […]

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HOMER SMITH EXCURSION STEAMBOAT 1914-1928

HOMER SMITH Excursion Steamboat of POINT PLEASANT, WEST VIRGINIA Authentic Scale Model Replica of the Stern-Wheel Excursion Steamboat Homer Smith 1914-1928 Model by John Bowman 2009 The Stern-wheel packet-excursion steamboat Homer Smith was built by the Howard Shipyard at Jeffersonville, Indiana in 1914. Her wood hull measured 235 feet in length and her width was […]

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ROY L. TOWBOAT and BARGE

ROY L. Towboat and Barge Named for Roy Loomis Authentic Scale Model Replica with barge Built in 2016, by John Bowman The towboat Roy L. was built in 1945 and 71 years later she is still on the river. The steel hulled, single screw, (prop) diesel towboat Roy L. was built in post-war 1945 at Cape […]

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CAPT. JACK LOOMIS TOWBOAT

CAPT. JACK LOOMIS Towboat Authentic Scale Model Replica by John Bowman In 1934, Dravo Corporation, Neville Island, Pennsylvania built the steel-hulled towboat Peace, hull number 1163 for Union Barge Line Corp. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which was delivered in October of 1934. She was powered by two Winton diesels, which developed 750-hp. She was later re-powered […]

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WHEELING BUILT STEAMBOATS the USS Signal No. 8

USS Signal No. 8 A.J. Sweeney & Son for Capt. Campbell Sweeney built USS Signal No. 8, a 190-ton stern-wheel steam-powered packet “tinclad” river gunboat, in 1862 at Wheeling, Virginia. A Federal officer of the U.S. Navy requisitioned Signal-reaching Cairo, Illinois on her maiden trip. Campbell sold her to the U.S. Navy for the sum […]

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WHEELING BUILT STEAMBOATS the Liberty No. 4

Liberty No. 4 The stern-wheel steam-powered towboat Liberty No. 4 was built in 1863 for Capt. John K. Booth (his fourth “Liberty”) by the shipyard of “Wilson, Dunlevy & Wheeler”. Actually, it was started when it was Wheeling, Virginia, and completed that same year in Wheeling, West Virginia. It was the first towboat completed in […]

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