Category Archives: Wheeling Boat Building

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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WHEELING’S FIRST OHIO RIVER FERRY BOATS and LAST 1789 – 1926 by John Bowman

Many of us cross the Ohio River daily, giving hardly a thought if any, to the crossing or to the bridge we used.  However, to cross the river two-hundred years ago was something one had to plan and ferryboats were the means one used.  Crossing the river on a ferry was costly, and it took […]

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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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STEAMBOATS BUILT IN WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA 1815 – 1900 by John Bowman

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’ are rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico.  Red Stone Old Fort now Brownsville, Pennsylvania was building boats […]

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THE ZANE’S PATH TO WHEELING IN 1769 by John Bowman Celebrating in 2019 Wheeling’s 250th Anniversary

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. The Zanes were not the first white men to lay claim […]

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ROPE MAKING AND ROPEWALK IN WHEELING, WV by John Bowman 2018

One of the offshoots of boat building ‘Wheeling’s First Major Industry’ was the need for rope, and much rope was needed for the boat trade.  Circa 1802 is the earliest mention of rope making in Wheeling.  Michael Graham employed a few young men manufacturing rope at his ‘ropewalk’ (rope manufactory) listed as along Wheeling Creek.  […]

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WHEELING MANUFACTURED PAPER AND TURNED IT INTO LEATHER ‘LEATHEROID’ INVENTED IN WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA by John Bowman 2018

WHEELING MANUFACTURED PAPER AND TURNED IT INTO LEATHER ‘LEATHEROID’ INVENTED IN WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA by John Bowman 2018 Shelves of books with their Leather Binding’s look great but you just know that many of the books bindings aren’t really leather. Faux leather book bindings, and artificial leather that we find covering many products are manufactured […]

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BOAT BUILDING WHEELING’S FIRST MAJOR INDUSTRY Book by John Bowman

BOAT BUILDING WHEELING’S FIRST MAJOR INDUSTRY With Early WHEELING History Including Maps of Streets, Businesses and Dwellings CELEBRATING WHEELING’S 250th ANNIVERSARY Book by John Bowman $19.95 Available on Amazon.com Books, and at Wheeling’s ‘Artisan Center’. The Zane Brothers Founded Wheeling in 1769. A full and complete history of this is chronicled in the first part […]

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WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA’S First Official TOWN ‘CLOCK and BELL’

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA’S First Official TOWN ‘CLOCK and BELL’ John Bowman 2018. Source: Bowman, John “Bills of Lading Freight on Board Wheeling West Virginia” 2012 Wheeling, WV page 152, And…WHERE IS THE “CLOCK and BELL” NOW? CLOCK History: In 1835, the first official Town ‘Clock‘ of the city of Wheeling, Virginia (West Virginia) was placed […]

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