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 the new state and hoisted the new Thirty-Five Star Flag. The machinery was by “A.J. Sweeney & Son” of Wheeling. The boat could serve the dual purpose as a towboat and a passenger carrying packet boat. The boat had sixteen rooms in the Texas for the crew and fifteen double rooms in the main cabin. It boasted a fancy domed pilothouse very much in style at that time. Capt. Booth also owned the Wheeling wharf boat and operated this boat in the Parkersburg-Cincinnati run, carrying freight for the B&O Railroad. When the B&O bridged the Ohio at Parkersburg, Booth sold the boat to the Campbell’s Creek Coal Co. She sank at Middleport, Ohio May 4, 1877. She was raised and caught in ice on the Elk River and sank again in January of 1879. She was raised and in 1884 dismantled at Pittsburgh. Her machinery went into the towboat George F. Dana that sank and burned in 1885.
This model of the stern-wheel steam-powered towboat Liberty No. 4 by John Bowman is displayed at West Virginia’s Point Pleasant River Museum.
Liberty No. 4