BROWN DICK STERNWHEEL PACKET/TOWBOAT AND B&O RR BARGE No. 2
B&O R.R. Barge No. 2
Authentic Scale Model Replicas
by John Bowman
The 56-ton stern-wheel packet Brown Dick was built in McKeesport, Pennsylvania in 1855 for Capt. James Darlington for service on the Muskingum River. Her hull, 95 feet in length and superstructure was built in McKeesport and A.J. Sweeney and Son of Wheeling, Virginia got the order for her machinery. Boats were often named for famous people, places or objects and Capt. Darlington named her for the famous Alabama racehorse of that time Brown Dick . The thoroughbreds, Margrave (1829) and Fanny King (1841) by Glencoe, produced Brown Dick in 1850. Brown Dick was considered the best of three of Margrave’s sons, which included Blue Dick (1837) and Black Dick all from the stable and plantation of wealthy planter and breeder Col. Thomas B. Goldsby . Goldsby’s slave, Ansel Williams, trained Brown Dick . The Mobile, Alabama track hosted a famous race (extensively written of) between Louisiana’s famed Ricardo owned by W.S. Minor and Col. Goldsby’s Brown Dick, which Brown Dick won.
Capt. Darlington made a few trips on the Muskingum with Brown Dick and soon chartered (leased) her to the B&O R.R. and ported her at Wheeling where she was first registered. She was the first boat used by the B&O R.R. to transfer rail cars from Benwood, Virginia to Bellaire, Ohio. Brown Dick with new towing knees added, made a couple trips south ferrying supplies to the Union Forces in early 1862. Outliving her usefulness, she was being dismantled at Wheeling when she caught fire on November 23, 1862, and burned in midstream. The Sweeney built machinery had been transferred to the B&O’s new Wm. H. Harrison towboat .
Early in 1855, the B&O R.R. placed an order with the Wilson & Dunlevy boat yard in Wheeling for two specialized barges, 21 feet by 100 feet, heavily reinforced, and equipped with rails to transfer rail cars from Benwood to Bellaire. William Dunlevy assigned the work to the McNaughton & Dunlevy Yard at West Wheeling, Ohio, the yard that he co-owned.
B&O R.R. transfer Benwood, Virginia to Bellaire, Ohio 1855-1871 and beyond.
The packet Brown Dick ran transfer barges for the B&O in 1855.
The packet Adelia, with Capt. G.W. Graham in the summer of 1855 assisted Brown Dick making five transfer trips a day Benwood to Bellaire.
The towboat Wm. H. Harrison, owned by the B&O replaced Brown Dick and ran transfer trips Benwood to Bellaire from 1862.
This model of the BROWN DICK Towboat with B&O Barge No. 2 by John Bowman is displayed at the Bellaire Public Library, Bellaire, Ohio
ENDNOTES: Lytle, William M. and Holdcamper, Forrest R., Merchant Steam Vessels of the United States 1790-1868 Steamship Historical Society of America, Inc. 1952, 1975 Page 25
From: http://www.tbheritage.com/Portraits/Margrave.html “Thoroughbred Heritage” website. Brown Dick (1850, from Fanny King, by Glencoe), bred by T.B. Goldsby of Alabama, and born towards the end of Margrave’s stud career, was another celebrated runner. He was a handsome horse that specialized in three-mile races — and set a record at that distance that stood for nine years — but also won at one and two miles, usually in fast times. His wins included numerous purses and stakes at Charleston, Atlanta, Mobile, and New Orleans, and in his extended career, limited to three miles or less, he lost only two races. He was Margrave’s best sire son, surviving the Civil War, and as a stallion at B.F. Cockrill’s Richland Stud at Nashville, Tennessee, got some good runners and producing daughters. Bobinet (1867, from Valentia by Childe Harold produced Withers Stakes winner Biggonet 1883, by Bramble), later the dam of Futurity Stakes winner Martimas (1896). Another daughter, Panchette, was second dam of Gazelle Handicap winner Ambulance (1888), and had winners in tail-female descend through the second decade of the twentieth century.
T.B. Goldsby’s plantation was in Dallas County, near Summerfield, roughly 7 miles north of Selma, Alabama.
Carmer, Carl; Stars Fell On Alabama 1934, The Literary Guild, N.Y, Carl Carmer, N.J. 1941 Page 237
Ansel Williams: The magic behind the Kentucky Derby has guaranteed immortality to Aristides, winner of the inaugural Derby event in 1875. Aristides’ trainer, Ansel Williams and jockey, Oliver Lewis were both African-Americans. Williams, born a slave, was purchased from Goldsby by Robert A. Alexander, the owner of the famous Woodburn Stud Farm in 1864 where Williams worked as a trainer and breeder. Following Alexander’s death in 1867, Williams went on to train many great horses including Tom Bowling, who won 14 of his 17 races. Williams won major races such as the Travers Stakes, the Jerome Handicap, and the Wither Stakes and was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 1998. Jockey Oliver Lewis is less well known. Born in Fayette County, Ky., Lewis was 19 when he won the 1875 Kentucky Derby. He never rode in another Derby.
Way, Frederick Jr. Way’s Packet Directory 1848-1983. Athens, Ohio: Sons & Daughters of Pioneer Rivermen, 1983 Page 62
Way, Frederick Jr. and Joseph Rutter, Way’s Steam Towboat Directory, Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 1990 Page 241
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