With Coal Barge
Model by John Bowman
Authentic Scale Model Replica of the NAIL CITY Steam-Towboat
The Steam-powered Towboat “NAIL CITY” was built in the Nail City; Wheeling, West Virginia in 1872 for Ed Hobbs of “Hobbs, Taylor & Company” by the shipyard of “Wilson, Dunlevy & Wheeler”. This was probably the last complete boat built at this yard. The steam machinery was by “Hobbs, Taylor & Company”. This machine shop and foundry located at Twenty-Second Street in Wheeling would later become Centre Foundry and Machine, now located in Warwood, West Virginia. Ed also owned the towboat “ED HOBBS” built in 1871 and would lease both boats to the Armstrongs, owners of the Monitor Towboat and Lumber Company of Wheeling. The “NAIL CITY” usually towed coal barges from Wegee Creek in Belmont County, Ohio. The “ED HOBBS” was sunk in the 1877 ice run-out. Ed would sell the “NAIL CITY” to the Armstrongs in 1878. Early morning of April 1, 1879, William Page the Chief Engineer on the “NAIL CITY” had breakfast and relieved his assistant. About Five o’clock A.M. Page walked out on the fantail to oil the wrist pin and sternwheel bearing. Apparently, the fantail damaged sometime during the night, gave way tossing him in the water where he drowned before anyone discovered him missing. Capt. Fred Dippold, longtime Captain of the “NAIL CITY” records the boat sunk on the Cerodo, West Virginia Bridge in 1891. The skylight roof was copper plated.