ELIZA H. Towboat
Bellaire, Ohio’s quintessential
Model by John Bowman
Marietta Manufacturing Co. at Harmar, Ohio built the stern-wheel towboat Eliza H. in 1889. Eliza H. was custom built for Jacob Heatherington and named for his wife Eliza Heatherington. She was first registered in Wheeling, W. Va. to the Belmont Coal Co. of Bellaire, Ohio and replaced the ailing 1875 towboat, Jacob Heatherington. Eliza H. was built, lacking a boiler deck, her cabin being built onto the main deck, perhaps the only known example. Eliza’s son, Capt. Winfield Scott Heatherington ran her towing coal from their Bellaire coal tipple. In 1896, Scott had a smaller towboat built, the Eliza, which he ran in ferry service out of Bellaire to Benwood and 43rd Street, Wheeling. In 1898, Eliza H. was purchased by William E. Roe, who renamed her Eloise and ran her as a packet boat on the upper Ohio and Kanawha Rivers. In 1900, she went to Burlington, Iowa and was placed in the Keokuk-Burlington trade. In 1907, Capt. Walter Blair bought her, renamed her Wenona, and sold her in 1911. She had seen her days as a packet boat and in 1911, she was back in service as the towboat Wm. Heil. In 1918, she became the Pete Langan and in 1920 she was renamed the Peterson Miller Box Co. In 1925, she was converted into a ferry, renamed Tourist and ran out of Cairo, Ill. into 1932, when this year she became a towboat again running into the late 1930s lasting nearly 50 years on the rivers.
This model of the Eliza H. Towboat by John Bowman is displayed at the Bellaire Public Library, Bellaire, Ohio