Ohio River Museum, Marietta

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Mark F. Jenkins

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I took a jaunt down to Marietta yesterday to address an oversight-- though having lived within two hours of the place for many years, I had never visited the Ohio River Museum. Glad I did. Though focusing mainly on the post-Civil War period, it's still quite applicable in many ways regarding the boats of the Western rivers...

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This model caught my eye near the entry. Before being donated to the museum, it was an actual engined (small gasoline engine) floating model, with just enough room for a driver to sit at the bow! It is not modeled after a specific historical boat, but the detail is pretty amazing.

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The plaque says that this is the oldest authentic riverboat pilothouse in existence.

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A full-sized (f0rmerly) floating reproduction of a Western flatboat. (The guide said they had to take it out of the water because she wasn't very watertight and took a lot of daily pumping after a few years... the originals, of course, didn't need to last longer than one downstream trip.)

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A compound engine aboard the W.P. Snyder, Jr, with both a high- and a low-pressure cylinder. These engines still work, though they're not run very often anymore.

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The Snyder's engine room. Not so glitzy as the Belle of Louisville...

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The guide in the Snyder's pilothouse. The boat is 100 years old this year, and a bit of a party is planned, with some other visiting sternwheelers.

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One of the capstan/winch engines caught my eye...

(Cont'd)
 

Mark F. Jenkins

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Part of the large array of boat models in the museum.

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The small paddlewheel at right was hand-built by Frederick Way, Jr., for a small steamboat he constructed for personal use! Some people buy fishing boats...

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Though the majority of the museum is postwar, there is a small Civil War display. The lump of iron to the left is a piece of 13" mortar shell; the uniform coat is one of William R. Hoel's, who was the Carondelet's pilot on her run past Island No. 10, and later became one of the only volunteer naval officers to command an ironclad (the Pittsburg).

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A small sampling of the artifacts in the museum.

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A bow view of the Snyder. She was a powerful sternwheel towboat and spent most of her working life on the upper Ohio pushing coal barges. Although she was steel-hulled, she still had hog chains, though I'm not clear on whether they were truly necessary-- might just be conservative boatbuilding.

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The big wheel of the Snyder. Not the biggest, though-- that honor belonged to another boat, the Sprague.


A good time, and well-worth a visit if you're in the area!
 
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Rusk County Avengers

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Well now I'll have to put that museum on the bucket list, I've never heard of it. I like seeing a homage to flatboats, I've often thought of building a small one to take down one or two of the rivers here in NE Texas, but looks like an awesome museum for anyone interested in riverine ships, and steamers.
 
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Mark F. Jenkins

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A little on the small side to get lost in, but definitely worth a return visit. I feel like I only scratched the surface, and there were a number of things I simply walked by that deserved a look. I'm going to keep an eye on the website and see if I can make it down the next time they have "visiting" sternwheelers. (Although I know that many so-called sternwheelers are only that cosmetically, it would still be a sight...)
 

O' Be Joyful

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A little on the small side to get lost in, but definitely worth a return visit. I feel like I only scratched the surface, and there were a number of things I simply walked by that deserved a look. I'm going to keep an eye on the website and see if I can make it down the next time they have "visiting" sternwheelers. (Although I know that many so-called sternwheelers are only that cosmetically, it would still be a sight...)
According to this site Mark, every Sept. We will of course expect pics. :smile:
And many other places are listed.

http://www.steamboats.org/traveller.html

Ohio River Sternwheel Festival
The Ohio River Sternwheel Festival is held each September in Marietta. Boats of the American Sternwheel Association are taking part in this festival.

Directions:
The Ohio River Sternwheel Festival
121 Putnam Street, Suite 110
Marietta, OH 45750
www.mariettaohio.org
 
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Rogue

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Thanks for sharing your great pictures. Looks like a nice place to visit sometime.
 
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