The Riverfront, 1906
The J. T. Hatfield II passing Maysville
|from the left, that's the ferry Laurance; the Tacoma, which
ran packet service from Cincinnati to Charleston; The Florinel, a
pleasure craft owned by the ferry/wharf boat owner Con Phister;
and on the far right, The Hornet, which we're told is shown here
unloading watermelons. c. 1906.
The Tacoma at the Maysville Wharf
|Note the C&O tracks in this 1896
image of the Maysville waterfront
Daily packet service at Maysville in 1896 included
Ele Bowen journeyed down the Ohio River in 1855, and made
sketches along his way. This is his Maysville sketch. You can read his entire
book - Rambles in the Path of the Steam-Horse - online at Google Books.
|These two drawings are from 1821 !
They're from Adlard Welby's A Visit to North
America and the English Settlements in Illinois.
You can find the entire text on the Library of Congress' site, here.
You must search for Maysville, Kentucky or Adlard Welby when you get there.
|Scene of the Grand Union Barbeque, Maysville, 1861
Read all about it, here
|Lock & Dam No. 33,
August 1, 1918
|Lock and Dam No. 33, opened
The first steamer, the Gield, went
thru on March 1, 1922
The high water of 1917 had submerged the coffer dams at the construction of Lock
and Dam #33 below Maysville. The Jim Wood waited for days, but when water had
subsided a little, the owners, in Pittsburgh, said to try to get her through, so the captain tried.
He was going upstream against a heavy current, and the pictures tell you the rest of the story.
Upriver from Mason County used to be Ohio River Islands, 1887
This 135 acre island was actively farmed for over 40 years by Manchester's Frank Cooley.
And then there was the time the Buckeyes used the island for a lynching, details here.
|River erosion was a problem in 1876. More here.||More info on the old and new Ohio River Locks and Dams is here.|
|“Steamboats sometimes have odd things happen, and
the second Buckeye State nearly was struck by a meteor on July
She was downbound at the time, in the first bend below Ripley, Ohio, and the pilot on watch was Eph Talbot. He saw the night sky
illuminate to a brilliant purple and chanced to look back to determine the cause, when a sizzling missile from outer space whistled
on a long slant downriver, right by the pilothouse, and landed in the river ahead of the steamboat. The captain emerged from his
texas room in his long underwear to see what the commotion was, and Eph pointed to an agitated place in the river, now nearly
alongside, where the water was hissing and boiling.” -Capt. Frederick Way, Jr., writing in Vol. 60 of the Scholarly Journal of the Ohio Historical Society.
|“A line of mail coaches was
established from Wheeling to Limestone
(Maysville), Ky., in July, 1794 to run once every two weeks. These boats
were built like whale-boats, were 24 feet long, were steered with a rudder,
and were manned by one steersman, and four oarsmen, who carried
| muskets and ammunition.”
from John Luther Ringwalt's 1888 Development of Transportation Systems in the United States.
|Ice on the river is a major problem, especially when
breaks. Here's what happened in 1876.
|Two killed in an ugly scene on the Ohio River in 1876, here.|
|A page of steamboat links can be found at this site.|
| The first under water telegraph cable
is laid in 1852, story here.
Another one: “The Western Union Telegraph Company have
laid a cable across the Ohio River, at Maysville, Kentucky, which puts
that place in connection with Cincinnati.” Daily Alta California, December 27, 1866
|“The Ohio at Maysville Wednesday morning was frozen from bank to bank. the ice was six inches thick, and men were continuously passing across without peril. This has not happened since 1856” Courier-Journal, December 25, 1871.||Followed within the month by:||“The river shore at Maysville was lined on Sunday with ice-gatherers, and nearly enough was secured to fill all the houses in the city. It was splendid, clear ice, some measuring nine and ten inches in thickness, and as clear as crystal.” Courier-Journal, January 18, 1872|
|Steamboat travel was not without its hazards:|
|The Steamer Phæton explodes near Mason in 1881, story here.||Story of the boiler explosion on the steamer Chautauqua, in Maysville, in 1871, here. (pdf)|
|The burning of the steamer Bostona No. 3, here. (pdf)||The A. N. Johnson explodes near Maysville, here.|