About Boats Whose Names Start With The Letter
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Magic Cabin


This boat started life as the MEDGIDDO a floating Mission for T.T. Nichols and some ninety followers of the Midgiddo religious sect, which he started.

Way's Packet Directory describes Nichols as a "bearded, astute man". Way's also tells us that the initials "T" in his name stood for nothing. It seems that as a young man he looked at many religions and found none to his liking so in 1880 he started his own and preached it throughout the midwest.

In 1901 he some 95 followers launched the MEDGIDDO to use as a traveling Mission. They steamed up and down the Mississippi and Ohio rivers looking for converts. He later sold the boat and took his mission to Rochester, N.Y.. Nichols died in 1912.

The information and image below are borrowed from -
Bridgeport, Alabama and Steamboatin' on the Tennessee

The Steamer Chattanooga, was a sternwheeler vessel with a wooden hull, originally the gospel boat MEGIDDO, renamed the Chattanooga in May of 1904. She sank on the rocks in the Big Chain, about mile marker 20 on the Tennessee River, and was badly warped. She was pulled our on the marine ways at Paducah. Captain Walter Blair superintended repairs and she emerged looking very little like her former self, now a full fledged packet boat. She ran out of Chattanooga and once sank there with a large cargo of corn aboard. She became the last packet boat to make trips to Kingston, Tennessee, this was in 1919-1920. Crew on her last trip in that trade were; Captain Paul Underwood, (see botton of page "Underwood's") Master; Joe Farrell, Mate; Harris Underwood, Pilot; Bob Ellison, Chief Engineer; Bob Dobbs, Clerk. Running from Chattanooga to Decatur, Alabama in January of 1921 was Captain Thomas F. Galy, Master. She finally sank for the last time in Chattanooga. (see the Chattanooga pictured with the James N. Trigg,) There were five Steamboats over a period of 71 years named the Chattanooga.

Please take a look at the City of Bridgeport's site.
Bridgeport, Alabama and Steamboatin' on the Tennessee


The information and image below are borrowed from -
Bridgeport, Alabama and Steamboatin' on the Tennessee


The City of Chattanooga, was a Sternwheeler, with a wooden hull, built in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1892. This vessel was 144' long and 30' wide. The machinery was used from the towboat HERBERT, which was built earlier in 1883. The City of Chattanooga ran from Chattanooga to St. Louis, a long ambitious trade, but one that was not so profitable for the company. She had many delays and troubles in the Muscle Shoals area. In January of 1895, she was released from a sand bar, where she had set high and dry for four months. As the spring rains came, and the river rose, she was released. At one time she was stuck on the sand bar, she was over 300 feet from the river. He Captain was J.P. Kindrick and J.B. Allison was the Pilot. She was sold to Paducah later, and converted into a towboat named WOOLFOLK.

Please take a look at the City of Bridgeport's site.
Bridgeport, Alabama and Steamboatin' on the Tennessee


Click to enlarge
Site Contributor Leonard Brown

Love your site, you say on it you were wondering what happened to the
Cotton Blossom.... here is the whole sad story:
(Mt. Vernon Western Star..1918)
From Site contributor Leonard Brown


We return now to another cold weather story, which includes an ice gorge, a
frozen Ohio river and the sinking of a show boat at a local wharf.

The Steamer Jewel and the show boat Cotton Blossom were forced to tie up
here due to heavy ice floes and later the gorge; and when the gorge started
breaking the boats were torn loose from their moorings by the moving ice and
sank on a reef just west of the Mt. Vernon Water works. The Cotton Blossom
was broken in two with its nose touching the bank and the Steamer Jewel
which was used in towing the show boat was at the stern of the Cotton
Blossom whth water over the entire lower deck.

Both boats had been docked here for three months and the freeze up of the
river was so sudden that Capt. Otto Hitner, in charge of the craft, was
unable to move them to a safe harbor.

Another boat, the dismantled Steamer Clyde, owned by the Flesher Boat Co. of
this city, was tied up just above the American Hominy Co. mill (now the Mt.
Vernon Milling Co.) and the moving ice carried it down stream and lodged it
against the covered Barge, Belle V. Flesher, also owed by the Mt. Vernon
firm. The company's towboat D.T. Flesher was docked in clear water just
below McFadden's Creek and was safe. A flat boat owned by the Fleshers was
carried down the river to the foot of Store St. (now College Ave.)

The ice gorge formed down stream near Slim Island and as more ice came down
the Ohio the gorge was finally backed up several miles before the breakup

The two sunken boats were valued at $25,000 and were insured. After the
marine adjuster had made a satisfactory settlement with Capt. Hitner, the
theater boat was sold back to the captain and the Steamer Jewel was sold to
the local Flesher Co. Both boats were dismantled as crews of men made
frantic efforts to salvage as much as possible from the two crafts before
the real force of the moving gorge could destroy the boats completely.

In the year 1915

From Two E-mails Submitted by Site Visitor
Jo Dowdy

I have a picture of a sternwheel river boat that has my grandparents standing on it. The writting on the back says Parkersburg Show Boat 1915, V. E. Ward (bandmaster) Captain Potts (pilot). Another picture shows barges on the Mississippi river that were being pulled by the City of Parkersburg riverboat. My grandmother wrote that these are just some of the eight or more barges with circus equipment and show stuff on them. She tells in letters that when her and my grandfather lived on the boat that they would tie up to a town on the Mississippi river and perform for the towns people. She said that their acts would be on the barges and the town people would watch from the shore. I dont' know if you would be interested in using the picture. I've never been able to get any information other then what I have on my grandparents years as circus performers.

Year September 1915. "Back to running again after being on the sand bar for 3 days." On the picture with the people on it, it says, on lower deck as we were pulled to the shore. Mr. and Mrs. V. E. Ward (man with hat in middle and woman next to him are my grandparents) Mrs. (captain) Potts and two children. September 1915. On back of the barge picture it says, river channel had changed and Captain Potts landed us safely on a sandbar, where we remained three days before being pulled off. Year 1915 sometime in September. It also says that this is two of the eight barges.

See Picture Page


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