From Camille Ammerman , Winnipeg, MB, Canada

I have collected items which appeared primarily in the "Daily State Journal" of Parkersburg W. Va., in the mid-late 1880s. Often a column appeared under the heading "River News". As I photocopied the items from the microfilmed newspapers, the items are verbatim, spelling warts and all.

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September, 1886

Source: LDS Microfilm No. 0205538, Vol. 6, No. 137 (1 Jul 1886) - Vol. 7, No. 138 (31 Dec 1886), "The Daily State Journal", Parkersburg, Wood county W. Va.

Issue dated Thursday, 2 September 1886:
"The steamer 'Oneida' has been chartered by the Ritchie county delegates to take them to the Republican convention at Point Pleasant. Ritchie is going to send a rousing delegation."

"Mrs. Capt. Ed. Maddy left Sunday to join her husband in the South. Capt. Maddy is master of the steamer 'Minnie Bay', plying between Carrollton, Ky., and Louisville. - 'Gallipolis Journal'."

Issue dated Friday, 3 September 1886:
"A Social Event. Blennerhassett Island was the scene of another of those pleasant social picnic dances last evening for which that spot has become noted during the past season. The event was given under the auspices of the gentlemen of the younger set. The excursion left the wharf here at about 8 o'clock on the steamer 'Oneida'. Dancing was continued without cessation until one o'clock, excepting a recess for supper which was served on board the steamer. All in all the occasion was one of pleasure to all those in attendance."

"Excursion from Marietta. Last evening the steamer 'R. E. Phillips' brought down a pleasure party of about forty Mariettians to pay our village a visit. They were all invited to Mr. L. M. Skinner's place on Ann street, where the lawn was utilized as a picnic ground, supper was served and a general good time enjoyed. The excursionists returned to the 'Phillips' about 8 o'clock. The trip was a pleasant diversion, and apparently was much enjoyed by those who came down."

Issue dated Tuesday, 7 September 1886:
"The 'Lizzie Bay' did not reach port until 9 o'clock this morning. Low water."

"The 'Oneida' with her Ritchie delegation did not reach Belleville until daylight this morning. Low water. At this rate the boys will have a chance to participate in the nominating convention for the next President."

Issue dated Friday, 10 September 1886:
"On the River. The 'W. N. Chancellor' is off the Pt. Pleasant docks after receiving a thorough overhauling.

"Charlies Davis, of the steamer 'J. H. McConnel', has added two more to his list of those sved from drowning. He rescued Captain Horn and his little daughter on a recent trip of his boat.

"The Lowell canal, as usual, is out of repair, and boats cannot pass through at all. The 'Burnside' is doing the business below Lowell and the other boats above. The transfer is rather an unhandy one, but is the best that can be had.

"The 'Mink No. 2', which has long been known as one of the fastest boats on the Muskingum, has been sold to parties at Ironton, O. She has been placed in the Gallipolis trade in place of the steamer 'Sonoma'."

Issue dated Tuesday, 14 September 1886:
"The wharfmaster's collections for the month of August reported were $127.25."

Issue dated Thursday, 16 September 1886:
"During the life of the steamer 'Louise', formerly in the Marietta and Charleston, W. Va., trade, seventeen people have fallen overboard, of whom sixteen have drowned. One only has been saved, and that through the prompt action of the mate, Mr. Thos. Blackburn, of Gallipolis."

Issue dated Friday, 17 September 1886:
"The 'Salt River' packet, with Captain Camden in command, will weigh anchor on the morning of November 3d. Brother George Bastable and John J. Davis will ship as chaplains."

Issue dated Saturday, 18 September 1886:
"Capt. Richard Henderson has gone to Oskaloosa, Iowa, to spend the winter. His genial face will be missed on the levee."

"River Notes. All our regular packets have now pulled ashore or gone to hunt deeper water.

"Capt. Al. Slaven has secured the light draft steamer, 'Frank Preston', to run in the place of the 'Knox' between here and Ravenswood.

"The 'Lizzie Bay' has left this trade on account of the low water, and is plying between Pomeroy and Cincinnati.

"The 'Geo. W. Strecker' is tied up at the foot of Blennerhassett Island.

"The well known packet 'Diurnal' which was formerly in the trade between here and Wheeling, now running between Louisville and Cannelton, struck a snag near Alta., Ind., this week, and ripped several planks on her keel and sunk. The passengers and freight were all removed without accident, to the 'City of Owensboro', that happened to be passing. The loss is estimated at $5,000, insurance $3,000."

Issue dated Tuesday, 21 September 1886:
"Pioneer Parkersburg. An Old-Time Resident Recalls the Town in the Early Part of the Present Century. Yesterday morning there walked into the lobby of Hill's Central Hotel, a little old man, who looked curiously about the place. He was dressed in home-spun and cow-hide boots, and his general air was that of a man who had out-lived all who had grown up with him. The reporter engaged him in conversation, and found that his personal history was full of interest to anyone who knows anything. His name is Waterman Lewis, and he lives in Coolville, Athens county, Ohio, where he has resided ever since 1829. He is now eighty-three years of age. He told his story substantially as follows:

"'My father was a Massachusetts Yankee, and I was born in that part of the old Bay State known as the "Berkshire Hills". My grandfather had come west in 1802, and in 1814 our family started across the mountains on pack-saddles and in a large wagon. We came direct to Belpre, and there my father built him a cabin, and started in western life. At that time I suppose there were twenty-five houses standing where this city now is. I also remember at that time the famous scenes which transpired on Blennerhassett Island, were still fresh in the minds of the people. Often, when a boy, I have gone across to the island and eaten of the choice fruit to be found there, and drank water from the great old well. At that time the chimneys of the old house were still standing above the charred remains of the mansion.'

"'I started school in Parkersburg in 1822. The school house stood below Court Square and was taught by a man named Dana. Then all the houses here were on the Point. This (Hill's) hotel was built about three years before I came here by John McKinney and was then known as the Tefft House. Many and many a time I have danced in this old house. We also had a dancing school which met here, and Professor Barr was the teacher. At that time the hotel was not so large as it now is and the entire upper floor had been converted into a dancing hall, and we used to dance until broad daylight. I have danced here many a time with Daniel R. and Hugh P. Neal.'

"'The old gentleman then went off into a train of general reminiscences. He told of the old-time boats which used to ply the Ohio river. They had no steam, of course, but were propelled by horse-power, the horses working in a sort of tread-mill. All of the boats did not stop at this point then and an old colored woman, known as "Aunt Jennie", used to have her hut off the Point and she would flag the boats. Then she would come up through the streets blowing a horn and thus the people were notified of the arrival of one of the tread-mill packet line.'"

Issue dated Thursday, 23 September 1886:
"River News. The 'St. Lawrence' is now in the Cincinnati and Louisville trade.

"The 'Lizzie Bay' has taken the place of the 'Louise' between Huntington and Portsmouth.

"The hull of the old 'Potomac', bottom side up, is now visible above water at Hartford City.

"A low water curiosity called 'Lightwood' is running in the Parkersburg and Pomeroy trade.

"The 'General Dawes' is at Point Pleasant waiting her turn to go on the docks with a damaged hull.

"The 'W. N. Chancellor' is having new engines placed in her at Point Pleasant. A new wheel, eighteen inches larger in diameter than the old one is being built for her.

"Captain Charles Hutchinson, of Point Pleasant, W. Va., has purchased the hull and cabin of the "Virgie Lee', which he will convert into a wharf-boat for use at that point.

"Captain Hod Knowles last week chartered the 'Benton McMillan' to the Pomeroy Packet Company to take the place of the 'St. Lawrence' in the Maysville and Cincinnati trade during the low water."

Issue dated Monday, 27 September 1886:
"The workmen commenced putting up the iron work on the short span of the Little Kanawha bridge to-day. Several hundred citizens are seeing that they do it right."

Issue dated Monday, 27 September 1886:
"River News. The Little Kanawha packets are busy.

"The marks show scant three feet and stationary.

"There seems to be no immediate prospect of a rise in the river.

"The marks at Pittsburgh to-day showed 5 feet, 9 inches, and falling.

"There were at the wharf this afternoon the 'Lightwood', 'Strecker', 'Dawes', 'Oneida', and 'Phillips'. Considerable freight business was being done.

"It is time for the September rise, and the steamboat men expect soon to be in their regular trades looking after the large business which awaits them.

"The steamer 'Oneida' came up Thursday, looking as bright as a new pin. She will run on the 'Martin's day for perhaps two or three weeks, making daily trips between Burning Springs and Parkersburg. - 'Wirt Transcript'.

"The 'Burns' was the first steamer to leave our wharf this week, going down Tuesday. The little steamer 'Emma' came up Wednesday in place of the 'Martin', and had a good cargo of freight. - 'Wirt Transcript'."

Issue dated Wednesday, 29 September 1886:
"The River. The September Rise Long-Looked-for Come at Last -- Good News. At three o'clock to-day the marks at the wharf registered five feet three inches, and rising three inches an hour. The swell is general from the head waters to Cincinnati, and the long-looked-for September rise is here, and as a consequence river navigation is re-opened in full blast. At Pittsburg this morning the marks showed six feet 9 inches and rising. A coal run is assured and towboats are going up and those there getting ready to come out. All the through packets will start at once. The 'Stockdale' will be the first boat down past this point. The drouth has been a long one and the rise is good news to the river men."

Issue dated Thursday, 30 September 1886:
"Along the Ohio. None of the regular lines have yet passed this point since the rise.

"At two o'clock this afternoon, the river was five feet, five inches and falling.

"The river was 6 feet 10 inches this morning at Pittsburgh and stationary.

"The steamer 'Heatherington', with a tow of barges, left this morning for Pittsburgh.

"It is expected that the rise in the river will allow some of the smaller towboats to get out with their tows."

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