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THE PUBLIC LIBRARY OF CINCINNATI AND HAMILTON COUNTY

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About this collection

This unique exhibit gives viewers the chance to step back into the age of steamboats to view life through the boats, goods, and people which passed through ports as captured on freight receipts, known as bills of lading. This exhibit will be on display in the Joseph S. Stern, Jr. Cincinnati Room from August 5 - November 15, 2016.

 

 

  

   

Steamboats Featured in the Exhibit:   

Andes Ben Hur Bessie Smith Courier Diurnal
Sternwheel packet boat built in Cincinnati (1871 and 1877). The first packet boat named ANDES was built in 1871. She sank after getting caught in an ice gorge on January 11, 1877. The operator, Charles Muhleman, immediately contracted for a new boat. The second ANDES was completed June 15, 1877. She was owned by Wheeling & Cincinnati Packet Company and Captain Charles Muhleman served as her master until 1889.  Sternwheel packet boat built in Harmar, OH at the Knox boartyard in 1887. She came out in the Pittsburgh – Parkersburg trade. During her first year she carried John Robinson’s famous circus on tour. She was later sold in 1904 to the Mississippi River Amusement Company. Sternwheel packet boat built in Smithsonia and Florence Alabama in 1897. She was rebuilt in Parkersburg, WV in December 1901 and ran the Wheeling - Parkersburg trade. According to Way’s Packet Directory there were five packet boats named COURIER. Three were sternwheels and two were sidewheels. The one featured here was built in Hamar, OH in 1870. She was owned and operated by the Wheeling & Parkersburg Packet Company. She carried a circus along the Ohio River in 1885. When she became stranded during the winter of 1885  near Covington, KY the furniture and machinery was removed and the hull was burned.  Side wheel packet boat built in Harmar, OH at the Knox yard in 1879. Built for Captain John K. Booth of the Wheeling & Parkersburg Packet Company, she ran the Wheeling – Parkersburg trade making three trips a week. 
       
Emma Graham H. K. Bedford Hudson J. P. Davis Kanawha
 According to Way’s Packet Directory there were four packet boats named EMMA GRAHAM. The fourth was built in Cincinnati in 1877. She ran the Pittsburgh & Cincinnati Packet Line. She sank in 1885.  Sternwheel packet boat built in Jeffersonville, IN by Howard in 1885.  Capt. Gordon C. Greene bought her in 1890 and put her in the Pittsburgh-Wheeling trade. These photographs were taken around 1896.   Sternwheel packet boat built in Freedom, PA in 1886.  HUDSON ran the Paducah – St. Louis trade until 1889.  She was then taken back to Pittsburgh to run for the Pittsburgh & Cincinnati Packet Line. Sternwheel packet boat built in Point Pleasant, WV in 1909. After sinking on the Big Sandy River, she was raised near Paintsville and sold to the Marietta Packet Company in 1921. She ran the Wheeling – Marietta trade until she sank at the wall of Lock 16 on the Ohio River. Sternwheel packet boat built in Ironton, OH in 1896. She was built by the Bay Line for the Pittsburgh – Charleston Trade. The photograph of the crew was taken in 1911, the other in 1915. On January 6, 1916 while backing out of Little Hocking, OH, she hit a steel pier on the outer lock wall of Dam 19 and overturned. Ten lives were lost in the mishap.
         
Katie Stockdale Keystone State Liberty Mattie Roberts Milton
Sternwheel packet boat completed in Pittsburgh in 1877. She was originally owned by J.T. Stockdale, Willis Stockdale and Thomas S. Calhoon. The boat was named for J.T. Stockdale’s youngest daughter. She began the Pittsburgh – Cincinnati trade in December, 1877.  Sternwheel packet boat built in Hamar, OH at the Knox Yard, 1890. She was built for the Pittsburgh & Cincinnati Packet Line.  Sternwheel packet boat built in Clarington, OH in 1912. She was originally built for the Wheeling – Clarington trade. She worked several trade routes on the upper Ohio River during her twenty year lifespan. Sternwheel packet boat built in Cincinnati, OH in 1863. She ran the Parkersburg – Gallipolis trade. She was dismantled in 1875. Sternwheel packet boat, not found in Way’s Packet Directory. She was built sometime before 1918 and ran the Wheeling – Matamoras trade into the mid-1920’s.
         
Minnie Bay  Ohio Oneida Oriole Pearl
This sidewheel packet boat was completed in Wheeling, WV in 1883. Built for the Bay brothers to run the Portsmouth – Proctorville trade, she was named for George Bay’s daughter. She ran several trade routes before hitting a snag and sinking near Moscow, OH in October, 1889. This sternwheel packet boat built in Clarington, OH in 1898 and ran several trade routes. The bills of lading reflect cargo she carried while on the Pittsburgh – Cincinnati trade. The photograph was taken around 1915 at Louisville, KY when she was running the Cincinnati – Memphis trade. She met her demise at Parkersburg, WV burning in the mouth of the Little Kanawha River in February, 1916.  Sternwheel packet boat built in Harmar, OH at Knox Yard in 1881. She mostly ran on the Little Kanawha River between Parkersburg and Creston, WV. She sank at Creston on January 26, 1902.  Sidewheel packet boat the hull was built in Murraysville, WV then completed in Middleport, OH in 1869. She started on the Gallipolis – Racine trade and later ran Pomeroy – Ironton trade.  Sternwheel packet boat, not found in Way’s Packet Directory.  Perhaps it is not included because it is so small and only covered a five mile route on the Ohio River.   The bill of lading shows that “Packet Pearl” ran trade between Friendly WV  – Matamoras, OH – Sisterville, WV. There are only five miles between Friendly and Sisterville.  
         
Queen City R. R. Hudson Ruth St. Lawrence Science
Sternwheel packet boat built in Cincinnati, OH in 1897. She ran for the Pittsburgh & Cincinnati Packet Line until June 1913.   Sternwheel packet boat built in Wheeling, WV in 1866. She came out in the Wheeling – Cincinnati trade, but her route extended to Pittsburgh and Louisville soon after. She fell victim to ice at the Belmont Landing at Wheeling in 1875.   There are seven packet boats named RUTH in the Way’s Packet Directory.  Pictured is a sternwheel built in Marietta, OH in 1893.  She was built for the Bay Line in Ironton, OH and entered the Wheeling – Sistersville trade in 1896. Later a texas deck was added when she was sold to work the Evansville – Paducah trade. In 1916,  she was bought and moved to Pittsburgh to work the Pittsburgh – Charleston trade.   She was lost in ice at Ohio River Dam 13 in January 1918.   Sidewheel packet boat built in Murraysville, WV (hull) and completed in Wheeling, 1879. She was built for the Wheeling – Cincinnati trade, that later extended to Pittsburgh. She burned in 1922.    Sternwheel packet boat built in Wheeling, WV in 1869. She ran the Wheeling – Parkersburg – Cincinnati trade. She was dismantled for her machinery in 1882.
         
Scotia Senator Cordill Valley Belle   Virginia  W. N. Chancellor
Sternwheel packet boat built in Harmar, OH at Knox Yard in 1880. She ran the Pittsburgh – Cincinnati trade. She was outfitted with one of the first electric headlights to be used on a boat.   Sternwheel packet boat built in Jeffersonville, IN by Howard in 1902 for the Vicksburg & Natchez Packet Company. In July of 1920 she was bought by a group of produce dealers on the upper Ohio River. She entered into the Pittsburgh – Charleston trade. Sternwheel packet boat built in Harmar, OH at the Knox Yard in 1883. She was built for the Marietta – Beverly trade on the Muskingum River. She was very special in the fact that she ran for 60 years, a great lifespan for a packet steamboat. She changed hands several times and ran several trade routes. Sternwheel packet boat built in Cincinnati, OH in 1895. Built by Cincinnati Marine Railway Company for the Pittsburgh & Cincinnati Packet Line, it is claimed that she paid for herself in her first year in service.  She also was the first packet to pass under the completed Wabash Railroad Bridge, Pittsburgh 1904.  Sternwheeler packet boat built in Parkersburg, WV in 1879. She began her river service running Pittsburgh – Parkersburg trade. In 1880,  the  route extended to Cincinnati and in 1882 to Charleston. She was dismantled in 1892.  
         

 

  

  

       

     

     

 

Thomas Cottrell Collection of Bills of Lading and Freight Receipts:

 

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Index to Select Bills of Lading

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Businesses - Collected Bills of Lading

 

Abner O'Neal and Co. - Sept. 1, 1874 to March 30, 1878 C.E. Vaughn & Co. - July 16, 1884 to Oct. 12, 1886 C.L. Cochran and Co. - Apr. 2, 1873 to March 31, 1896 Chas. A. Smith - April 5, 1870 to March 20, 1871 F. Neuenschwander - Aug. 12, 1885 to Dec. 19, 1888 Jason Neville - Oct. 29, 1877 to March 6, 1878
Lee Line Steamers - Feb. 26, 1916 to Jan. 20, 1917 at Hughes Landing, Ark. Sam Johnson - April 3, 1872 to June 30, 1874 Toronto Feed and Supply Co. - Nov. 1, 1890 to May 21, 1891 Waid Cross - April 24, 1877 to Aug. 6, 1886. V.01 Waid Cross - April 24, 1877 to Aug. 6, 1886. V.02

 

  

     

     

     

Frederick Way, Jr. Collection of Bills of Lading

 

Volume 1 Volume 2 Volume 3 Volume 4 Volume 5

  

               

 
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