Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Saturday's Sternwheelers in Pomeroy

We didn't get to Pomeroy until late Saturday afternoon and Larry was pretty tired, but I did convince him to stick around long enough for me to take a few photos of the sternwheelers in town for the annual Meigs County Sternwheeler Festival.

I love these boats. Maybe it's because they're a throwback to another time. I won't say a simpler time because I do believe people were just as busy, if not busier, then as they were forging a new nation, clearing land, establishing local governments, and discovering new and exciting methods of travel. 
 The steamboat trade on the inland waterways began in 1811 and picked up steam (pun intended) through the century, finally losing ground to the railroads and eventually to automobiles and trucks. But in their day, the boats were all over the place, carrying people and cargo from one community to another, billowing black smoke from their stacks, blowing their whistles and generally producing a lot of racket.

 And then of course there were the floating palaces, the showboats, that brought entertainment to remote places, and probably brought a good bit of trouble too with gambling and shifty types looking for opportunities to enrich themselves at the expense of the local population. But what excitement they produced with their steam calliopes playing music, hawkers running through the streets with handbills, gaslights blazing at night, and all the mystery of faraway places suggested by their arrival!

The sternwheelers today are strictly pleasure boats; the big ones still travel on river excursion cruises, providing luxury accommodations for those who can afford the (to me) high price of the trip.

 And then there are these gorgeous smaller sternwheelers, what might have been called packet boats back in the day of steam as they usually carried the "packets" of mail. Today these are usually privately owned or used for short excursion trips for tourists in river towns.

 Small or large, there is just something about these boats. Maybe it's their stacks, or their paddlewheels, or their perk shapes,

or maybe it's their bells and wood steering wheels, or their steam whistles...
 I don't know, but I never tire of looking at them and I will get on board whenever an opportunity presents itself.

Other boats were in town too, and the Ohio was big enough for them all on this beautiful day.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


Michelle said...

Beautiful shots of these boats. I always like seeing them too.

Quinn said...

I've never seen one but I'd love to! Great snaps!

storytellermary said...

Beautiful! What a gathering of boats! I did enjoy the cruise on the Delta Queen, and glad we got to do it before she was taken out of active cruising, but yes, it was expensive. The ideal for you would be to work as on-board storyteller and travel free (and they'd be lucky to get you ;-)

Susan Anderson said...

It would be fun to get on one and imagine myself back in the day…


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