Tag Archives: Ohio River

When there was no work many men worked at the drifting

A great many people in Ekeyville owned their own small boat, a skiff or johnboat. The johnboat is a flat bottomed affair with one set of oar locks and square in the stern. The skiff comes to a sharp bow and a gradual tapering to the stern and generally has two sets of oar locks. […]

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Sixty years of change in Ironton Ohio

Los Angeles, February 6, 1934 Editor Tribune: Sixty years have passed since the writer answered an advertisement in the columns of The Tribune’s honored predecessor, The Ironton Register, resulting in his employment as a boy in the Register office. That was on February 6, 1874. I remained in the service of the Register twenty-seven years, […]

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The ice knocked ‘The Greenland’ off the cradles and down the river she came

This is an excerpt from a 1949 letter written by Capt. Tom Greene, owner of Greene Line Steamers, to his friend Dan Heekin, a Cincinnati industrialist and river buff. The letter was discovered tucked in a copy of Steamboats & Steamboatmen by Ellis C. Mace. “I have about decided to put the CHRIS GREENE’S whistle […]

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Had to furnish my own horse; bought one from the coal company

John Holt (1870-1918), a coal miner in Murray City, OH, kept a journal of his daily life. John Holt and the coal miners he worked with outside of the mine in Murray City. April 1907- “The miners here geting 57 cts per ton for screened coal and two dollars and fifty six cents per day […]

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‘My name is Mike Fink!’ was the curt reply

He was the most famous of the keelboatmen, who plied the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers for two decades until they and their watercraft were displaced by steamboats. Born near Pittsburgh, PA (at the headwaters of the Ohio River), around 1770, Mike Fink —‘Miche Phinck,’ as he learned to spell it from his French Canadian parents—gained […]

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