Wednesday, August 20, 2014

An Interesting Bit of River History

The Marietta Daily Times, January 22, 1906

A Veteran River Man Furnishes the List of Boats and Their Captains Who Navigated the Muskingum in the Palmy Days of River Traffic.

Many of the Names Are Familiar and Will Recall Pleasant Memories.

In the appended article the writer gives a list of the early river craft plying the Muskingum and the men who followed the adventurous calling of boatmen.  A few of the names are quite familiar, descendants of the old time river men now being residents of this city.

Memories of the early days will be recalled by many who read the following contribution.

In making individual mention of bats and boatmen they will be taken up in order of their priority of date, as a class, and as there is no representative of the canoe era on the Muskingum now living, nor any trace of any of them to be found, we must pass over that class of craft and the men who navigated them and take up the days of keel boating.

Keel Boating

The writer has been unable to find anything that will definitely establish the date that keelboating first commenced on the Muskingum river, but there are many circumstances which strongly point to the time as about 1814 to 1815.

The following is copied from a letter written by a young lady of New York who was traveling in the west at the time it was written.  It was published in Marietta papers a few years ago:

Marietta, Ohio, May 14th, 1815.

The Muskingum has been six feet higher at Springfield (Putnam) than it was ever known to be.  A part of the upper bridge was undermined and carried away.  Dr. Fowler in attempting to cross the bridge was drowned.  He was much respected and highly esteemed as a physician and was the last person to bestow on us his good wishes and farewell when entering the boat we left Springfield in for this place."

Dr. Fowler is buried in the old Putnam grave yard, the inscription on his headstone states he was but 22 years old at the time of his death.

As this young lady made her trip from Zanesville to Marietta on a boat years before the first steamboat ascended the Muskingum and as it is improbable that she went in an open flat boat, it seems quite certain that at least one keel boat was here in May, 1815.  Perhaps others were here at an earlier date, but evidence of this is lacking.

List of Primitive Craft

The following list of names of keel boats which navigated the Muskingum river is doubtless very incomplete, but when we consider that it is nearly seventy years since the last boat of this kind was seen on this river, and that all the men but one or two who navigated them are dead, we can realize how useless would be an effort to obtain a complete list of the names of those early crafts.  With perhaps a few exceptions no attempt will be made to state the dates any of these boats were running on the Muskingum.  The name of the Captain of each of these boats so far as they have been learned will be given, but as the boats often changed captains as well as owners, some may have had more than one, but only one will be named here:

Amanda - Lemuel Pratt, captain.
Allegheny - Jesse Smith, captain.
Black Snake - William Scales, captain.
Buck - A. Z. Morris, captain.
Consolation - Absolom Boyd, captain.
Charity - Jesse Smith, captain.
Commodore - Absolom Boyd, captain.
Comet - Hercules Boyd, captain.
Davy Crocket.
Express - Harry Stull, captain.
Elk - Benjamin Godfrey, captain.
Faith - William Scales, captain.
Fink, Mike.
Governor Ritner - A. W. Sprague, captain.
General Marion - Ryan, captain.
Hercules - Hercules Boyd, captain.
Hope - Washington Scales, captain.
Hazard - Alexander Hahn, captain.
Lovely Sally - Ferrell, captain.
Lady - Williams, captain.
Merry Lady - John B. Lewis, captain.
Muskingum Valley - Dudley Davis, captain.
Mink, Mike.
McGregor, Hellen - Absolom Boyd, captain.
Majestic - Randolph Fearing, captain.
Marietta - Albert Carpenter, captain.
Marietta 2 - Baker, captain.
None such.
Number 4 - Absolom Boyd, captain.
Olive Green.
Patriot - Davis, captain.
Post Boy.
Pocahontas - Ferrell, captain.
Paul Jones - Hercules Boyd, captain.
Rob Roy.
Red Rover.
Return - George Carpenter, captain.
Rifleman - Absolom Boyd - captain.
Ram - Roberts, captain.
Remlin, James - Joseph Devol, captain.
Splendid - Reese, captain.
Silver Heels.
Sam Patch.
Steubenville Ranger - James Brooks, captain.
Saucy Jack.
Sycamore - Hart, captain.
Tam a am - Absolom Boyd, captain.
Uncle Sam.
Western Packet - S. M. Devol, captain.
Washington - Randolph Fearing, captain.
Waterford - Beatty Cheadle, captain.
Zanesville Packet - Dennis, captain.

Facts of the Amanda

The Amanda, named in the foregoing list, was sunk at Blue Rock bend in 1837, was soon raised, repaired and sold by her owners, Fearing and Sprague.  

The "Sycamore," belonging to Hale, Boyd and Scales, was sunk at Taylorsville, where her bones were to be seen but a few years ago and may be there yet.

Old Time Boatmen

The following is a list of the names of all the Muskingum river keelboatmen that can be obtained by the writer, but like the list of names of the keel boat, it is no doubt quite incomplete.  Many of these men became prominent steamboatmen and contributed much to the development of navigation of the Ohio and Mississippi valleys.

David Anson, Baker, Absolom Boyd, Hercules Boyd, James Boyd, Hiram Burch, McC. Bell, James Blunt, John Burroughs, James Booker, Booths, Curtis, McC. Coleman, John Carpenter, William Carpenter, Daniel Clay, Stephen Davis, Freeman Davis, Hildrick Davis, Ed Davis, Dudley Davis, Frederick Davis, John Davis, S. M. Devol, Paul Ditenhaver, Joseph (Little Jo) Devol, Bennett Devol, Simeon Devol, Till Devol, Dennis, Stanton Devol, Joseph (Big Jo) Devol, Evans, Frederick Erick, George W. Ebert, Evans, Evans, Ferral, Randolph Fearing, John Farris, Mike Fink, Jacob Flake, Benjamin Godfrey, Simeon Girty, Samuel Godfrey, John Green, George Hahn, Michael Hahn, Frederick (Major) Hahn, James Herron, William Helmick, Scudder Hart, Aaron Hart, Owen Hale, Issac N. Hook, Alexander Hahn, Israel, Knott, Knott, Isaac Johnson, Thomas Johnson, William (Purdy Bill) Larison, John B. Lewis, Robert Leggett, James Leggett, John Lyons, George Michael, A. Z. Morris, Adam Poe, Lemuel Pratt, William Parker, Jacob Poe, Reardon Reese, Tice Ridenhour, Ryan, Stephen Roberts, Harry Stull, William Scales, Lemuel Swift, Jessie Smith, Washington Scales, Nelson Stone, Stephen Stone, Austin W. Sprague, William Silverthorn, John Tarrier, Talbot, Asa Travis, Harris White, Stephen West, Williams, Webster.

Who They Were

Of the men named in the foregoing list the Boyds, the Hahns, the Caseys, Ayers, Scales, Ridenout and Helmick were from Zanesville.  The Davises were from Marietta and Lowell vicinities and the Devols wer nearly all from Beverly and its vicinity.  Clay was from Lowell, Fearing and Hart were from Marietta.  The Johnsons, Evanses, Knotts, Godfreys, Leggetts, White, Swift and Webster were from Luke Chute.  Travis, Coleman, Bell, and others from McConnelsville.  Hook living near Windsor and nearly all the others resided somewhere on the Muskingum river and have descendants still living.  It is a matter of much regret that the names of all the men who were connected with these pioneer boats could not be obtained for publication in this list.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Naming the New Hotel

The Marietta Register, November 24, 1891

The name of a public house or hotel should be in keeping with the outside surroundings, and the inside management as well.  It often seems very appropriate to connect some prominent historic interest with the name.  The query arises, what has Marietta left that has not been used until it is threadbare?  Were it not for this, such names as "The Whipple House," "Putnam House," or "Hotel Putnam" and "Hildreth House" might be suggested.  "The St. Clair" reads much more euphonious than the record of the man, so far as concerns this locality.  "River View," "Riverside," "Grand View" and Crescent" seem too commonplace.  The balance of the names suggested, like "The Marietta," seem too silly to notice.

As it is something so new for this city to have a first-class hotel, it will not be in keeping to call it "The Pioneer," "The Century" or "Old Northwest."  The name must not be effeminate, so nothing in this line can be considered.

It cannot be named for any person in political prominence, for what Republican would be willing to stop at "The Cleveland," or "Campbell's Inn," or what Democrat would put up at "The Harrison House" or "Hotel McKinley"?

"The Columbia" or "Columbian" is very appropriate, when the year of completion is considered.  There are many tribes of Indians who frequented this section, that would lend a pretty name.  The Delawares, Wyandots and Seneca's, or even old Tecumseh, who has made these hills ring with the echo of his war-whoop and perverted the rays of the sun by the polished steel of his battle-axe.  No question could be raised against any of these, unless they might cause a nightmare among the timid sleepers who were sheltered beneath its roof.

Considering the location, "The Aurora" or rising sun is not objectionable, but rather common.

Marietta has the historical right to perpetuate the name of Lafayette, and this is the name the writer proposes to leave with the readers.  It occupies the spot near where Lafayette landed.

The person having the honor of selecting a name that will please all will find the task even more arduous than raising the funds and completing the structure.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Improvements in Harmar

The Marietta Intelligencer, June 1, 1859

The following, as near as we can ascertain, is a statement of the improvements which are making upon the other side of the Muskingum, this season.  Their number is greater than we supposed, even exceeding that of improvements in Marietta; though they are not quite so extensive.

Douglas Putnam.  Large stone dwelling at the end of Putnam St., on the side of Harmar hill.  The main building is two stories high, and 80 feet front by 68 ft deep; the observatory four stories high, and 15 ft. square, commanding an extensive and beautiful prospect; and the office and library two stories high, 30 ft. by 19.  There is a brick building in the rear for a wash-room and store-room, two stories high, 32 ft. by 28; and a fine two-story frame building at the side, for a stable 28 ft. by 36.  John Slocomb is the architect and master builder, Nelson Alcock was superintendent of the stone work, Joseph Jones of the brick work, and Henry Miller, plasterer.  The building will be completed by fall.

Levi Barber.  Two story frame dwelling, just finished, on Franklin St.  There are two parts to the building - one 30 ft. by 16, and the 15 by 24.  William McCoy builder.

Thomas Turner.  Frame cottage, with stone foundation, 34 ft. by 36, on ____ St.  William McCoy is contractor for the frame work, and Samuel Cox for the stone work.

E. Locker.  Two story frame dwelling, 36 ft. by 24 - on Main St., between Putnam and Lancaster. The work on the building is done by the day, there being no contractor.

G. W. Sharp.  Frame dwelling on Franklin St.  There are two parts to the building - one two stories high, the other, a story and a half, together measuring 36 ft. by 22.  J. S. Sharp builder.

N. Cordry.  Frame dwelling, of the same size and location.  E. S. Morton builder.

David Putnam.  Two story frame dwelling, 14 ft. by 28, with kitchen in the rear, 12 ft. by 14 - on Clinton St.  William McCoy builder.

William McCoy.  Two story frame, 20 ft. by 40 on Franklin St. - to be used for the present as carpenter shop, for the owner.

Putnam, Pool & Co.  Two story frame, 32 ft. by 80,in the rear of their establishment, to be used as a ware house and stable by the manufacturing company.  The work on the building is done by the day.

Chapin & Bro.  Addition to their sawmill, on Ohio St., of two stories, 21 ft. by 73.  The old part is to be raised 6 feet.

Isaac Spaulding is altering a ware-house on Ohio St., into a fine dwelling house, 45 ft. by 20, and improving his former dwelling.

John Bartlett.  Addition to house on Ohio St., on one side, one story, 32 ft. by 10 - on the end, two stories, 16 ft. square.

Gardner Hall.  Two story frame dwelling, 24 ft by 18, on Franklin st.  George Locker builder.

S. N. Cox.  Frame cottage, 16 ft. by 24, on Franklin St.  William McCoy carpenter.

Josiah T. Hart.  Two story frame dwelling, 16 ft. by 24, in McCoy's addition to Harmar.  William McCoy builder.

Gilbert Wood.  Frame cottage, 16 ft. by 24, on Wood st.  William McCoy builder.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Portrait Painting

Marietta Register, February 3, 1870

This fine art is now carried to great perfection in Marietta; though it seems strange that our citizens should not be aware of it, or, knowing it, do not avail themselves of the opportunity presented of securing perfect pictures of themselves and friends.  Recently we dropped into the studio of the artist, Mr. Brewer, over Pearce & Triem's Drug Store, and were delighted with the familiar faces we there recognized on canvass - faces that look ready to walk out of the canvass with a "How do you do?" greeting.

Among others, we recognized portraits of Col. John Mills, President I. W. Andrews, N. Fawcett, W. C. Hood, Wylie Oldham, and W. F. Curtis.  Mr. Brewer also has some beautiful fruit pictures, painted in oil, and so natural that all can recognize in them premiums of their kind.  Mr. Brewer designs leaving Marietta when warm weather sets in; therefore all who would take advantage of his skill must do so soon.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Improvements in Marietta

The Marietta Intelligencer, June 7, 1859

We have obtained, at some time and trouble, the following list of the buildings now in process of erection, and those that are undergoing extensive repairs, in the city.

Bosworth, Wells & Co.  Three story brick, with iron front, 43 ft. on Front St. by 100 on Monroe Street.  Hardware and Dry Goods Store.  J. T. Hart, contractor for the stone work; James Lewis, contractor for the brick work; D. R. Sniffen for joiner work, and Putnam, Poole & Co. for iron work.  To be completed early in the fall.

C. & S. Shipman & Co.  Three story brick,with iron front.  37 ft. by 82.  Greene St., on site of old building.  Dry Goods Store.  N. S. Alcock, contractor for stone work; J. and C. Jones for brick work, and Owen Franks for iron work.  To be finished next fall.

James Holden.  Three story brick with iron front.  40 ft. front by 80 deep.  On site of Bosworth, Wells & Co.'s old store.  For rent.  J. T. Hart, contractor for stone work; other contracts no yet made.

T. F. Hall.  Two story frame.  20 by 32.  On Front St., next to W. F. Curtis' dwelling house.  Benjamin Snider, builder.  Lower story, office for owner, and upper story rented to Davis & Smith for shoe shop.  Nearly completed.

George Scherer.  Two story frame, with brick basement; 26 by 50 ft.; Greene St., between Front and Second street.  Said to be for a Market House.  Will be finished in a few weeks.

Luther Temple.  Frame cottage; 24 by 35, with two wings, each 13 by 19.  Second street between Scammel and Wooster.

Bank of Marietta.  Undergoing repairs to amount of $1000.  D. R. Sniffen, carpenter; J. Jones, mason.

Stephen Newton.  Two story brick dwelling; 44 feet front by 35 deep.  Fourth St., nearly in front of College Chapel.  Milton Hovey builder.

William Styer.  Two story brick, 28 by 32; corner Sixth and Putnam sts.  William Styer, builder.

Fred Petre.  Frame cottage; Fourth St., between Washington and Sacra Via.

Nicholas Cline.  Additions and improvements on house to the amount of $400.  Third St., between Scammel and Wooster.

Pres. I. W. Andrews.  Fourth Street, corner of Putnam.  Undergoing changes and repairs to the amount of $500.

J. C. Fell.  Tannery.  William Vinton's old tannery to be moved across the river and made over new, with considerable enlargements.

W. F. Curtis.  Brick dwelling house, two stories; 74 feet front by 33 deep.  M. H. Needham, carpenter; T. F. Westgate, brick mason.  Outside of corporation, on College Hill.

Catholic Parsonage.  Brick, 2 stories and basement; 42 by 20, on Fourth St., rear of Catholic Church.  William Moore and ____ Weaver, contractors for stone and brick work, W. W. McCoy for wood work.

J. M. Booth, H. Booth, and G. S. Jones.  Three story brick store, with iron front; 37 ft. front on Greene Street, by 82 deep; on site of S. Slocomb & Co.'s old store.  To be built in connection with C. & S. Shipman's store.

The above does not show all the improvements on this side of the river.  Several buildings have already been completed this spring, and many more have been repaired and enlarged.  Our mechanics are all engaged, teamsters all employed, and day laborers have as much work as they can do.