Steamboats 1860-61


CITY OF ALTON Built: 1860, Madison, Indiana. Type: Sidewheel, wooden hull packet. Size: 283′ x 40′ x 7′. Engines: 36′ – 9 ft. Operating between St. Louis and Alton, her master was Captain Mitchell, and in 1861 Captain Barnes. The CITY of ALTON was involved in one of the first acts of daring in the Civil … Read more

Steamboats 1861-64


C.J. CAFFREY Built: 1861, Louisville, Kentucky, as J.H. BALDWIN. Type: Sidewheel, wooden hull packet. Converted to sternwheel 1874. Size: 173 tons. Originally the J.H. BALDWIN, and built for the Louisville-Cumberland trade, under Captain McGuire, she was captured by the U.S. in the spring of 1862 on the Cumberland River. She was sold for $12,000 to steamship agents … Read more

Steamboats 1840-44


ALEX SCOTT Built: 1842, Jeffersonville, Indiana. Type: Sidewheel, wooden hull packet. Size: 266′ x 34′ x 8′, 709 tons. Engines: 25’s x 10 ft. Boilers: Six boilers. Paddlewheels: 30′ diameter with 15′ buckets, 28″ dip. Named for Captain Alexander Scott, and built by a veteran of the river, Captain John C. Swan, her principle owner and master, this … Read more

Steamboats 1880-84


CITY of NEW ORLEANS Built: 1881, by Howard & Co., Jeffersonville, Indiana. Type: Sidewheel, wooden hull packet. Size: 290′ x 48′ x 8′ 5″. Engines: 26’s – 10 ft. Boilers: Five boilers, each 44″ by 30 ft., four flues. Paddlewheels: 38 ft. diameter, with 15 ft. buckets. One of ten Anchor Line boats built between 1880-87 without … Read more

Steamboats 1890-94


CITY OF HICKMAN Built: 1890, by Howard & Co., Jeffersonville, Indiana. Type: Sidewheel, wooden hull packet. Size: 285′ x 44′ 5″ x  9′ 5″. Engines: 26’s – 10 ft. Boilers: Five boilers. Paddlewheels: 26 ft. diameter. Capacity: 200 passengers, 2,100 tons. Built for the Anchor Line, the CITY of HICKMAN had 38 staterooms and 72 berths and cost $66,000 (one … Read more

Steamboats 1870-74


FAR WEST Built: 1870, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Type: Sternwheel wooden hull packet. Mountain riverboat. Size: 190′ x  33′ x  6′. Engines: 15’s – 5 ft. Boilers: Three boilers Capacity: Could carry 200 tons and 30 cabin passengers, drawing only 20 inches, un-ladened. Operating on the Missouri, Yellowstone and Osage Rivers, the FAR WEST earned a place in history in 1876, … Read more

Steamboats 1895-99


BELLE OF CALHOUN Built: 1895, St. Louis, Missouri. Built at the Carondelet Marine Ways, Carondelet, Missouri, and completed at the St. Louis wharf. Type: Sternwheel, wooden hull packet. Size: 180′ 9″ x 36′ 4″ x  4′ 7″. Engines: 15’s – 6 ft. Boilers: Two boilers, each 44″ by 26 ft. The BELLE OF CALHOUN was named for Miss … Read more

Steamboats 1865-69

PHIL SHERIDAN Built: 1866, Cincinnati, Ohio Type: Sidewheel, wooden hull packet. Size: 227′ x 35′ 6″ x 6′, 728 tons. Engines: 22’s – 7 ft. Boilers: 4 boilers, each 40″ x 26 ft. with five 9″ flues. Operating on the Upper Mississippi River, the PHIL SHERIDAN was owned first by the Cincinnati and Wheeling Line before being sold … Read more

Steamboats 1875-79


ED RICHARDSON Built: 1878, by Howard & Company, Jeffersonville, Indiana. Type: Sidewheel, wooden hull packet. Size: 309′ x 70′ (including guards), beam 49′, depth of hold 12′, average draft 4′ 10”. Tonnage 2,048. Engines: Two high pressure lever (from steamer Katie), built by John Davies, Louisville. Boilers: Nine, iron, built by Jos. Mitchell, Louisville. Diameter 42″, length 32′, … Read more

Learn About the Interesting History of Steamboats

Steamboat and Honeymoon Bridge

Long before there were cars, trucks, trains, and airplanes, people used waterways and boats to travel. They would use boats for transporting goods and people from place to place. One of the major downfalls of water transport is that it’s slow, and the speed of travel greatly depended on the water current … Read more