P-029: John Hartford Collection Photographs

Herein are located the photographs collected by folk musician and river enthusiast John Hartford.
Herman T. Pott National Inland Waterways Library


Isaac Staples
View of Isaac Staples docked.
The Winnebago is a passenger steamboat of the typical packet boat style which now plies the Upper Mississippi River system. She was built by the Dubuque Boat and Boiler Works at Dubuque, Iowa, and assembled at the Dells, Wisconsin, after shipment by train. She has a horizontal, oil burning boiler forward and abaft of the bow underneath a gang way leading to the second or boiler deck. The sternwheel is of the bucket type, wooden construction. Every evening during July and August the Winnebago carries up to 400 passengers through the Dells , Wisconsin to the Indian Ceremonial at Stand Rock on the Wisconisn River... During the season of 1941 some 156,000 persons were carried through the Dells landing in the various canyons for short hikes that are cool and picturesque. In the city of Wisconsin Dells, where all boats start, accomodations are available for tourists. Exclusive elevator service to and from the boats is available as the city is 70 feet above the rock cliff to eliminate climbing. The boats have sound systems for the guides to call the rock formations and conduct the tours. After 8:00 A.M. a boat can be boarded every 30 minutes for these trips. Thirty five 60 passenger motor boats and the Winnebago make these trips. The boat capacity is 200,000 passengers per year on a three hour trip. The boats are very modern having bus seating capacity with the engines in a compartment separate from the passenger's compartment. In the evening the American Legion puts on an Indian ceremonial at the Ampitheatre along the south bank whic seats 2,000 persons and there are 100 Indians in the play. Some of the leading characters are Chief Silvertongue, famous Indian tenor; Evergreen Tree, impersonator, and many others famous throughout Florida and Wisconsin resorts.
Bluff City
In the struggle of the packet boats against rail competition the Anchor Line put up a bold fight. To reduce operating expenses they built the Bluff City, the only stern-wheeler the Anchor Line ever built. She came out new in October 1896, built at Jeffersonville, Indiana. But fate was against her as she lasted but one year. On November 18, 1897 she caught fire at Chester, Illinois on the Mississippi River. The fire was supposed to have been started by a spark from a pipe falling among some logs. She and her cargo were a total loss. The steamer was valued at $55,000 and the cargo at $30,000.
Queen City
The Queen City was built in 1897 at the Cincinnati Marine Railway Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, for the Pittsburgh and Cincinnati Packet Line. Captain J. Frank Ellison was superintendent of construction. Her dimensions were: - 236 x 44 x 7 feet. She had four boilers and 24-inch by 8-foot stroke, high pressure engines which were salvaged from a sunken St. John's River steamboat in Florida and rebuilt by Rees. She made her maiden trip between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh in June, 1897. In February, 1914, while downbound on a Mardi Gras trip she sunk on the Ohio River falls at Louisville, Kentucky. She was raised. On March 6, 1899, when passing under the railroad bridge at Kenova, West Virginia, the top of her pilot house was caught and torn off. In her latter days she operated as an excursion boat on the Ohio River out of Cincinnati. She was dismantled at Pittsburgh in February 1940 and her hull used as a wharf boat at that place.
Fleetwood No.2
This Fleetwood was built to replace the original of the same name in 1880 at Cincinnati. She was 302.2 x 43.4 x 6.4 and her machinery came from the prior boat. She ran in the Cincinnati to Huntington trade until the Chesapeak and Ohio Railroad was completed to Cincinnati, or about 1883. She then ran to Pomeroy and later in the Louisville trade. She was dismantled in the summer of 1893 and her cabin, whistle etc. went to the new City of Louisville then building.
Tow and Swing Bridge
Towboat with four barges on river. Swing bridge closing behind the tow, with traffic backed up and waiting.
Receipt of Sale, for Advert
1885 receipt of sale for ad, $50 reward, to the Commercial Herald. Receipt to John H. Long
The Alton was built in 1906 at Jeffersonville, Indiana. Her dimensions were:- 241.1 x 38 x 7.3 feet. Tonnage 800, gross and net. She had 1350 horse power. She was owned by the Eagle Packet Company of St. Louis and was one of their finest packets. One mark of distinction was an hexagonal shaped pilot house. At 1:45 A.M., on January 28, 1918, while laid up in the winter fleet on the Tennessee River, at Livingston Point, ten miles above Paducah, Kentucky, a wall of ice came down the river and engulfed the Alton as well as the other boats of the fleet. The Alton broke in two under the weight of the ice and flood as she was crushed against a gravel bar. Half of her stayed there, the other drifted down the Little Chain near Metropolis, Illinois., Eads Bridge in the background
Jim Wood
The Jim Wood was built in 1885 at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the Wood fleet. Her dimensions were:- 169 x 32.2 x 5.8 feet. Tonnage: gross, 525; net, 402 tons. She towed coal south out of Pittsburgh and had an organ in her cabin and regular Sunday devotional services as long as Captain Jim Wood was her master. She ended her days at Dam No. 33 on the Ohio River, November 9, 1917. A few days later she sagged and broke in two. There was another Jim Wood constructed as the Grand Lake in 1866 at Pittsburgh. Her dimensions were:- 168 x 30.4 x 5.2 feet. Her name was changed to Jim Wood on September 24, 1881. She evidently went out of service prior to 1885.
Towboat on the River
We meet a towboat with two trails of smoke billowing out behind from her stacks.
Senator Cordill
SENATOR CORDILL at Reedsville, Ohio. Independent Packet Line. Built at Jeffersonville, Indiana for Natchez and Vicksburg trade. Operated on Upper Ohio in later years of career. Came out in May, 1902 - Dismantled in 1939.
Steamboat OUACHITA midstream.
The Josephine was built at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1873. Her dimensions were:- 178 x 31 x 4.5 feet; 301 tons. She had two boilers. Her engines were 15 incehs in diameter with a 5-foot stroke. This boat ran as a packet on the Missouri River. She once made a notable exploration trip to the upper Yellowstone, reaching Pompey's Pillar on June 3, 1875; then went up to Hell Roaring Rapids where she arrived at 2:00 P. M. on June 7, 1875. She was then 483 miles above the mouth of the Yellowstone River. She was the last packet to land at Fort Benton, Montana. This packet later became a snag boat and operated as such until the end of her career. The Josephine was cut down by ice at Running Water, South Dakota, on March 8, 1907. There is possibly a mistake in the records as here is an item that was recorded after her end: At a reinspection of the boat on June 21, 1907 at Sioux City, Iowa, she was found to be deficient in equipment, and that on board in bad condition. The steamer was ordered to cease navigation and charges were preferred against her master, Joseph Leach, Jr., who pleaded guilty and submitted his case. His license as master and pilot was suspended 30 days for negligence. (Or maybe there was another Josephine about that time).
City of Alton
The second City of Alton was a big side-wheel Anchor Line packet boat. She was built in 1860 and was a transport in the Civil War. Captain Horace Bixby commanded her. Her dimensions were: 28c x 40 x 7 feet. During the late seventies she was running from St. Louis to New Orleans. Those were the days when steamboat men took special pride in jackstaffs, bells, and whistles. The Alton had a noble jackstaff with a night hawk, and a halyard line to pull it up and down the jackstaff. On top was a gilded weathervane - an Indian with a bow and arrow taking aim. Forward of her gallows fraim was a spear, with a black bull carved from wood. In fact the nickname of the City of Alton was "Bull of the Woods." The Union Jack flew from the jackstaff and from a high flagstaff amidship floated a streamer with the boat's name. From a flag pole at her port wheelhouse floated a streamer with the name "St. Louis" on it, while from her starboard wheelhouse a streamer floated with "New Orleans" on it, while the American flag fluttered nobly from a high staff at her stern...


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