Re: More Steamboats -- Closer to Home


Thanks, Gerard. It's amazing to see some of the places steamboats used to go in the Old Days! Just getting up the Willamette to Eugene was quite a feat, and the other day I read that a steamboat _once_ made it up the Umpqua River to Roseburg! The normal head of navigation was Scottsburg, at about river mile 28. I don't have a map handy showing how many river miles it is from Scottsburg to Roseburg, but it's plenty, and while there are stretches of calm water, they're separated by rock ledges and rapids.,_Oregon

It was railroads and roads that killed most of the river steamboats. But there are still cargoes that are more economically transported by river. Grain is the main thing keeping the towboats on the Columbia working, and I suppose it's the same on the Mississippi drainage. More cargo should be carried by water, on the rivers and along the coasts, because it's cheaper and burns a lot less fuel, but the infrastructure to handle most cargoes has shifted to subsidized highways, and to lesser extent no longer subsidized railroads...

On 4/7/2020 12:22 PM, Gerard Mittelstaedt wrote:
Last steamboat in my part of the world - the sternwheeler  Bessie which operated on the Rio Grande from Bownsville, Texas to Roma, Texas   last trip in 1902 or 1906 depending on what authority you read.  Why Roma TX/  Because there was a rock ledge across the river and unless the river was in an unusual high stage a powered boat could not get above it.  On rare occasions a boat made it all the way to Laredo, TX...Then had to be lucky with "high water" to be able to get back down river. The coming of the railroad tracks more or less paralleling the river put the steamboats out of business.
John <@Jkohnen>
For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn? (Jane Austen)
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