Re: More Steamboats -- Closer to Home


We talked about the upper Willamette steamboats a few years ago:


The City of Eugene was built at Eugene and launched in 1898. She was 135' long and drew about a foot! But the last steamboat to get up to Eugene did so in 1905.

The Southern Pacific and Oregon Electric railroads built parallel bridges across the Willamette just above Harrisburg in the 19-oughts. The last one was completed in 1906. The Gummint required that the bridges have draw spans so as not to impede river commerce, but the book Willamette Landings says that the last steamboat to get up past Harrisburg did so in 1906. I wonder if that boat was used in the construction of the bridge... The bridges never opened except to see if they worked. A few years ago one of the historic bridges disappeared, replaced with a modern concrete, non-opening, span. he Union Pacific bought the SP, and the UP never was much interested in history...

On 4/7/2020 12:22 PM, Gerard M 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>
There is wisdom in turning as often as possible from the familiar to the unfamiliar: it keeps the mind nimble, it kills prejudice, and it fosters humor. (George Santayana)
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