Search billions of records on



Steamboat Building   in Elizabeth, PA

A Journal of daily activities at the Elizabeth Marine Ways 1898 to 1925 

Packet Boat Elizabeth along the Monongahela

To view a larger image of Packet Boat Elizabeth click here.


Go Directly to:
Search this Web Page
Recent Updates to Web Page

View the complete video of the 1934 Elizabeth Centennial
View a short Video Clip showing the Elizabeth Marine Ways in 1934
View a short Video Clip showing Lock 5 circa 1930 


Introduction Journal Directory Master Directory J. W. Lynch Sprague Model Photographs Name Directory Links Tips Table of Contents Guestbook


  The Elizabeth Marine Ways is located in Elizabeth, PA along the Monongahela River. The work performed at the Ways during the early part of the 20th century was related to the river boat industry, in particular to the building and repairing of steamboats. My great grandfather, John William Lynch, worked there from 1898 until his retirement in 1925, starting  as a general laborer and ending as superintendent.  JW kept a journal during his lifetime with entries which began in 1869 and ended in 1948, just weeks prior to his death. 

  This web site has the entries made during his work life at the Marine Ways, JW details the day to day activities at the Ways, specifically he names men he worked with and the boats that were being repaired or built and if the boat was being repaired, he lists the exact repairs completed.

  I expect that this information should be of interest to Genealogists, those researching the history of Elizabeth, Pennsylvania and " Riverbuffs." 

  JW continued to record his daily activities after his retirement from the Marine Ways in 1925 as he made entries into 1948.  He included the names of numerous citizens of the Elizabeth, PA area in his journal. He wrote in his journal during March 1925 the following:  "The Deaths of People I have known well or have been around and with through my life follows at intervals in this Diary. "  I have included the names of these individuals on the page titled  "Name Directory."   You can use the Search function on the Home Page or Name Directory Page to see if your ancestor is named. 

  The Photograph Chapter contains hundreds of photographs taken during JW's lifetime with an emphasis on the early part of the 20th century.  Photos include Elizabeth, PA, the Elizabeth Marine Ways, Locks and Dams along Western Pa Rivers, Small Towns Views along the Rivers, Small Town Bridges in Western PA, Pittsburgh Views and Pittsburgh Bridges and of course Riverboats, some of which you are able to hear their whistle.  Additional photographs are added continuously.  

Photos Needed is a page that lists Riverboats, Pump Boats, Model Barges, and other craft that I am searching for photographs of, your help is appreciated.

Enjoy !    

Search this site to look up Surnames and Riverboats that JW may have written about in his journal. I suggest when searching for Surnames that you search for the surname (last name) only.  When searching for a specific Riverboat I would suggest putting in only the name of the boat, do not use a prefix such as "Steamboat".

As I continue to add photos and information additional hits may show up on your searches so please keep returning. 
   Search this site or the web        powered by FreeFind
  Site search Web search

This web site is best viewed using Internet Explorer.  The reason for this is that "newer" browser such as Google Chrome and Firefox do not allow the captions I have inserted on most photos to be seen when you place your mouse pointer / cursor onto the photo. Chrome does have an extension, "Visible Alts" that if downloaded will show the photos captions and I advice downloading this extension.  Also these "newer" browser do not support the Real Player plug-in, thus you are not able to hear the sound files on this web site.  Comments and suggestions are appreciated.


This site was last updated on 11/15/14      

The most recent additions to the site include:  

11/15/14 Steamer LUKE McLUKE  added to Boats JW Knew
11/6/14 Two photos of U. S. Post Office added to Elizabeth Businesses
10/22/14 Photos of model of Steamer MONAGH added to Steamer MONAGH
10/14/14 Steamer TOM LYSLE added to Boats JW Knew
10/4/14 Photo added to Lock 8 Point Marion
9/19/14 Steamer D. A. NISBET  added to Boats JW Knew   .
9/13/14 Three photos added to Lock 7 Greensboro


Comments, Questions, and Suggestions are appreciated.   Jay W.Mohney 
 jwmohney "at" comcast "dot" net      Please make the following changes to email address as it is not a clickable address, 
"at" = @   and "dot" = .

I have read that by altering your email address with written words in place of the symbols will  confuse spammers programs that search web pages looking for email addresses, I highly recommend you do this when leaving a comment in the Guestbook.  


Sign My Guestbook         View My Guestbook


If the comment you are going to add to the GUESTBOOK contains a question for me, to help me respond please make sure the email address you use is current and/or email me the question direct using the email address above. Also to help insure you receive my reply add my email address to your SPAM program as a safe address to avoid having my response sent to your Spam Folder. 

If your comment is more than one sentence please leave it in the comment section rather than in the two question areas above comments as these have length restrictions. If you have any problems leaving a comment in the GUESTBOOK please email me to make me aware.

Your comments and questions are appreciated.


The actual journals of J. W. Lynch are maintained at the library of the H.J. Heinz Historical Center, Pittsburgh, PA.  Visiting the library at the H.J. Heinz Center will enable you to hold and view these journals, they are catalogued as item MSS 376.  Visit their web site for hours and directions:

These are various links that the History Center has as aids to find information on the journals:

J.W. Lynch finding aid is available on Historic Pittsburgh at:;cc=hswpead;rgn=main;view=text;didno=US-QQS-mss376

 The finding aid is fully keyword searchable, so anyone searching any of the words from the finding aid from the Historic Pittsburgh search portal

( ) will find the document. 

A record for the collection has also been added to this online catalog  ( ) , which will provide another means of access to the collections.  Again this record is fully keyword searchable. 

In addition these records were shared with two international databases of library and archival material:  

OCLC’s Worldcat   (  and ArchiveGrid (

This will help ensure that researchers from across the world will be able to find information about this collection.

 And last but not least, the History Center also published a blog post:


anchor US Inland Waterways Site Ring
Navigate on thru the ring!
This site owned by Jay Mohney at Steamboat Building In Elizabeth, PA.


 All rights are reserved, permission to utilize the information on these pages for personal research is granted. Any commercial use of the information on these pages is not granted without my permission.