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.
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.
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.
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:
Comments, Questions, and Suggestions
are appreciated. Jay W.Mohney
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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:
The finding aid is fully keyword searchable, so anyone searching any of the words from the finding aid from the Historic Pittsburgh search portal
( http://digital.library.pitt.edu/cgi-bin/f/findaid/findaid-idx?page=simple&c=hswpead ) will find the document.
A record for the collection has also been added to this online catalog ( http://s92015.eos-intl.net/S92015/OPAC/Index.aspx ) , 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:
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:
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.