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Steamboat Building in Elizabeth, PA

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

Master Directory

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This page has all of the individual Journal Directories together. Their is one entry for each page listed. Click on the date below to see the complete journal page for that time period.

"Early Years 1" shows that JW started his work life in 1876 on several farms. This page also gives a brief history of W.W.O''Neil Company.

"Early Years 2" starts JW's life long activity of working on the rivers. 1882 at Walton's Barge Yard, 1889 at W.W. O'Neil, and in 1898 starting at Elizabeth Marine Ways.

"Early Years 3" names men who worked at O'Neils Mine Tipple and Landing in 1887. This page also lists the boats owned by Horner & Roberts Boat Yard in 1884.

" RiverMen 1 , RiverMen 2, RiverMen 3 and RiverMen 4" are pages that list men that JW worked with and in many cases the trade of each of these men.

"Walton Yard 1883" is part of the earliest recorded information in the journal and gives the names of men that worked at Walton's Yard in 1883.

" Mt. Gretna " is not directly related to the rivers. JW was a member of the National Guard and this page lists all of the men he served with in August 1887. This unit also served at Johnstown, PA  after the flood of 1889.

" Boats " and " Boats and Barges "  lists boats, who owned them, and for some, how they met their fate. 

"Steamers 1908 - 09" lists a few boats that were on the Ways during these years.

"Freight Barges " is a record of barges, giving the name of the barge, the date arrived at the ways, date departed the Ways and for some the name of the Steamer that took then away.

" Steamer Elizabeth " gives some early information on this boat.      

"1900 - 1908"  A model of the Steamer Sprague is built for the 1908 Pittsburgh Exposition.

"1904 - 1919" "First flying machine I saw"

"1912 - 1913" Steamer Ironsides is hit by lighting while in the yards, many men are hurt.

"1913 - 1915" Fallen Timber Run is the location for the burning of many old boats.

"1915 - 1916"  On February 2, 1916 the Steamers Sam Brown, Lorena, and Ohio explode and burn, in three different location in West Virginia.

"1917 - 1920"  Steamer Sailor sinks inside Lock #3, three men are killed.

"1920 - 1925"  Steamers Tom Dodsworth, Raymond Horner, and Boaz are towed away, they are "old friends" to JW.

September 1895 lists jobs JW performed while working for O'Neil & Company

March 1898 ...JW works with Henry Lambert on the Steamer Elizabeth

May 1898 has JW working on the Steamer Elizabeth and doing odd jobs for Mrs. McCune

June 1898... JW has his first day at the Ways 

August 1898... Steamer Dick Fulton unable to go onto Ways on account of scant water.

September 1898 ...Steamer Little Dick tows Steamer Belle McGowan to Pittsburgh.

February 1900...All smoking at the Ways is stopped. E. Ashburn's pipe starts a fire.

April 1900...JW receives notice in pay envelope to deal at company store.

June 1900...mentions the Steamer Mariner as the first steel boat 

August 1900...Bill McCune moves machinery from O'Neils Mill to the Ways.

October 1900...Steamer Charles Brown is off the Ways with a new hull.

November 1900...JW leaves the Ways on January 1, 1901 to work for McCune's at new saw mill. He returns to the Ways in June.

June 1901 ...has four lower river boats at the Ways at one time: Iron Sides, Jos Walton, Sam Clarke and Valiant.

May 1902...Steamer Enterprise is under construction.

July 1902...Steamer Enterprise is launched on August 26,1902.

November 1902...Jackstaff worked out for Steamer Sprague.

March 1903... shows that the Edgar Cherry was the big job 

June 1903...A strike at the Ways over order issued by Supt.Wm Wiegel that gloves could not be worn.

January 1904...JW works eight days on the Steamer Wilmot

March 1904..."Hardest work he ever done was working on mud scows"

June 1904...The Ways are closed for the summer. JW does odd jobs

October 1904...JW is asked to be Foreman

January 1905 has the Steamer Josh Cook with "her head tore off"

May 1905...The Steamer Transit is JWs first new hull as Foreman.

August 1905...the longest boat on the Ways is the Steamer S.H.H Clark

March 1906...Steamer Rose Hite had been sunk in the Fifth pool for three months

May 1906...Model Barge Delaware has saddle strakes all around

September 1906...Steamer Tom Dodsworth, built in 1871, has extensive repairs

March 1907... Steamer Cruiser, an all steel boat, has large hole in her side

May 1907...Steamer Boaz docks for a new hull

July 1907...Ways gang goes on strike for 8 hour (day), one week later it is granted

August 1907...Steamer Clipper docks, she had sunk and turned over in the 4th pool

November 1907...Men are paid with Clearing House checks, good for merchandise

January 1908...Steamer Stella Moren runs into Steamer Little Fred. JW is on the Little Fred 

February 1908...Another fire at the Ways

April 1908...Steamer Stella Moren goes over dam #2, engineer John Cox drowns 

July 1908,.. 50 men are laid off at the Ways ... this page also mentions that model barges are being built for "exhibition purposes" 

November 1908...A long list of men who worked on the Steamer Fallie

February 1909...This page includes February 1909 to December 1909

December 1909..."The river is froze and so full of ice the boats are wearing their wheels out faster than we can repair them".

January 1910... has a list of men who are working on the Steamer Raymond Horner

February 1910...James M. Lynch's hip is broken when a load of iron falls on him.

March 1910...Steamer R.L. Aubury explodes her broilers

April 1910...Steamers James A. Laughlin, B.F. Jones and Vesta are painted

May 1910...Steamer I.C. Woodward on the Ways for repairs all around

June 1910...Wm Hodgson and Emmet Ausburn work on Dredge Eastern

October 1910...Steamer Bertha gets new sheet iron all around

November 1,1910... names all the men in JW's gang.

November 14,1910...Steamer J. B.Finley, formerly Transporter, breaks 12 chains while being pulled out of the river.

December 8,1910...has the Steamer John A. Wood on the bottom yard

December 16,1910...Steamer John A. Wood is towed away by Steamer Volunteer

January 1911...dimensions of Steamer Joseph B. Williams are given

February 1911...High water at the Ways fills the hull of the Joseph B. Williams

March 4,1911...Model Barge Emperor docks, "this is a bad barge"

March 15,1911...some of the best men are laid off

April 1911...A thief in the pigeon coop

May 1911...The layoffs continue

June 1911... new work on the Steamer Alice Brown

August 1911...New Orleans, a steamer to represent the first boat built on the Monongahela

September 1911...Official number of New Orleans is 209240

October 1911...Ferryboat West End from Brownsville docks for repairs and the Sam Clarke was the first to have an iron outside circle on its wheel

November 1911... the Steamer John A. Wood is back at the Ways

December 1911...Steamer Tom Dodsworth broke all her chains on the way up the Ohio river 

February 1912...Steamer Cadet gets a rudder job

March 1912...Steamer Charlotte is lengthened

April 1912...New Superintendent at Ways, Morgan, making changes

May 1912...Steamers Island Queen, I. C. Woodward, Juanita and Volunteer all at Ways together

June 1912...Steamer Mointor docked, she had been sunk by the wicketts at dam #3 on the Ohio River.  Al Ackard, Captain

July 1912...Steamer Joseph Walton had been in the boneyard across from the Ways for eight years

August 1912 shows the Steamers Iron Sides and Joseph Walton changing their name

September 1912...Steamer Robert Jenkins is made plumb level and square 

October 1912...Ed Stewart falls off the Steamer Tornado while in dock 

November 1912...Steamer J.B.Finley, one of the largest boats in three rivers, at the Ways

December 1912...Steamer J.C. Risher to get a new hull, two feet wider than old hull. JW thinks it should be wider to make her right.

1912-1913... 1912 has lighting striking Steamer Iron Sides, nine men hurt are named. In 1913 the saw mill at the Ways burns for fourth time.

February 1913...Red Black is Captain of the Steamer J.C. Risher

April 1913... a strike at the Ways

June 1913...Steamer Charlie Brown fitted with steel cylinder timbers from Steamer Iron Age

July 1913...River Parade is held in Pittsburgh as part of "Old Home Week"

November 1,1913...Excursion Steamer Sunshine has room for 400 to 500 people

November 10,1913... a fire and flood hit the Ways

December 1913...Steamer Charlie Clark has numerous repairs

January 1914...Steamer Oakland name changed to F.M. Wallace

March 1914...Packet Kanawha docks for repairs to hog chains

May 1914 records $30,000 worth of repairs to Steamer Rebecca 

July 1914 ... "work at the Ways is very uncertain"

January 1915...Coal Hoist Tornado docks after being sunk

March 1915...Tornado rebuilt for the second time 

June 1915... Repairs to Steamer J. B. Finley cause problems at the Ways

August 1915...Steamer Enterprise gets new rudder blade

October 1915...Steel hulled Mariner ends up as a wharfboat for parking cars

November 1915...Steamer Swan gets new outside bottom plates

December 1915...Steamers Cadet and Wash Honshell are wrecked for parts

February 1916... Gunnel hull boats built in 1915 are described

April 1916...Boilers are condemned on Tug Mike Daughtery

June 1916...Lynch men leave the Ways for a few months

November 1916... Bob Murphy loses a finger

December 1916...J. J. Henderson, 83 years old, working on Steamer Crucible

January 1917...JW goes to work at Parkersburg Dock Company, WV

June 1917...JW is back at Ways as Foreman, under new Superintendent

November 1917... Brady Berry, Captain of Steamer Twilight

December 2,1917...Steamers Monitor and Duquesne collide, Monitor sinks

December 20,1917... Ice everywhere, "can't keep up with wheel jobs"

January 2, 1918...River is frozen tight and not a boat is moving, details on wheel jobs

January 15, 1918...4th week of river being frozen tight

February 1918... Steamer Robert Jenkins sunk in heavy ice

April 1918...Carpenters make $5.60 a day, laborers are paid $3.77 a day

July 1918... Steamer Juanita leaves the Ways in fine shape

October 1918...JW becomes Assistant Superintendent

January 2, 1919...Bell wires are repaired on Steamer Transit

January 16, 1919...Steamer Iron City has general repairs

February 4, 1919...Tiller is moved aft 4" on Steamer Voyager

February 26, 1919... 50 ton Dredge Kanawha on the docks

March 1919...Capt. Cook and Pilot Adams on Steamer M.D.Wayman

April 14, 1919...New Ferry Flat built for Allenport, PA

April 26, 1919...Dave Copper operating Derrick Boat #22 at the Ways

June 1919...Steamer Conqueror gets new rudder and new rudder irons

July 1919 ...Steam Tug Clairton has two new wheels installed

August 1, 1919...House Boat # 204 has general repairs

August 18, 1919...Harry McGuire is Captain of the Steamer A.R.Budd

September 1919...Love Dale pump boat docks for the second time

October 1919... Steamer Conqueror has steering cylinders braced

November 1919...Steamer Jim Brown has its deck caulked

December 1919...Steamers Voyager and Risher have their broilers "boarded up"

1917-1920...November 1918, War is declared off, people knocked off work  ... 1920 has the Steamer Sailor sinking in Lock #3

January 6, 1920...Steamer Braddock has hole in left side repaired

January 13, 1920...Worked overtime on Steamer Robert Jenkins

February 6, 1920...Steamer Fallie has extensive wheel job, including 32 wheel arms and 10 buckets

February 18, 1920...Whistle valve on Steamer Voyager repaired

March 1920...Steamers Beacon, J.C.Risher and Tug Mike Daughtery get new coal boxes

April 1920...Steamer Conqueror has pilot house chair repaired

May 1920...Steamer Enterprise is on the top yard

June 1920...JW is named Superintendent of Wood Work

June 5, 1920...Steamer Luke McLuke has chain braces cut and adjusted

June 24, 1920...Sheet asbestos is used as insulation around steam pipes

June 26,1920...Steamer Ranger docks for a new hull

July 2, 1920...Strike at the Ways, carpenters demand $1.00 per hour

July 20, 1920...Steamers Jenkins, Beacon, Jim Brown, Voyager, Conqueror, J.C.Risher, Transit, and Pump Boat #26 all mentioned

August 1, 1920...$20,000 worth of repairs to Steamer Robert Jenkins

August 23, 1920...Steamer Transit gets boilers off Steamer T. J. Wood

September 7, 1920...Steamer Transit is rotten and not seaworthy

October 1920... U.S. Inspectors order Steamer Transit in for repairs

November 1, 1920...60 arms on Steamer General are repaired

November 18, 1920...Steamer Rover is condemned by Inspectors

December 1920...Chas. Campbell and Mike Netherland buy Steamer Valiant from Pittsburgh Coal

January 1,1921... Captain John Dippold of the Steamer Old Reliable

January 24, 1921...Steamer J. C. Risher broke her chains in Lock #3, Wm Shaw is Captain

February 1921...Steamer Twilight wrecked from Stem to Stern, repaired from Keel to Roof

March 1921...The Ways adds a long float from front of offices to the abutments 

April 1921... JW's biggest job is the Steamer Jos Nixon / Valiant / Transporter

May 1921...Park Brenneman is Captain of the Steamer T. P. Roberts

July 1921...Jas McClure and Link Pancost work on Derrick Boat # 22

November 1921...New cylinder timbers put onto Steamer National

January 1922...Wm Lynch JR does the lining on Steamer National

February 1922...Steamers Conqueror and Beacon each have $8000 in repairs

April 1922... Steamer Carbon has repairs to aft bulkhead

May 1922...Gass Boat Bronx is rebuilt

November 1922... Fantails are replaced on Steamer Beacon 

December 1, 1922...Steamer Ranger has her wheel diameter reduced by 6 inches 

December 26,1922...Dimensions of Ranger and Voyager are given, they had been rebuilt a few years earlier

1923... Steamer Rover is renamed Cruiser after major rebuilding, all dimensions are given 

January 2,1923...Bob Eberhart is Captain of the new Steamer Cruiser, one of the last wooden boats

January 10,1923...Repairs to Ways docks and shafting takes place

February 1,1923...650 bushels of coal are unloaded for use at the Ways

February 16,1923...Converse Contracting company buys Collier #4 and four flats

March 1,1923...The Mine Department gets anew pump boat with a cabin and skylights

March 21,1923...William Shaw is Captain of the Steamer Ranger

April 4,1923...Wrecked Model Barge below the Ways is dynamited 

April 23,1923...Steamer Elizabeth Smith is repaired from stem to stern

May 1923...Painting roofs at Ways buildings

July 1923...Old Pump Boat #92 is ready for 620 bu of sawdust

August 1923... Landing floats at the Ways sink

September 1,1923...Chas Foreman is Captain of the Steamer Conqueror

September 12,1923...Timber raft is unloaded,52 logs, mostly white oak

November 1,1923...Steamer Beacon has extensive repairs, "HE" is in fine shape

November 27,1923...Chimneys are shortened on Steamer Ranger

December 1923...Phil Kassart is owner of Dredge Frankfort

January 1924... Drift log goes thru bottom of Old Tom Dodsworth

February 15,1924...The Ways gets ready for high water

February 22,1924...Steamer Creighton is condemned and ordered to have repairs by U. S. Inspectors

March 1,1924...Work on Keystone Dredge #4 is completed

March 12,1924...The Steamer Rebecca is one of the biggest jobs ever done at the Ways, details are given

April 1924...High water mark is 38'4" after flooding, mud is four feet deep at the Ways

May 3,1924...Steamer Harry has extensive repairs, details are given. Sam Morgan is Engineer on the Harry

May 10,1924...Steamer Conqueror hits the Rochester Bridge, buckles her mid-ship 8" to port side

June 1924...diving job on Ways tracks

July 1924...Steamer Beacon does maintenance work around the Ways

August 1,1924...Building "Pittsburgh Coal Company" signs for Voyager, Ranger, and Cruiser

August 20,1924...Steamer Cruiser gets a new pilot wheel

September 8,1924...Steamer Voyager gets new rubber strakes on port side

September 23,1924...The second major repairs in 1924 for the Steamer Creighton

October 1924...Steamer Cruiser gets annual inspection

December 1924... Steamer Beacon has repairs during Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks

January 1,1925...Steamer National is a big winter job, weather was cold and ugly

January 6,1925...Dock #6 is being abandoned by Pittsburgh Coal Company

January 29,1925...Steamer Hibernia has broken Pitman strap repaired

February 1925...Tug Mike Doughtery docks for general repairs

March 1925...Wm.Fortner owns the Luzerne

October 1925... JW's last day at the Ways   

August 4, 1926... JW does some consulting work for Standard Oil

January 8, 1927...Packet Kate Adams burns

February 5, 1927... JW inspects Steamer City of Pittsburgh

March 10, 1927... Steamer J. H. Hillman makes maiden trip

May 6, 1927... Steamer Monongahela goes up river

May 23, 1929... Steamer Jim Brown being wrecked

Summer 1929... JW lists some boats that passed under Elizabeth Bridge

Late 1929 - Early 1930...A year later Steamer Jim Brown is burnt

September 14, 1933...Death of long time Riverman Reno Baum

March 4, 1934...  the River is bank full of heavy ice

Fall 1935... JW Remembers his Boat Building Days

Winter 1936/37...Steamer R.J. Heslop burns

Winter 1937/38...JW visits some boats under construction

March 27, 1939...Old buildings at the Ways are being Wrecked

1940s ... JW's Final River Related Journal Entries

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