ohio river scenes

Dr. Geo. Mackey

The ferry Dr. Geo. Mackey
from a Facebook post by Brown County Ohio History

“Capt. Jos. T. Armer purchased last week the Dr. Geo. Mackey, the ferry at this place.  We congratulate Capt. Armer in succeeding in the purchase and congratulate the people on both sides of the river in securing a man who will be accommodating and satisfactory to all. Capt. A. is a natural river man, and understands thoroughly how to manage things with safety and security to his patrons.  Capt. Walker has made a safe and reliable ferryman and has made many friends during his sojourn with us in this capacity.”Bracken Chronicle, Sept. 4, 1884


Augusta Ferry Landing Ferry, Augusta, Kentucky
  Augusta Wharf Boat

The wharf boat at Augusta burned down in 1930, killing Wharf Master James Wayman, 72, and his adopted son Hobart, 14.

Ferry, Augusta, Kentucky Ferry, Augusta, Kentucky Ferry, Augusta, Kentucky Ferry, Augusta, Kentucky
The Levee, Augusta, 1906 Augusta Wharf
The 7 Wonders,
c. 1920
The Ferry Welcome,
c. 1900

Ferry, Augusta, Kentucky

This unusual photograph shows two of Augusta's Ferries, the Augusta, and the O'Neill, and is taken from the Boudes Ferry side of the river.  July 1, 1946.

Runs Aground

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, February 2, 1886

Ferry, Augusta, Kentucky
The Lawrence, at the mouth of Bracken Creek, Spring of 1886. Low water could be, as illustrated here, a big problem.

the O'Neill Augusta Ferry
The O'Neill in the Ice of 1917-1918 Augusta Ferry
The car's a 1939 Plymouth.
from a Jim Robb posting on Facebook.


The Relief The Relief
Around 1925, The Relief was purchased by Captain Greene and used at Maysville, Kentucky. Kline O'Neill next took her to Augusta, Kentucky for ferry service there, prior to 1935. He dismantled her in the summer of 1943. Some of her lumber was used in building the Shamrock Cafe at Augusta, Kentucky. Neither of these images were taken at Augusta.


Ferry, Augusta, Kentucky Ferry, Augusta, Kentucky The Augusta
The Whisper
Built in Ashland in 1881, the Whisper was owned by L. W. Parker and the Edgington family when she ran in Augusta.
“Capt. W. L. Thomas' good little ferry, which was formerly at Augusta, Ky., is now running at Manchester, O., the ferry at that point being on the docks. Capt. Thomas has an A1 ferry, but was supplanted by the Whisper, which was at Crown City [Ohio].” Waterways Journal, June 9, 1900


Ferry, Augusta, Kentucky The Augusta The Augusta
Left, the Central City.  Kline O'Neill bought her and used parts from her to build the ferry Augusta, right.


The Augusta

Before modern dams raised the water levels, dredge boats were common sights along the Ohio, creating clear channels for river traffic. This unknown dredge is seen at Augusta


Ferry, Augusta, Kentucky

“The ferry boat Whisper, while tied up at the bank here sank in about ten feet of water.  The boat sank so suddenly that Engineer Ed Parker, who was asleep on the Whisper, barely had time to make an escape.”  Owenton News-Herald, February 27, 1908.


Ferry, Augusta, Kentucky Ferry, Augusta, Kentucky
The stern wheeler O'Neill The ferries O'Neill & Mister Haines

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“The O'Neill was in steam in 1946 at Augusta, KY.  Built in Pt. Pleasant, WV, 1939, steel hull, stern wheel with engines 9's-4 ft stroke from the Proctor R. Smiley.  Originally named Rosemary and owned by the 26th Street Ferry Co., Huntington.  Sold to Capt. Kline O'Neill in Augusta, KY in 1944 and renamed.  Changed to diesel in 1947 and dismantled in 1954.” - from the S&D Reflector, June, 2005.

The Courier-Journal ran this story on the resumption of ferry services with the Mister Haines.

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Ohio River at Augusta     Ferry, Augusta, Kentucky Ferry, Augusta, Kentucky Ohio River at Augusta
Same photo; two publishers. Hmmm.
Steamer is the Courier.
Steamers passing Augusta


W. F. Nisbet M. P. Wells
W. F. Nisbet M. P. Wells
The W. F. Nisbet, most of the time, ran in trade above Cincinnati until she sank and was lost at Wellsburg, about five miles below Augusta, Kentucky on January 1, 1900. Captain George Edgington bought the M. P. Wells in 1889 and ran her between Vanceburg and Augusta. She was rebuilt in 1904 and became the packet Chilo.



The Reliance Reliance
  The Reliance Kentucky Post, September 27, 1895


Ferry, Augusta, Kentucky Steamers at Augusta
The steamer Greenland, at the Augusta wharf left, The Greenland; right, The Courier, at Augusta


H. P Wells
The H. P. Wells was built for Captain William E. Roe and M. Richter and named for a citizen of Marietta, Ohio. Originally a single deck boat, she soon was sold to the Brown family of Hartford, West Virginia, who ran her Gallipolis-New Haven. Captain George Edgington bought her in 1889 and ran her Vanceburg-Augusta. The Greene Line acquired her in 1904, rebuilt her and renamed her Chilo, as which she sunk near New Richmond, Ohio in 1921.Loaction of this images isn't known.


Ferry, Augusta, Kentucky Ferry, Augusta, Kentucky

Captain Augusta Byron French owned five different showboats, each named The New Sensation.  The first one, on the left, whose last performance was at Augusta in 1887, seated 79. The fifth one, one the right, was constructed across the river in Higginsport, in 1901, and seated 960. Location of the two images above is unknown.


Ferry, Augusta, Kentucky

The Ferry Landing, 1947

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A new ferry is announced. In 1841. Story here.
“The competitive fight between the ferryboats The Whisper and H. O. Hugart, at Augusta, Ky., is ended. Each boat owned a landing on either side of the river. Peace was brought about by Capts. J. O'Neal [sic] and C. Smith, of the Whisper, buying the landing place of the opposition boat. The sum is said to have been paid her owner, Capt. Lemon Thomas, was $800. That latter's boat is now tied up at the bank.” Waterways Journal, April 7, 1900, reprinting an item from the Cincinnati Commercial Tribune.
Mr. Lemon Thomas wrote a letter to the editor of the Augusta Chronicle in April
 of 1900, detailing the history of the ferry in Augusta and Boudes Ferry.  Read it here.
The Ripley, an Augusta ferry, is hit by a log; sinks. Here.  
Ugly racial incident on the wharf boat in 1877.  Read it here. Gruesome ferry accident
near Augusta in 1874, here.
“The Steamboat Phœbus burst her boiler on Thursday, the 18th inst., whilst ascending the river, within a few miles of Augusta.  The Phœbus plies as a regular packet between Cincinnati and Louisville.  One of the firemen was killed by the explosion, and two others slightly wounded.”
  Louisville Daily Journal, August 27, 1831

Augusta, Ky

Oops. Missing the ferry.
From a Facebook post by Jacqueline McMurrin

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