ohio river scenes

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The Riverfront, c. 1906


ohio river scenes Ohio River Scene Ohio River Scene
The J. T. Hatfield II passing Maysville That's the underside of the old C&O
Railroad trestle on the left.
The ferry and the wharf boat


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Maysville Riverfront


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Front Street, June and December Looking up river, circa WWI The Old Swimming Hole


Buffalo Trace

Ville de sept collines
(City of Seven Hills)


River Scene

River Scene, c. 1910


Ohio River Scene

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from the left, that's the ferry Laurance; the Tacoma, which
ran packet service from Cincinnati to Charleston; The Florinel, a
pleasure craft owned by the ferry/wharf boat owner Con Phister;
 and on the far right, The Hornet, which we're told is shown here
unloading watermelons.  c. 1906.

The Tacoma at the Maysville Wharf




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Note the C&O tracks in this 1896
image of the Maysville waterfront

Daily packet service at Maysville in 1896 included
the Courier (left) to Cincinnati; the Silver Wave
(center) to Portsmouth; and the M. P. Wells, to Augusta.


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Ice at the Maysville Wharf, unknown year. Ohio River Scenes with Wharf Boat, 1912



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ohio river scenes


Moonlight on the Ohio Maysville, 1968  


Floodwall ohio river scenes
Floodwall Construction, September 27, 1953
From a Facebook post by Suzanne Beckman
Floodwall Construction, 1953


ohio river scenes

Ele Bowen journeyed down the Ohio River in 1855, and made
sketches along his way.  This is his Maysville sketch.  You can read his entire
book - Rambles in the Path of the Steam-Horse - online at Google Books.

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These two drawings are from 1821 !  They're from Adlard Welby's  A Visit to North  America and the English Settlements in Illinois.   You can find the entire text on the Library of Congress' site, here.  Search for Maysville, Kentucky or Adlard Welby when you get there.

Or, read just the Mason County portion of Welby's book here (pdf).

ohio river scenes
Scene of the Grand Union Barbeque, Maysville, 1861.  Read all about it, here


Floodwall Floodwall The Old Dutch Inn
The floodwall, shortly after completion, and during construction.




River Scene

A great photograph requires finding a scene in the right place, in the right light, and knowing what to do when you find it. This example, from April 21, 2021, comes from a Facebook post by Jessica Parker.



For Sale #33
Lock and Dam property for sale, 1969


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Lock & Dam No. 33,
August 1, 1918
under construction
Lock and Dam No. 33, opened
The first steamer, the Gield, went
 thru on March 1, 1922

Lock and Dam #33, from 1939.


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The high water of 1917 had submerged the coffer dams at the construction of Lock
and Dam #33 below Maysville.  The Jim Wood waited for days, but when water had
subsided a little, the owners, in Pittsburgh, said to try to get her through, so the captain tried. 
 He was going upstream against a heavy current, and the pictures tell you the rest of the story.


Ripley Island

Ripley Island
from a Ron Bailey Facebook post


Ohio River Ohio River
A pair of c. 1910 Maysville postcards in French.
Fleuve is the French word for as river that's a tributary to another river.


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  Upriver from Mason County used to be Ohio River Islands, 1887
This 135 acre island was actively farmed for over 40 years by Manchester's Frank Cooley.
And then there was the time the Buckeyes used the island for a lynching, details  here.

Mason Line

“Steamboats sometimes have odd things happen, and the second Buckeye State nearly was struck by a meteor on July 30, 1879. She was downbound at the time, in the first bend below Ripley, Ohio, and the pilot on watch was Eph Talbot. He saw the night sky illuminate to a brilliant purple and chanced to look back to determine the cause, when a sizzling missile from outer space whistled on a long slant downriver, right by the pilothouse, and landed in the river ahead of the steamboat. The captain emerged from his texas room in his long underwear to see what the commotion was, and Eph pointed to an agitated place in the river, now nearly alongside, where the water was hissing and boiling.”  -Capt. Frederick Way, Jr., writing in Vol. 60 of the Scholarly Journal of the Ohio Historical Society.
“A line of mail coaches was established from Wheeling to Limestone (Maysville), Ky., in July, 1794 to run once every two weeks.  These boats were built like whale-boats, were 24 feet long, were steered with a rudder, and were manned by one steersman, and four oarsmen, who carried | muskets and ammunition.”
from John Luther Ringwalt's 1888 Development of Transportation Systems in the United States.
Ice on the river is a major problem, especially when it breaks. Here's what happened in 1876.
Two killed in an ugly scene on the Ohio River in 1876, here.
“From May 1 until June 1, 1830, one hundred and fifty-five steamboats arrived, docked and made business and friends in the town.” from G. Glenn Clift's History of Maysville and Mason County
“The first inundated telephone two-wire telegraph cable ever laid, was placed across the Ohio river [at Maysville] November 28, 1853.” from G. Glenn Clift's History of Maysville and Mason County
News from the Maysville Wharf, 1893. River erosion was a problem in 1876.  More here.
A page of steamboat links can be found at this site. More info on the old and new Ohio River Locks and Dams is here.
The first under water telegraph cable is laid in 1852, story here.
Another one: “The Western Union Telegraph Company have
laid a cable across the Ohio River, at Maysville, Kentucky, which puts
that place in connection with Cincinnati.” Daily Alta California, December 27, 1866
An Ohio River tough guy comes to Maysville in 1851 looking for trouble. Probably won't be back. Story here.


Remember when the Ohio River wasn't a river, but a creek, starting at about Manchester, Ohio? No? That’s because you were born after the last glacier left the area.  Read all about it, here.

Mason Line

“The Ohio at Maysville Wednesday morning was frozen from bank to bank. the ice was six inches thick, and men were continuously passing across without peril. This has not happened since 1856” Courier-Journal, December 25, 1871. Followed within the month by: “The river shore at Maysville was lined on Sunday with ice-gatherers, and nearly enough was secured to fill all the houses in the city. It was splendid, clear ice, some measuring nine and ten inches in thickness, and as clear as crystal.” Courier-Journal, January 18, 1872

Mason Line

Steamboat travel was not without its hazards:

Story of the boiler explosion on the steamer Chautauqua, in Maysville, in 1871, here. (pdf)
Flatboat, in 1833, sinks in 5 feet of water.

Bostona Phaeton

The A. N. Johnson exploded near Maysville, here and here.

The burning of the steamer Bostona No. 3, here (pdf) The Steamer Phæton explodes near Mason  in 1881, story here.

Mason Line