Water

Subcategories:
  • No categories
Clear

Entry Category: Water

Clarksville [Steamboat]

The Clarksville was a steamboat that caught fire while heading up the Mississippi River on May 27, 1848. Twenty-two passengers and crew members died in the disaster. The Clarksville was a “first rate and most comfortable” 484-ton sidewheel paddleboat built at Louisville, Kentucky, in 1845. It ran primarily between Memphis, Tennessee, and New Orleans, Louisiana, though it was heading to Nashville, Tennessee, on May 27, 1848. As the steamboat neared Island No. 75 about four miles below Napoleon (Desha County) at around 5:00 p.m., the deck around the boilers, which had become “unusually heated” during the boat’s rapid ascent of the river, burst into flames. The vessel’s fire hose was “out of order,” and by the time buckets of water …

Clermont [Steamboat]

The Clermont was a small steamboat that struck a snag and sank in the Mississippi River on March 8, 1867; one passenger drowned in the accident. The Clermont was a seventy-nine-ton sternwheel steamboat built in 1863 in New Richmond, Ohio. By early 1867, the vessel was carrying freight and passengers between Memphis, Tennessee, and ports along the White River in Arkansas. The steamer was heading from Jacksonport (Jackson County) to Memphis with a few passengers, 200 bales of cotton, and “some small lots of freight” when it struck a snag on the Mississippi River about twenty-five miles above Helena (Phillips County) at around 10:00 p.m. on March 8, 1867. The impact caused the Clermont to turn over, casting its chimneys …

Clermont No. 2 [Steamboat]

The steamboat Clermont No. 2 sank after hitting a snag on the White River near Augusta (Woodruff County) on December 4, 1851, killing twenty-two passengers. The Clermont No. 2 was a 121-ton sidewheel paddleboat built in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1845. Owned by a Captain Collins, the Clermont apparently usually ran on the St. Francis River but was traveling on the White River in late 1851. The steamboat hit a snag and sank in late September but was quickly raised and put back into service. The vessel had a far more serious accident in December. The Clermont No. 2 steamed away from Augusta on December 3, 1851, bound for Jacksonport (Jackson County) with nine cabin passengers and twenty-six deck passengers. At …

Coast Guard Auxiliary

aka: U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, established by Congress in 1939 to assist the U.S. Coast Guard with all missions except military operations and law enforcement, is composed of more than 32,000 volunteers worldwide. Its traditional role has been promoting recreational boating safety through public education courses, assisting with search and rescue missions, conducting marine safety patrols on lakes and rivers, supporting regattas and marine events, and offering free vessel safety checks for recreational boaters as well as commercial vessels. Before members of the auxiliary can inspect a boat, a detailed instruction course is required. The course must be repeated every three years. In 1962, eighty avid Arkansan boaters, primarily from two boat clubs in the Little Rock (Pulaski County) metropolitan area, provided …

Comet [Steamboat]

The Comet was the first steamboat to go up the Arkansas River, arriving at Arkansas Post on March 31, 1820. The Comet was built 1817, the second steamboat constructed at Cincinnati, Ohio. The 154-ton vessel featured a high-pressure, stern-wheel vibrating cylinder engine that had been patented by inventor Daniel French in 1809. The Comet, under the command of a Captain Byrne, left New Orleans, Louisiana, on March 23, 1820, and headed toward Arkansas’s territorial capital at Arkansas Post. The journey of 149 running hours took eight days, and the vessel entered the mouth of the Arkansas River at noon on March 31. As night descended, the Comet ran aground on the bank of the river, which delayed its progress for …

Congress and Saladin, Collision of

The steam packet Saladin collided with the steamboat Congress on the evening of February 14, 1846, near Islands 86 and 87 in the Mississippi River at Kentucky Bend off Chicot County, sinking the Congress and killing as many as thirty passengers and crew. The Saladin, a sidewheel packet built in Louisville, Kentucky, by Thomas C. Coleman and John Coleman in 1846, was steaming toward New Orleans, Louisiana, as the steamboat Congress was heading upriver with a load of dry goods and both cabin and deck passengers. The Saladin, having stopped at the landing of the William H. Pope plantation, reentered the river channel at about 7:00 p.m. on the “cloudy and very dark” night. Spying the Saladin when it was …

Cote Joyeuse and Talma, Collision of

The steamboats Cote Joyeuse and Talma collided near Big Cypress Bend (Chicot County) on the Mississippi River in the early morning hours of August 20, 1847, sinking the Cote Joyeuse and killing one of the vessel’s officers. The Cote Joyeuse was a 142-ton steamboat built at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1842 and owned by Captain Thomas T. Tunstall of Jacksonport (Jackson County). The ship advertised regular runs to Pocahontas (Randolph County), Powhatan (Lawrence County), Batesville (Independence County), Jacksonport, and Elizabeth (Jackson County) and could “take freight for all the bends below White River” while descending the Mississippi to New Orleans, Louisiana. Around 1:30 a.m. on August 20, 1847, the Cote Joyeuse collided with the Talma, a 306-ton sidewheel paddleboat built in …

Dardanelle Pontoon Bridge

The Dardanelle Pontoon Bridge was the largest pontoon bridge in existence in the United States, crossing the Arkansas River between Dardanelle (Yell County) and Russellville (Pope County). A toll bridge, it opened for traffic in 1891 and lasted until the construction of a steel bridge replacement in 1929. The bridge cost $25,000, financed by a group of stockholders and built by Roberts and Sons of Independence, Missouri. Construction started in 1889, and the bridge opened for traffic on April 1, 1891. It was over 2,200 feet long and eighteen feet wide, with a load limit of 9,000 pounds. Originally, each end of the bridge was anchored to a piling, and only the center actually floated. However, the fluctuation of the …

Defender [Steamboat]

The Defender was a Mississippi River steamboat that sank after hitting a snag near Laconia (Desha County) on April 14, 1860, killing at least three people. The Defender was a 294-ton sternwheel paddleboat built at Brownsville, Pennsylvania, in 1855. In 1860, it was commanded by a Captain Evans and running between New Orleans, Louisiana, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The vessel left New Orleans in April 1860 with a full load of cargo, including a reported “560 hogsheads sugar, 330 barrels molasses, 60 crates, 400 dry hides, 30 tons copper and iron, 300 sacks coffee, and a large amount of miscellaneous freight.” The steamboat also carried forty cabin passengers and thirty deck passengers. The Defender was steaming up the Mississippi River near …

Eagle [Steamboat]

The Eagle was a 118-ton steamboat that was the first steamer to navigate up the Arkansas River to Little Rock (Pulaski County), stopping at the capital on its way to deliver supplies to Dwight Mission near modern-day Russellville (Pope County). The Eagle, which was built in 1818 and commanded by a Captain Morris, reached Little Rock on March 16, 1822, having left New Orleans, Louisiana, seventeen days earlier and taken fifty-one hours to reach the territorial capital from the mouth of the Arkansas River—a journey that would have taken up to a month by keelboat. The Arkansas Gazette reported that Little Rock’s citizens were “very agreeably surprised” by the vessel’s arrival, which “reflects much credit on Capt. Morris for his …

Eclipse [Steamboat]

aka: City of St. Joseph [Steamboat]
The Eclipse was a steamboat that struck a snag on the Mississippi River near Osceola (Mississippi County) on September 12, 1925; a deckhand and a passenger lost their lives in the accident. The sternwheel paddleboat that would later be named the Eclipse was built in 1901 at St. Joseph, Missouri, for Captain A. Stewart for service on the Missouri River, and was christened the City of St. Joseph. The steamer was 162 feet long and thirty-six feet wide with a five-foot draft. The vessel was later sold to the Planter’s Packet Company in Memphis, Tennessee, and later to the Lee Line, which ran it on a route between Memphis and Caruthersville, Missouri. The 1925 accident was not the first for …

Emerson [Steamboat]

aka: Moline
The steamboat Emerson was towing a “floating palace” when it struck an obstruction and sank near Osceola (Mississippi County) on October 3, 1908; one person was killed in the accident. The Emerson was a sternwheel paddleboat built as the Moline at Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1880. The 140-foot-long, twenty-six-foot-wide vessel was owned by Dimock, Gould & Co. of Moline, Illinois, and worked along the upper Missouri River. In the summer of 1900, the Kansas City Navigation Company acquired the Moline and converted the vessel into an excursion boat. Captain Ralph Emerson and a partner bought the steamboat in 1907 and renamed it the Emerson in February 1908, using the vessel to tow “Emerson’s Floating Palace,” a traveling entertainment venue. One newspaper …