Site hosted by Build your free website today!


Excerpts from a log of keel and flat boats traveling the Ohio and Mississippi from Wellsburg to New Orleans between 1834 and 18367 disclosed some interesting facts about this mode of transporting produce and goods. The log was presented to the Brooke County Historical Society by Ada Finley in memory of Robert L. Finley.

Captains of the boats were James P Palmer, Lattimor, Curran, Logan, James Gillesthrop, Crawford, Thompson, Logue, and William Connell. The captains received 1/3 of the profit made on a trip.

One keel boat was called "Crusade", another "Everett Starr", and still another "The Star of (Name not legible" At other times the boats were designated as Number 1,2,3 and etc.

Apparently all of the boats were made in Wellsburg and cost approximately $184.87 to build. Applegate and Gass were mentioned as building one of the boats. Outfitting the boat for the trip included one or two skiffs, and extra pump, potatoes, bread, coffee, sugar, spices, candles, tea, bacon, soap, brooms, nails, whiskey, gin and brandy at an approximate cost of $38.41. Insurance for 66 days on the cargo added another $19.75 and extra cash for whiskey and emergencies was $57.00, or a total cost, including the boat of $300.03.

Sometimes the boat was sold in New Orleans for the lumber and other times it was brought back to Wellsburg loaded with a cargo of sugar and spices etc.

Profits as low as $424.90 and as high as $1,360.66 could be expected and a very good trip netted one owner $10,139.00. Of course, this type of trip was the exception, not the rule.

Stops were made at Wheeling, Cincinnati and other points along the river to pick up and discharge cargo. The cargos consisted of: Flour from the mills of CLARK AND TIERNAN, HUNTER, WAUGH, PATTERSON, MILLER AND GIST, FOWLER, PUGH, MAHON, CLARK AND FOWLER, AND ERSKINE - 278 barrels at $67.50; Window glass 8 x 10, 10 x 12 and 145 x 16, and boxes of glass wares from J. AND D. MARKLEY, LOWTHER AND COMPANY, LOWTHER AND MILLER OF WELLSBURG AND ENCELL AND PLUNKET OF WHEELING--$740.00 and $101.05....Stoneware from BAKEWELL $89.70; 3 lb nails - 25 cents; 1 gal whiskey 37 cents; 5 guns from MC CONNANT - $90.00; 15 lbs coffee - $2.40; 14 casks of cheese - $122.64; 4 kegs butter - $20.60; 29 kegs lard - $82.50; 1 gal gin- 75 cents; 2 bushels potatoes -$10.00; tea kettle and coffee pot $1.00; 8 teaspoons - $1.12; one secretary and bookcase $36.00; three dozen chairs and Lloyds - $37.00; wagon - $40.00; drag $30.00; 50 lbs sugar - $5.50; also horse collars, bacon, paper, onions, jugs, wheat, molasses, all kinds of spices, tinware, hops, bedsteds and etc.

The Finleys are to be congratulated for contributing so much to the history of the county.