According to "Wheeling Island: A Photographic History," by Robert Schramm, the steam-powered "Islander" replaced a previous river current-powered ferry boat, the "Lea-Board." Schramm writes in a brief history of ferry boat service to Wheeling Island:
"Beginning on May 2, 1830, the Zane brothers employed Mr. Walker Hunter to operate a "Horse Ferry" across the east channel. Two horses located in stalls on the port and starboard side of the ferry boat walked on treadmills which were connected to paddle wheels that drove the boat forward. This Horse Ferry was replaced by a "Lea-Board" ferry in 1832. This ingenious device used a cable stretched across the river to guide the boat, and system of boards or rudders which were placed at an angle to the current of the river. A vector component of the force of the current against these rudders propelled the craft back and forth across the river. About 1840, the Lea-Board ferry was replaced by a steam-engine powered ferry boat known as The Islander. . .
"The point of landing of the ferry boats on the Island side of the river was immediately in front of the residence of Daniel Zane (about at the extreme eastern end of Ohio Street today) and on the city side at the foot of Eleventh Street."
[Schramm, Robert W. Wheeling Island: A Photographic History. Wheeling, WV: Creative Impressions, 2006.]
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