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Steamboat Bertrand

- from the Wheeling Intelligencer, Nov. 26, 1864


RIVER MATTERS—The steamer Express broke her rudder on her last trip, but was not materially detained. She left on Thursday, near about the usual time.

The Bertrand leaves today on her first trip, for St. Louis, she has six thousand kegs of nails, and other freight, making a good load. She is a nice trim little steamer, neat but not gaudy, and sits upon the water like a duck. She has a hundred and sixty-two feet deck, draws when light, about 18 inches. Her hull was built by Dunlevy & Co.; her machinery by Sweeney; her cabin by Gullet, of Pittsburgh, and furnished by Mendels. Her Captain, Ben Goodwin, is a well known river man, and Jerry Cochrane goes as Clerk. If the people down on the lower waters only knew Jerry as well as they do up here they'd all want to travel on his boat—that's all.

Book: The Steamboat Bertrand: History, Excavation, and Architecture, by Jerome Petsche, 1974.The Wheeling-built Bertrand hit a snag in the Missouri River twenty miles north of Omaha, Nebraska in 1865, and sank with no loss of life but all the cargo. Divers recovered the most valuable portions of the cargo soon after. In 1968 the wreck was rediscovered and carefully excavated. The excavation was described in The Steamboat Bertrand: History, Excavation, and Architecture, by Jerome Petsche, published by the GPO in 1974. A non-circulating copy of the book is available to view in the Wheeling Room of the Ohio County Public Library.

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service maintains the Steamboat Bertrand Collection at Desoto National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa, including a museum containing artifacts from the Bertrand.

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