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The Steamboat

Transportation in Wheeling Icon

▼ The Steamboat "Washington" Quicklinks

 ▼ History  |   ▼ Newspaper Articles   |   ▼ Images   |   ▼ Additional Resources     

The "Washington," Wheeling's First Steamboat

Built in Wheeling by steamboat captain and inventor Henry Miller Shreve in 1816, the "Washington" would be the prototype of all future Western River steamboats and Wheeling was thereafter known as the “Birthplace of the American Steamboat.”

▶ Read about the "Washington" on Archiving Wheeling (blog post by John Bowman)

Newspaper Articles

Old-Time Steamboat, Wheeling's First SteamerWheeling Intelligencer, July 10, 1886


Wheeling resident and steamboat expert John Bowman with a model of the steamboat "Washington." Mr. Bowman built the replica based on descriptions of the original. The replica can be seen at West Virginia Independence Hall in Wheeling, WV (image provided by John Bowman).

John Bowman and a replica of the Steamboat Washington. Built by Mr.  Bowman, the replica now resides at West Virginia Independence Hall in Wheeling, WV.

Additional Resources

Materials in the Library: circulating 
▶ "A history of the steamboat Washington: the first successful Western Rivers steamboat," Bowman, John, 2013, circulating copy in Adult Non-Fiction, Call #: 386.3 Bowm 2013
▶ "Boat building: Wheeling's first major industry with early Wheeling history," Bowman, John, 2018, circulating copy in Adult Non-Fiction, Call #: 386.22 Bowm 2018

Materials in the Library: Wheeling Room, non-circulating 
▶ "Wheeling: the birthplace of the American steamboat," Bowman, John, 2008, Wheeling Room, non-circulating, ask for access at reference desk. Call #: Wheeling 386.3 B684w 

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