Visual display of the Virginia (Packet, 1895-1912)

Virginia (Packet, 1895-1912)

  • 1911
  • BOAT DESCRIPTION: Sternwheel
  • BOAT TYPE: Packet
  • BUILT: 1895 at Cincinnati, Ohio
  • BECAME: Steel City
  • FINAL DISPOSITION: Renamed while undergoing repairs at Point Pleasant, West Virginia in 1912
  • OWNERS: Pittsburgh and Cincinnati Packet Line
  • OFFICERS & CREW: Captain Thomas Calhoon (master, 1896); Robert H. Kerr (purser, 1896); Harry Ollom (pilot, 1896); Spence Sandford (pilot, 1896); ? Johnson (engineer, 1896); ? Owens (engineer, 1896); John Sweeney (mate, 1896); Hod Knowles (mate, 1896); Irwin Johnson (steward, 1896); Captain Alf Pennywitt (master, circa 1902); Captain Charles W. Knox (master, 1910); Billy Anderson (pilot, 1910)
  • RIVERS: Ohio River
  • OTHER INFORMATION: Ways - 5593; Built by the Cincinnati Marine Railway Company with machinery by Griffith and Wedge. Construction was superintended by Captain J. Frank Ellison. Was known to be exceptionally quiet in operation. She had 50 staterooms in the cabin and 10 more in the texas. The cabin was white with panels of Lincrusta Walton. She was one of the first steamboats on the upper Ohio River to have a carbon arc searchlight contained in a glassfronted case with a reflector, called a White Squadron light which was imported from the Atlantic seaboard. She had distinctive arch hogchains, an innovation later used on other boats. On March 3, 1904 she struck a submerged bridge pier at Steubenville, Ohio. Her hull was ruptured but assistance from the local fire department and from towboats Raymond Horner and Ironsides prevented her from sinking. She was the first packet to pass under the completed Wabash Railroad bridge at Pittsburgh in 1904. In 1909 her fancy-topped stacks were replaced with plain "towboat" stacks after she sank at the lower landing at Wellsville, Ohio on April 13, 1909. She had hit a hidden obstruction while backing away from the bank which caused damage to the hull and caused her to sink. Damage was estimated at $500. In early March 1910 she landed at Willow Grove, West Virginia to put off a passenger. While attempting to leave, she was carried over a submerged cornfield and became stranded. Damage to the boat was estimated at $4000. In a week's time the river was a half mile away and she remained high and dry in the cornfield becoming a tourist attraction. The John Eichleay Jr. Company, a contracting firm, moved her back to the river but she could not be launched due to the sandy riverbank soil. A rise in the Ohio River finally allowed her to move again. On December 18, 1911 she struck an overhead cable at the construction site of Dam 26 on the Ohio River which knocked down her stacks and tore up the pilot house. While having repairs made at Point Pleasant, West Virginia, she was renamed Steel City
  • PHOTO DESCRIPTION: At Point Pleasant, West Virginia in 1911
  • Virginia (D)


Bowyer, C. C.
  • 1911
Local identifier
  • Neg. 16677
For Staff