Windships Posted June 5, 2021 Share #241 Posted June 5, 2021 Z. BIDDLE - Illinois River Steam Sternwheel Ferry NARA in Kansas City located the Master Carpenters Certificate for this vessel - August 10, 1878 - James Heywood/Haywood Pittsfield Public Library - Reference Librarian located this fellow in the 1880 Census. Born in New York, lived in Valley City, Flint Township, Illinois - right near Griggsville Landing where the vessel (the hull at least) was built. Wreck Report - none have been found. Inspection Reports - Several were made, but no actual reports/data discovered yet. Still searching for descriptions/sketches/drawings or photographs. Abraham Lincoln Library - Springfield - has a very good run of early Griggsville newspapers, but cannot provide scans in large numbers from their microfilm remotely. Hopeful of a relative in the area doing some in-person research at that library. This morning in an 1891 volume about Pike and Calhoun county luminaries, I learned that there were "old steam barges" working on the Illinois as early as 1831, and there was a newspaper in operation in that area with a steam powered printing press. Some early barges were built from trees (duh) cut with a whipsaw. Later, of course steam saw mills... Current thinking - given the relatively narrow Illinois at the crossing in question, and the smallish hull dimensions of the Z. BIDDLE that she may have been not much more than a sternwheel barge herself. Hope others are doing well with their research and building. mtaylor, Cathead and Canute 3 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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