William M. Black

by Camellia Staab July. 24, 2021 480 views
The William M. Black is one of four almost identical sisters. The others are William S. Mitchell (operated until 1986, now used as the U.S.S. Nightmare at Cincinnati, OH), Captain William Clark and Captain Meriwether Lewis (operated until 1969, now used as a museum at Brownsville, NE). The four sisters were sidewheel dustpan dredges for the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Black’s metal hull and main deck have superstructures of the same material while the upper deck and pilot house are constructed entirely of wood. The main deck contains a machine shop, two boilers that boast large metal smokestacks bearing Corps of Engineers insignia, two paddle wheel areas, and the dredge pump engine.

This vessel, which is 277 feet long and 85 feet wide, was built in 1934 by the Marietta Manufacturing Company in Point Pleasant, West Virginia for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The boat, which cost $628,000 to build in 1934, was one of the last great steam-powered side-wheelers used for dredging operations primarily on the Missouri River and Mississippi River. Powered by two 32-ton side-wheelers, one of which now stands in front of the Riverboat Museum, the Black burned 7,000 gallons of oil daily in its huge boilers. The boat had the capability of dredging 80,000 cubic feet of silt daily, while crawling at a speed between 150 and 200 feet per hour. A 50- to 60-man crew operated the boat around the clock.

The sternwheeler towboat Logsdon is part of the Mississippi River Museum at Dubuque, Iowa. She is placed at the formerly Dubuque Boat and Boiler Works close to the ice harbor and only some yards away from the William M. Black.

This particular tugboat belonged to Curtis Logsdon who also owned and operated the Port of Beardstown Dock to moor company-owned floating equipment.

Length 72 feet - Breadth 15 feet - Sternwheel towboat
Built 1940 at Beardstown, IL.

Length 72 feet - Breadth 15 feet - Sternwheel towboat Built 1940 at Beardstown, IL.

I know that about now, you are saying:

"Ok Camellia, you are going overboard! Taking photos of an old junky battery????"😂

My answer is:

"But of course you have to take a photo of a junky battery when you know exactly where that battery was purchased from".😉

And in case you were wondering how a steamboat is built, wonder not!




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There are 16 comments , add yours!
David Nurse 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Very enjoyable read. Great photos.

1 month, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to David Nurse 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Thank you David smile

1 month, 3 weeks ago Edited
Antonio Gil 2 months ago

Love the sequence and the text explaining us how everything worked. great report my friend. The bed in #13 looks like if someone has just leave it undone

2 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Antonio Gil 2 months ago

Thank you Antonio 😊

2 months ago Edited
John Durham 2 months ago

Love itanchor+1(look at me - I emojilated)

2 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to John Durham 2 months ago


2 months ago Edited
Gethin Thomas 2 months ago

Great post. Really interesting history. As for the battery, it has to be the best I have ever seen, thank you for including it. wink

2 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Gethin Thomas 2 months ago

It definitely was the best....look how long it lasted.😁😁

2 months ago Edited
Berckmans Peter 2 months ago

A lot of class and style in that time. The kitchen would serve me nice. That battery, I can see why, but coming from you, woooow.

2 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Berckmans Peter 2 months ago

I'd take that kitchen as well, as long someone else did the clean up after me smile

2 months ago Edited
Brian Scott 2 months ago

Love it, a great insight +1🥰

2 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Brian Scott 2 months ago

Thank you smile

2 months ago Edited
Thomas Thompson 2 months ago

What a wonderful series love old ships and boats they all had style smile Now I am not sure what you battery is about grinning   However must mean something to you or I missed it in the clue

2 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Thomas Thompson 2 months ago

Definitely had style!

2 months ago Edited
Tsao T-F 2 months ago

Thank you for sharing a pleasant trip with us. Beautiful snapshots, interesting information...
It's impossible to me to have a really travel in those places.anchor

2 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Tsao T-F 2 months ago

Happy  to share smile

2 months ago Edited
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