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.
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!