Why the steamboats fascinate me, I have no idea. Their majestic beauty chugging down the river, I can just imagine. I can remember riding on the old Baton Rouge ferry and on a steamer that docked briefly here in Alexandria.
As a young child, I remember riding on the boat that was owned by the Billups Oil Company. Buddy Billups and my father were room mates at LSU, many years ago. He established the Billups Service stations of the 1950′s.
So with that in mind, Alex started rummaging through his photo junk box, to see what he could find. I did find quite a few very early photographs of boats on the Red River and the Mississippi.
I have posted a few before, if I remember correctly. I am sure you can find them going back to old post.
This first one is of the W.T. Scovill..If you look at the wheel house, you can just make out the name. It is docked on the Pineville side of the river with what appears to be a barge attached to its side. There are bags of some type stacked on the deck. Produce or material of some kind. On the right you see the Murray Street bridge. To the center the Guaranty Bank building and several other establishments of the time period. The year of the photo is hard to pin down, but we know it is early 1900′s. I do not know much about the history of this boat. It was one of the many shallow draft steamboats that navigated the Red during the early 1900′s to the late 20′s. If you know more about it, please comment.
Now this next photograph is rare and unique. It shows a life style long gone. River merchants who went from town to town and set up their trade in the small river towns along the Mississippi and other rivers branching off the main river.
This photograph was taken across the river from Natchez, Mississippi. Probably before 1910 at the latest. Mr Webster was a man of many talents, as you can see by his signs. A jack of all trades. From the looks of things he was very succesful.
One can only take note of his many abilities. The rest is up to your imagination.
Back then, you did not have to go to medical school, nor did you need a licence of any kind to do the things that Mr Webster was so proficient at.
I have more. If you enjoy these, please let me know. I encourage comments.