Upcoming in St. Charles, Mo.
The Early History of Steamboats on the Missouri River
Presentation by Historian Barbara Giles
The Missouri River was never kind to steamboats, but for several decades the river served as a highway to the west, with steamboats being the main conduit of settlers and supplies for the western expansion. Barbara Giles will share highlights of this moment in American history and how steamboats played a crucial role in the settlement of the United States.
Time and Place
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Big A's on the Riverfront
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Presentation by Barbara Giles
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
6. p.m. Social Hour at Big A’s Restaurant
7:00 p.m. Presentation
At Big A’s Restaurant (in the back room)
308 N Main St. – St Charles, MO
Presentation is FREE and open to the public!
Hosted by Greenway Network
The Missouri River was never kind to steamboats, but for several decades the river served as a highway to the west, with steamboats being the main conduit of settlers and supplies for the western expansion. From the intricate and evolving design of these impossible river crafts to the stories of the people that transformed this dangerous journey up the Missouri River into a phenomena of western movement and shipping, Barbara Giles will share her research into the development of steamboat travel on the Big Muddy.
Barbara Giles is a retired molecular biologist whose interest in early Missouri River history turned into an obsession of sorts when she discovered that one of her ancestors was famous Missouri River steamboat pilot Joseph M. LaBarge. Her and her husband Roger now own and operate a steel-hulled sternwheel paddleboat named the “Joseph M. LaBarge” which is moored at Cooper’s Landing in Boone County. Her alternate title for this presentation is: “Lessons Learned from My LaBarges: the Captain and the Sternwheeler”.
To Big A’s on the Riverfront, our host for the Speaker Series.
To get there from I-70
- Take I-70 to exit 229B – the 5th St. Exit
- Merge onto 5th St. headed north toward St. Charles.
- After about 1 mile, turn right on Monroe St.
- Turn left onto N. Main St.
- Big A’s will be on your right (308 N. Main St.) Additional parking is available in the rear.
- View on Google Maps.
Resources and Links
Dig deeper for more info on Missouri River steamboating:
- “History of Early Steamboat Navigation on the Missouri River – The Life and Adventures of Joseph LaBarge” by Hiram Chittenden – an online version of the 1903 classic (archive.org).
- “Navigating the Missouri – Steamboating o Nature’s Highway, 1819-1935” – by William E. Lass (463 pp)
- “Wild River, Wooden Boats” by Michael Gillespie (160 pp)
- “Steamboat Treasures – the inadvertant Autobiography of a Steamboat Man” and “Steamboat Legacies – The Life and Times of a Steamboat Family” – by Dorothy Schrader Heckman about “Steamboat Bill” Heckman.
- “Treasure in a Cornfield – the Discovery and Excavation of the Steamboat Arabia” – by Greg Hawley
- “Chapter 2 of the Steamboat Malta – Will They Dig?” – video and text, Aug. 30, 2016 – KSHB-TV, Kansas City
- “The Steamboat Malta begins to reveal its 175 year history” – by Cecilia Salamone, April 28, 2016, Columbia Missourian
- “The Steamboat Montana Resurfaces in the Missouri River” – video and text, Aug. 10, 2012 – by George Sells, FOX-2, St. Louis
- “Steamboat Travel was Dirty and Dangerous – especially on the Missouri River” – by Christina Lieffering (audio and text) – July 14, 2015 – KCUR
- “Missouri’s First Superhighway” – video (44 min) hosted by Cole County Historical Society.
- Missouri River Steamboats Facebook page
- Two great steamboat museums:Steamboat Arabia (Kansas City) andSteamboat Bertrand (DeSoto Bend National Fish & Wildlife Refuge)
The Big Muddy Speakers Series in St. Charles
is hosted by these wonderful partners:
All speakers are presenting for free and Big A’s is sharing the space for free! Thank you for sharing your knowledge with all of us!
The Big Muddy Speaker Series also takes place monthly in Rocheport and Kansas City.
A special thank you to Greg Poleski and Mike Garvey of Greenway Network for making this happen!