Archive for the ‘History of Georgetown PA’ Category

The National Archives

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016


Last week I made my 9thtrip to The National Archives.  Usually a trip to DC is an overnight stay in a hotel or B&B.  A morning drive from Carlisle, PA allows one “pull” of references at approx. 1:30 PM if I arrive before 11:00 AM and meet the request time.  For reasons I do not understand, my requests take more time than most.  An archives reference specialist must “spot” my requests before the volumes are located and obtained.  Inadvertently I lose much valuable research time. 

Str Fearless Cert of Enrollment (The National Archives)

Although I made some progress last week, my pull request on Mon at 3:00 PM did not arrive at the reference room till almost noon on Tue.  This steamboat interest, obsession according to my wife, is expensive as well as time consuming. 

The jewel of this trip was the proof that the owner of the str Fearless was Capt Thomas S Poe just months before his death. 


My Monday request of four volumes of Certificates of Enrollment resulted in three on Tue.  By the time I realized I was missing a volume, my “archives vacation” time expired.  It was too late to submit another pull before I had to drive home.


Four more “full” days before I complete the review of the Certificate of Enrollments for the port of Pittsburgh.  By another measure, two overnight trips to DC.


I also need two or three days to review the Vessels File, Record Group 92, to complete the review of the service of the Georgetown civilians during the Civil war.




Copyright © 2016 Francis W Nash    All Rights Reserved

No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.


New Year Musing

Friday, January 1st, 2016

Am I an expert on the Civil War?  No. 

Do I know a lot now about Ohio River and Civil War packets? Yes. 

Will I ever write a book about Georgetown packets and the Civil War?  Most likely not.



Copyright © 2016 Francis W Nash  All Rights Reserved

No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.


Post Christmas Dinner

Monday, December 28th, 2015


Spread Eagle Tavern (F Nash Collection)

The Spread Eagle Tavern is a special place.  My sister and Bro-in-law treated my wife and me to a wonderful dinner at the seasonally decorated and fire-lit restaurant and inn.  The building is one of the finest examples of Federal Period Architecture in Ohio. 


In 1837, the tavern was built on the Sandy and Beaver Canal which connected to the Ohio and Erie Canal.  The Sandy and Beaver Canal was completed in 1848.  At that time the Spread Eagle was a flourishing place of commerce. The canal was abandoned in 1852 and with its loss commerce of the town also declined. 

By the way the Sandy and Beaver Canal was built along the west branch of the Little Beaver Creek which empties into the Ohio River at Smiths Ferry – opposite Georgetown, PA.


If ever road-weary along the Sandy and Beaver Canal, I highly recommend the Spread Eagle for lunch or dinner.    





Copyright © 2015 Francis W Nash  All Rights Reserved

No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.


Another Vintage Book

Friday, October 16th, 2015


Emmet C Trimble (Photo by Janet Ryan Waite in 2007)

For me, indescribable is a crazy understatement that fits the  deeply held feelings for the Civil War. There is an unconditional affection for the sacrifice and pain endured by the soldiers on both sides.  Know that those feelings are still intense after one-hundred-fifty years.

Last week, I found another used book: A Pennsylvania Quaker in Andersonville (The Diary of Charles Smedley) published by the Fulton Counnty Aid Society in 1865.  The diary is mainly concerned wiith the Andersonville prison.  My interest was peaked because I have a great-great uncle who died there.  However, my ancestor’s name was not listed in the Quaker’s diary with the prisoners who died in Andersonviille, GA.  Curious.  So I Googled the 101 PA Vol Inf and found the folllowing correction to my long held beliefs.


TRIMBLE, Emmet C. – Private, Co. G. Born 4 April 1842 in PA, the son of James and Mary Magdeline Trimble. Enrolled from Hookstown, Beaver Co., PA. Mustered in 2 Dec 61. Captured 20 April 64 at Plymouth, NC. Held captive at Andersonville, GA & Florence, SC. Arrived at the Florence Stockade 5 Oct 64. Paroled 10 Dec 64 at Charleston, SC. Died 18 March 65 of Erysipelas at U.S. General Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA. Buried in Georgetown Cemetery, Georgetown, Beaver Co., PA. GAR # 1103.


Emmet C Trimble was a prisoner in Andersonville for six months.  He was transferred to Florence, SC and later paroled.  Over the years the family story of Emmet C Trimble’s captivity obviously grew.  Even after someone dies, one-hundred -fifty years later  you can still learn new things about them.


Copyright © 2015  Francis W Nash  All Rights Reserved

No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.


Vintage Book

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

Transportation in the Ohio Valley fly leaf.

My reading this week has been A History of Transportation in the Ohio Valley by Charles Henry Ambler published in 1931.  The first edition history was lent to me by Michael Libenson who is the great great grandson of Capt Thomas Stevenson Calhoon.   The many comments and corrections hand written in the margins of the book make this book special.  Those comments were written by Harriet Darrington (Calhoon) Ewing (b ? d 1950), the daughter of Capt Thomas S Calhoon and great grandAunt of Michael Libenson. Her writing is the closest thing we have to a voice into these steamboat captains lives.  Mrs WH Ewing dated her copy of the book Oct 26, 1931.


Transportation in the Ohio Valley p173.


Along with her notes, Harriet D Calhoon taped a response letter from CH Ambler to the front flyleaf.  The response, on West Virginia University letterhead, was dated 13 Aug 1930.  The content of the letter indicated that the exchange of information was too late to be included in the forthcoming book.  Whether a meeting or additional correspondence between them ever took place is unclear.  There is no record of such a meeting and no updated edition of the book.  





Transportation in the Ohio Valley p293.


Harriet D Calhoon is well known to those with long memories.  Often Capt Frederick Way used her comments in articles about Georgetown in the S&D Reflector.  See Vol 2 No 4 Dec 1965 p10,12.

My final comment/concern is how many books similar to this history written by captains or pilots have I missed?











Copyright © 2015  Francis W Nash  All Rights Reserved

No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.




Fantastic Week

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

As my wife says, I never tire of telling Georgetown steamboat stories which is Oldspeak for boring people to death. That as background, my presentation to the Beaver Area Heritage Foundation was the highlight of my summer.   There I met many interesting people with a bent for local history.


On Mon before the BAHF presentation, I received an email from the great-great-grandson of Thomas S Calhoon = Mr Mike Libenson.  Mr Libenson was planning to visit Georgetown with his daughter on Sat and notified me via GeorgetownSteamboats.  From Boston, they carried gifts of gold: a book published in 1932 on Ohio Rriver Transportation and photos of Poe men that I had been unable to identify.  In addition to those items, Mr Libenson also has a complete genealogy of the Calhoon, Poe, and Parr families prepared by Dr John Ewing, Capt Thomas S Calhoon’s grandson.  I plan spending much time with that volume.


While visiting the Georgetown Cemetery with the Libensons, we spoke to Mr Tom Lombard who is the president of the Georgetown Cemetery Maintenance Association (donations greatly apppreciated).  Mr Lombard provided the history of the Calhoon cemetery lot, and others, plus a map of the cemetery with every stone marked and accommpanied by a listing by name, where legible, of the people interred.  The map and listing are a fantastic find that I will compare/merge with work already in progress. 




Copyright © 2015  Francis W Nash  All Rights Reserved

No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.



BAHF Program

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015


BAHF Postcard

BAHF Postcard

 Tue eve, I told a Georgetown story at the Beaver Area Heritage Foundation 2015 Speakers Series.  To me it was fascinating to see so many people interested in local history.  The people there had an incredible wealth of steamboat knowledge and river history.  Truly an inspiring evening for me.


The McDermotts, Judy and Jim, and the Deelos, Judy annd Mike, could not have been more accommodating.


I wish I knew more, and was a better presenter of, GeorgetownSteamboat stories.




Copyright © 2015 Francis W Nash All Rights Reserved

No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.



Steamboat Photos

Friday, August 14th, 2015

A wonderful series of steamboat photos has been posted on the East Liverpool Historiical Society website.  The images are attributed to Jim Paulaskas of Chester, WV.


The photos were taken in Georgetown, PA by members of the Capt Andrew Parr family circa 1899.




Copyright © 2015 Francis W Nash All Rights Reserved

No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.


Map: Beaver Co in 1817

Sunday, June 14th, 2015

While researching steamboat history within the PA Archives, I found a map of Beaver Co dated July 25, 1817 titled A Correct Map of Beaver County by Hugh McCollough, DS


To me the interesting finds on the map are the labels attached to road and trails.  There are two lines identified as “to George Town” and two eminating lines from Georgetown  “to Pittsburgh” (Pittsburgh Grade Road) and “to Washington” (Catfish Camp Trail).  


There is no Midland nor Aliquippa on the map. Beaver is on the map. But no roads are labeled “to Beaver”.  The map maker evidently viewed George Town as  an important cross roads or cross trails and entry into the Northwest territory. 


Check it out.  Beaver Co Map 1817.

The link to the original Melish-Whiteside County Map at the PA Archives.


Hugh McCollough, a vet of the War of 1812, died in 1841 and was buried in the Georgetown Cemetery. 



Copyright © 2015

Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved

No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.


Point of Beginning for Wisconsin

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

The Point of Beginning was associated with the Rittenhouse and Elliot survey of 1785 marking the western boundary of PA and the south east corner of the Northwest Territory.  Across the river from Georgetown, the survey point marked the starting point for the surveys of all public land west including Alaska, excluding the thirteen original colonies, Texas, and Hawaii.   The phrase, the Point of Beginning, was clearly more significant than the name given the geographic survey marker.  It referred to the spiritual and emotional heart of the American Dream – the springboard to the West.



The Historical Marker for the Point of Beginning for WI


The Wisconsin public land surveys began in 1832 and were completed in 1867.  Late in 1831, when Wisconsin was still in Michigan Territory, Lucius Lyon, U.S. Commissioner on the survey of the northern boundary of the State of Illinois, set a post to mark the intersection of that boundary and the 4th Principal Meridian.  Every section corner monument in the state, the boundaries of each county, city, village, township, farm and lot; the position of roads, lakes and streams, all were surveyed and mapped from this Point of Beginning (POB).

As the historical marker explains, this is where Wisconsin begins, both geographically and historically. [i]   

Of course, the POB for WI was mapped from the original POB marking the beginning of the Northwest Territory and the Commonwealth of PA which was across the Ohio River from Georgetown.


In the History of Wood County, Wisconsin, there are several interesting names in the Original Land Entries for Wood County, Wisconsin in 1856.  No land was taken in this Township 25, Range 3 until 1856. [2]  The first entries recorded included:


              Township 25 Range 3 (Marshfield and Cameron)  1856 

Name Recorded Sections Steamer in 1856
Jacob Poe 1,2,3,and 11 Belmont, Yorktown 1
Adam Poe 3 and 4 Ella, Financier 2
Thomas Poe 11 and 12 Georgetown
George W Ebert 12 Belmont, Washington City


Before the Civil War, the Georgetown Poes had accumulated considerable wealth in the river transportation business.  With their boats, they were delivering settlers and supplies to the lower Missouri River towns.  All the river ports on the Missouri River became wealthy outfitting emigrants following the Mormon, the Oregon, and the Santa Fe Trails.  In the years leading to 1856, the boats operated by Georgetown men are also listed in the table.  All of the named steamers were succesful.  Only the str Georgetown was fataly snagged on the lower Missouri. 


Profits from their steamboats were apparently invested in land.  In 1856, Jacob Poe, Adam Poe, Thomas Poe and George W Ebert acquired or “marked” land in Wood County, WI.  Whether their names are woven in the history of the county is unclear.  Remembered or forgotten, they laid the foundation for the history of the county. 


What became of their investments is unknown.  Why they would chose to acquire land in themiddle of an unsettled frontier territory without access to a major river is also open to speculation.  Sections 11 and 12 are adjacent to Sections 1 and 2 indicating that these four steamboat captains “marked” 6 square miles of land to settle together.  (According to the system of metes and bounds one Range was 6 miles; one Section was approximately 1 square mile; one township was comprised of 36 sections.)  Whether I stand to benefit from my ancestor’s investment  is still to be settled.   








[2] George O Jones, History of Wood County, Wisconson, HC Cooper Jr and Cooper, 1923, p70.





Copyright © 2015 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved

No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.