Str Georgetown

The Georgetown, a sternwheel packet built in Line Island and Pittsburgh in 1852.  The capacity was rated at 183 tons which was average for that period.  Owned by Thomas W Poe and other partners from Georgetown, PA, the Georgetown was snagged on the Missouri on 12 Oct 1853, raised, and returned to service.  On 11 May 1855 the Georgetown was fatally snagged at Bellefontaine Bluffs on the Missouri in route to a military post. [1] 

Like most Poe family boats, several family members and a few close friends were partners.  Thehe original ownership according to the Certificate of Enrollment of the Customhouse in Pittsburgh, PA is displayed in the following table.


Str Georgetown

Owners and Partners Share Vol: 6635
Thomas Poe 3/16 Enroll No : 117
Jacob Poe 3/16 Cert Date: 24 Sep 1852
George Poe 1/16 Cert Type:: Enrollment
Joseph Calhoon 3/16 Build Locn: Line Island, PA
Mrs AB McClure (Elizabeth Poe) 2/16 Build Date: 1852
Andrew Poe 2/16    
GW Ebbert 2/16    


This boat is interesting because it is the first Thomas W Poe packet to work on the Missouri River for an extended period of time before the Civil War and Montana Gold Rush.   Brother Adam W Poe had been in Missouri in 1837 or 1838 to examine a quarter section of land he had purchased.  He had traveled by boat and worked his way back to Georgetown as a deck hand on several boats including the Maine.  The Poe family was familiar with the western territories of the United States when our flag had fifteen stars.

After one year of operation, the str Georgetown was apparently sold to a group of investors from Illinois.  The folowing table contains the information for a Certificate of enrollment registered in Pittsburgh with a surrender reason of “Change of Ownership” dated 29 Sep 1853. 

Str Georgetown

Owners and Partners Share Vol: 6636
Sy Cabell 1/5 Enroll No : 20
S & WB Thayer 1/5 Cert Date: 29 Sep 1853
Wheeler Osborns 1/5 Cert Type:: Enrollment 117
John Wood 1/56 Build Locn: Line Island, PA
GW Burns 1/5 Build Date: 1852

 Loaded with US supplies, the str Georgetown was fatally snagged on 11 May 1855 near Bellefontaine Bluffs on the Missouri River. [2]




[1] Frederick Way, Jr.,Way’s Packet Directory, 1848-1994, (Ohio University Press, Athens 1994), p. 186.

[2]  Ibid.


Copyright © 2012 Francis W Nash
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