I spent a couple of fun days in DC. BTW, the cherry blossoms are over. Sherron spent her time visiting museums and art galleries, and of course shopping in Georgetown. Together we did make time to observe the art display, “Suprasentorial”, on the Hirshorn Museum. And I do mean on the museum. The work was projected on the exterior walls of the museum – the entire surface – accompanied by many versions of the song “I only have eyes for you”. It shows dusk to midnight till the May 13. Quite impressive with Jupiter, Venus, and the moon aligned just above the museum from the sculpture garden.
While Sherron was touring, I was playing at the National Archives. I wanted to seriously review the Certificates of Enrollment from the Navigation Customhouse of Pittsburgh, PA (National Archive Records Administration Record Group 41). There are forty-nine (49) volumes covering the period between 5 Jan 1831 and 28 Jun 1901. I reviewed four volumes in two days. Do the math. It will takes a serious commitment of time to review all the records. Who is next the William M Lytle or Forrest R Holdcamper or Frederick Way, Jr character willing to dedicate a lifetime to compile this data from all the Customhouses into a modern data base application? Till that person is discovered I intend to put the Pittsburgh Customhouse data related to my Georgetown guys online so it will be available in at least two places.
At the National Archives, I learned some amazing stuff. For example, Georgetown river men continued to build keel boats through 1854. Jacob Poe built a keel boat named Big Foot in 1850. As you probably know, his brother Adam built the str Big Foot in 1875. The dimensions of the keel boat Big Foot were biblical. On the Certificate of Enrollment the length was 114 ft, breadth 17 feet 3 inches, and depth 1 foot 7 inches. Most of the Georgetown keel boats were rated between 25 and 50 tons. I intend to add keel boat data to my Xcel spreadsheet of steamboats and tugs.
In addition to the newly learned keel boat information, I discovered new Georgetown names associated with the river business. The Certs of Enrollment list the original owners which I intend to add to my steamer biographies. That process too will take some time.
In sum, two days of vacation has introduced an assortment of new information and generated the energy to develop the new topics.
Copyright © 2012 Francis W Nash
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