A New Boat on the Ocmulgee

17 Apr

The freight steamer River Queen, which ran between Wilmington and Fayetteville, and from which Capt. A. H. Worth had only a few days since retired as commander, was burned at her wharf in Wilmington during the big fire of Sunday last.  The River Queen was owned by Mr. Bagley, and was partially insured.

[Fayetteville Observer And Gazette – February 25, 1886]

— Messrs. Bagley & Stewart, owners of the steamer River Queen, will rebuild the boat at once, and expect to be running on the river again in about two months.

[Wilmington Morning Star – Sat., February 27, 1886]

The Steamboat J. C. Stewart – Her Arrival
At Hawkinsville – Freight and
Passenger Accommodations.


The new steamboat, J. C. Stewart, from Wilmington, N. C., to Hawkinsville, on Monday night last, in charge of Capt. J. G. Bagley, with Anderson Newsome and George Bennefield as pilots, arrived at Hawkinsville.  The Stewart is a boat of substantial construction, with a carrying capacity of one hundred and twenty-nine tons and accommodations for twenty cabin passengers.  She was built in Wilmington, N. C., last summer for Messrs. Lasseter, Ham & Co., of Hawkinsville, and this is her first trip up the Ocmulgee.  Capt. Bagley left Wilmington on the 4th inst., but lay up several days at Darien.

The Stewart has a light draught of eleven inches, and can traverse the Ocmulgee at six and a half to seven miles an hour up stream.

She brought up on her first trip several bales of cotton and three hundred barrels of rosin and spirits turpentine, and carried down a large quantity of flour and other merchandise for landings between Hawkinsville and Lumber City. The boat is 101 feet in length and 21 feet beam.

Captain Bagley, who was in command of the Stewart, informed us he was in Hawkinsville thirty-four years ago (1852) as engineer of the steamboat Isaac Scott, which may be remembered by some of the older citizens. He says the Isaac Scott on her first trip from Hawkinsville had on board eight hundred and eight bales of cotton for Savannah.  All the cotton raised in this portion of the State in those days was carried to Savannah by boats on the Ocmulgee.

There are now three boats on our river, and all are owned by the business men of Hawkinsville.  Mr. Robert V. Bowen, who owns the Mary Jeter and Colville, is now building a new boat at this place. The railroad track has been extended to the river, and the wharf shows that business is lively.

[The Hawkinsville Dispatch – Thursday Morning, December 23, 1886]

The Ocmulgee River at Hawkinsville, Georgia (2008)


Mr. James G. Bagley died last night at his residence in this city, from an attack of malarial fever, supposed to have been contracted in Florida, from whence he returned to Wilmington about a week ago.  Mr. Bagley had been engaged in the steamboat business on the Cape Fear for several years, being the owner of the steamer River Queen, destroyed by fire in March last, and part owner of the steamer J. C. Stewart, which ran on the river between Wilmington and Fayetteville until a few months ago when the boat was sold to parties in Georgia or Florida.  The funeral of deceased will take place at half past # o’clock this afternoon, from the Second Presbyterian church.

[Wilmington Weekly Star – January 21, 1887]


James Chadbourn Stewart

b. 07 Aug 1859 Wilmington, NC   d. 28 Jul 1939 New Hanover County, NC

1900 – Chief Engineer of the Alexander Sprunt & Son Co.  Church “Elder” of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn neighborhood of Wilmington, NC.

James G. Bagley
b. 1826 MA d. 20 Jan 1887 Wilmington, NC

The steamer Colville was built in Wilmington, NC.  John Colville was one of the founding members of the 2nd Presbyterian Church which became St. Andrews Presbyterian Church.

The Cape Fear River Steamers

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Posted by on April 17, 2009 in Uncategorized


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