Boats for the Ocmulgee

15 May

A Line of Steamers to Ply Between Macon and Savannah.

The Macon Telegraph has the following in reference to a proposed steamboat line from Macon to Savannah:

It may not be generally known, yet such is the fact, that for some time the attention of capitalists has been directed to the Ocmulgee river as a means of transportation for cotton to the seaboard.  The time was when the Ocmulgee’s bosom was plowed by steamboats, but that was years and years ago.  Colonel Frobel, about a year or two ago, brought a steamboat from Hawkinsville up as far as the Macon and Brunswick Railroad bridge.

This bridge will form something of an obstacle to anything like the floating of steamboats, and must be converted into a drawbridge before the proposed plans are carried out.

We learn that the Georgia and Florida Inland Steamboat Company propose to run a line of steamboats from Macon to Savannah.  They want to know if the river has ever been sounded up to this point, and if the Brunswick road has the right to permanently cut off the navigation of the river by their bridge below the city.  They also want to know if the people of Macon would advocate an appropriation for dredging and improving the river.

This is a wealthy corporation, and if encouraged by our people, and Congress will make an appropriation, they will put on their steamers both for freight and passengers.  The running of steamboats on our river, in addition to the many railroads running into Macon, would make the old town boom sure enough.

[Hawkinsville Dispatch — Thursday, October 12, 1882]

Boats for the Ocmulgee.

Messrs. John F. Lewis & Co., of Hawkinsville, have received a letter from Wilcox & Churchwell, of Darien, under date of Saturday last 18th inst., in which the write:

Our steamer Cumberland is now here, just from Charleston, S. C.  She has been thoroughly overhauled in machinery and other parts, and is now in splendid order for running.  The Halcyon is about repaired and ready for business.  Both boats are here waiting for a rise in the river.  We think when the river rises we can give you a boat so as to suit your convenience, and be a benefit to your place.”

Boats could no doubt do a fine business on the Ocmulgee during the next few months.  We saw Capt. T. D. Wilcox, Senator from the Fifteenth district, returning from Atlanta the other day for a brief visit home, and he informed us that he had collected upon the river at various points two or three hundred bales of cotton awaiting transportation to Savannah.  There would be much more guano used in the lower country if the people could obtain it with less difficulty.

[Hawkinsville Dispatch – Thursday, November 23, 1882]

Capt. Byrd Mobley, of the steamer Halcyon, left Hawkinsville yesterday with a  cargo of guanos, merchandise, etc., for landings along the Ocmulgee.  The Halcyon connects at Doctortown with the S. F. & S. Railroad, and will make regular trips to Hawkinsville, leaving here every Tuesday.  See advertisement.

[Hawkinsville Dispatch – Thursday, February 15, 1883]

We are in receipt of a postal from Capt. B. Mobley, of the steamer Halcyon, at Doctortown, stating that the boat will be in Hawkinsville on Saturday next.  The Halcyon was due here on Tuesday last, but owing to having to undergo some repairs, was unable to arrive on schedule time.  The Captain states, however, that he will continue to make regular trips to this place.

[Hawkinsville Dispatch – Thursday, March 15, 1883]

The steamer Halcyon arrived in Hawkinsville on Monday night, and left this morning with a good freight for landings below on the river.  Her cargo consisted of flour, guano, etc.

[Hawkinsville Dispatch — Thursday, March 29, 1883]

The steamer Halcyon arrived yesterday and left early this morning with a cargo of naval stores.

[Hawkinsville Dispatch — Thursday, April 5, 1883]

The steamer Cumberland left Hawkinsville to-day with freights for landings on the Ocmulgee and Altamaha rivers.  One house in Hawkinsville shipped to a turpentine firm in Irwin county one hundred bushels of Georgia raised corn at 68 cents per bushel.

The Boat Excursion – Music and Dancing

— A Pleasant Day.

The steamer Cumberland arrived on Monday last on schedule, and on Tuesday a pleasant excursion was made down the river.  The Boys’ Brass Band of Hawkinsville, and the Hawkinsville String Band made music for the occasion, the ladies had prepared baskets of good things, and when the whistle sounded a merry crowd was aboard determined to enjoy the day.  Cetillions were formed, and the strains of sweet music set the feet agoing, and it was kept up for twenty miles, when the boat halted and dinner was spread.  Everybody enjoyed the excursion.  Several non-residents, commercial tourists, and others, were along.  Capt. Mobley, commander of the Cumberland, was assiduous in his efforts to render the day pleasant to all on board, and succeeded admirably.

[Hawkinsville Dispatch – Thursday Morning – May 17, 1883]

Attention, Steam Boat Men.

The following postal from Capt. B. Mobley, of Evergreen, Irwin county, Ga., will explain itself:

Editor Dispatch:

All those who desired to take stock in a steamboat to ply between Hawkinsville and Savannah, will confer a favor upon me b sending their names and stating the amounts they wish to subscribe to the editor of this paper.  I have made arrangements to buy a boat that is especially adapted to the river, with a sufficient capacity to do all the freighting business required, and all that is necessary now is to get her stocked on the river.

Yours truly,

B. Mobley

[Hawkinsville Dispatch —  Thursday, August 9, 1883]

Burning of the Steamer Halcyon.

The Reidsville Enterprise of last week gives the following particulars of the destruction by fire of the steamer Halcyon:

The steamer Halcyon was destroyed by fire at Ohoopee White Bluff on Monday night, 17th ult.  The boat had been tied up there for some time.  We have been unable to learn how the fire originated; or whether there was any insurance on the craft or not.  The Halcyon was owned by Messrs. Wilcox & Churchill, of Darien, and will be greatly missed by the people on the river, as this firm are the only ones that have been able to maintain a line of steamers on the lower river route for several years, and we hope the enterprising firm will replace the Halcyon at once, for the shipping interest will suffer with only one boat on the river.  The Halcyon was put on the Altamaha in 1875 by a stock company, but it failed to pay expenses under that management, and was sold to Willcox & Churchill, who had it thoroughly overhauled in 1876 and have had it on the river every season since.



The steamer Colville, we stated last week was sunk at the wharf at Dublin and suspicion was entertained that she was scuttled.  After a week’s labor, on Saturday morning, she was raised, and is again floating gently upon the Oconee’s peaceful bosom.  But alas!  There was the work of him who would scuttle a boat and cut a throat.  At the stern of the boat, after getting her above the water, a two inch auger hole was found, and through this the water ran.  As another evidence that the steamer was scuttled, the hole was bored just about eight inches above the water, and in order to sink her, it would be necessary to topple her first, and to do this the renegades had lifted several hundred pounds of lead and other freight to one side, and this caused the boat to topple. Great indignation was expressed at the matter.  How fearful the thought that we are being encompassed about with such men – who, in order to carry out their hellish designs, would rob you when asleep and scuttle a boat.  It is a terrible thought and though none but an avenging God may ever know the perpetrator, yet a guilty conscience will follow him to his grae and stamp him at last with condemnation. – Dublin Gazette.

[Hawkinsville Dispatch – Thursday – October 4, 1883]

Steamer Sold.

The Dublin Gazette of last Thursday says that “last Monday a trade was consumated by which the steamer Colville passed from the hands of its owners, the Oconee River Steamboat Company into the hands of John Swain, of Darien.  The consideration of the sale was $1,200 and this amount was paid in cash.  She will now be run upon some of the lower rivers.  The Colville has been the means of many hundred pounds of freight to Dublin, and it is with a feeling of sadness that we submit to the loss of her old familiar toot.  The owner did well in her sale, and the purchaser, we presume, will ge his money back.

[Darien Timber Gazette — Saturday Morning, December 15, 1883]

The steamboat Colville, recently purchased by Mr. Robert V. Bowen, came up to Hawkinsville last week, and is now here being made ready for service on the Ocmulgee.  Mr. Bowen passed through Hawkinsville on Monday on his way to Savannah by rail.  He lately purchased the residence of Major Pate, in Hawkinsville, and will probably move here this month.

[ Hawkinsville Dispatch — Thursday, January 3, 1884]

The Cumberland Reports Low Rivers.

We are informed that the Ohoope river is lower than it has been for years and although there is a good deal of timber cut on that river, it is impossible owing to the lower stage of the channel for it to be rafted down.  Parties who came down from there this week tell us that there is a large lot of timber cut, but the rain has not been sufficient for rafting purposes.  Rain is still badly needed on the Ohoope, Ocmulgee and Altamaha.

The steamer “Cumberland,” Capt. E. K. Wilcox, arrived from the up-country on Thursday afternoon last, and departed again on early yesterday morning with 400 tons of guano.  The Cumberland will now make regular trips from Darien to the up-country.

[Darien Gazette — Saturday Morning, January 26, 1884]

The Steamer Colville.

We are pleased to learn that Mr. Robert V. Bowen is doing a good business with his boat on the Ocmulgee.  The Colville leaves Hawkinsville every Monday morning for landings down the river, and is carrying guanos, corn, bacon, flour, etc., at low rates.  This boat can run on low water, and will certainly do a fine business.  Mr. Bowen a few days ago bought the stock of flour of the wholesale house here, and is shipping it to points on the river.  The merchants of Hawkinsville have large stocks of merchandise, and can and do sell at Macon and Savannah prices.

[Hawkinsville Dispatch — Thursday, March 6, 1884]

Boating on the Ocmulgee – Two Steamers
Leaving Hwkinsville Regularly.

We visited our wharf on Monday morning and found two steamers – the Colville and Mary Jeter – loading with freights for Old Lake, Jordan’s Bluff, Abbeville, Hendley’s Landing, Indian Bluff, Bowen’s Mill or House Creek, and other points on the Ocmulgee.  There has been an immense increase of business on the river, and the transportation of goods and naval products has become profitable to those owning boats.  The East Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia Railroad, co-operating with these boats, has reduced the freight on rosin to Savannah to fifty cents per barrel, and spirits turpentine to seventy-five cents per barrel.  The boats take the rosin and turpentine and deliver it at the depot in Hawkinsville, giving through bills of lading to Savannah at the prices above stated.

There are now several large turpentine farms and distilleries on the river, and large supplies of goods are required.  With a little effort the merchants of Hawkinsville can sell all the goods needed by these industries and enterprises, and the boats are ready to transport them at very low rates.

We are glad to see the boats doing such a fine business.

[Hawkinsville Dispatch — Thursday, May 1, 1884]

Excursion to Abbeville.

A number of our citizens, young men and ladies, embarked on the steamer Colville on Monday last for Abbeville to attend the Sunday school celebration and Masonic meeting at that place on Tuesday.  The Colville took passengers at excursion rates – one dollar for the round trip.  The boat will return to Hawkinsville to-day.

[Hawkinsville Dispatch — Thursday, June 26, 1884]

The Cape Fear River Steamers

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Posted by on May 15, 2009 in Uncategorized


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