Sponsored by Platte County Historical Society
oin the Platte County Historical Society on June 17 at 7 p.m. via Zoom for Steamboats of the Lower Missouri River, a free presentation by James Erwin of Kirkwood, Missouri.
This event kicks off a season-long celebration of Missouri’s Bicentennial at the Ben Ferrel Platte County Museum, an 1882-built mini mansion in Platte City. The museum is owned and operated by the Platte County Historical Society.
Many early settlers to this region traveled here by steamboat, with Weston at one time rivaling St. Louis in port traffic on the Missouri River. The boats themselves were technological marvels of their day. Erwin explains that their “light superstructures and long, wide, flat hulls powered by high-pressure engines drew so little water that they could cruise on a ‘heavy dew’ even when fully loaded.”
Travelers, however, often faced great peril when these boats succumbed to fires, explosions, and damage from tree trunks hiding under the water’s surface. Over 300 boats were lost to the “steamboat graveyard” of the lower Missouri River (from Omaha to St. Louis).
Erwin shares many facts about the boats, the disasters, the people, and the river itself in often surprising stories that reveal an interesting chapter in Missouri state history. Erwin practiced law for 38 years, has authored or co-authored six history books and presently serves as president of the St. Louis Civil War Roundtable.
For the zoom link and passcode to this June 17 event, private message the Ben Ferrel Platte County Museum’s Facebook page in advance or find this information posted on the day of the event to the Platte County Historical Society webpage at www.pchs1882.org.
For more information, contact Lisa (816) 304-1627.