Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Steamboat Apalachee

This faded photograph shows the sternwheel riverboat Apalachee, one of the steam-powered paddlewheelers that used to run up and down the Chattahoochee River.
These boats were of vital importance to the early settlers of the Two Egg area. They brought needed items up from Apalachicola or down from Columbus, Georgia. They also provided transport for cotton, tobacco, corn and other crops raised by local farmers. In the days before trucks and the railroads, the farmers had no other way of getting their crops to market except by boat.
From the 1820s until the 1940s, scores of riverboats traveled on the Chattahoochee, Flint and Apalachicola Rivers. The first to make the trip was the Fanny and the last was the John W. Callahan, Jr. These boats edged up to the bank at places like Neal's Landing, Tennile Landing, Peri Landing, Parramore Landing, Bellevue Landing and Butler Landing to serve the residents of the area. They also used these landings to take on firewood cut by local residents and sold to the boat companies. The wood, in turn, was used to fire the boilers and keep the steamboats running.
The arrival of the railroad in Jackson County during the 1880s followed by the arrival of modern highways and large trucks during the 20th century spelled the end of the boats and they rapidly disappeared.

No comments: