*'Grasshoppering/Other methods*
Greetings, Franz,
Glad I could be of some help no matter how humble. Again, techniques those old timers used then were no doubt hard on the boats and hulls--which were mostly of wood. Even the QUEEN CITY down to the early 1930s had a wood hull as did other packet boats to the very end. By the late 1880s/early 1890s leading marine publications and journals printed here on our East Coast commented on the "antiquated technology in building wood hulled boats on the Inland Rivers...behind the times." The East coasters were well into using iron and steel. Part of the misconception then was they didn't understand the river environments and boat trades here operating on the rivers as they were then. Also the use of wood here was preferred as the great forests in our states and in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota still had cheaper and readily available fine woods. But that didn't last long with massive domestic and commercial deforestation.

So, those tall, strong bow rigging etc. used for not only handling landing stages but for 'grasshoppering' can be clearly seen in old photos. One account in an old diary book I was permitted to read even mentioned the steamboat crew, along with some hired locals, who actually dug a channel of sorts in front of the boat with picks, shovels to give the hull enough water to advance slowly. In later years, if there were a few dams on the rivers, word would be sent for the lock and dam attendants to let out enough water to flow down stream and lift the boats up so they could proceed. Hard to believe today but that's how it was then. I actually knew/talked to old time steamboat men who not only remembered those days but used those techniques with boats they were on.

R. Dale Flick
Old Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati