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Jon Tschiggfrie 06-26-2007 03:59 PM

Paddlewheel at Fort Pitt Bridge
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Can anyone shed some light on this paddlewheel that was seen recently sitting below the Fort Pitt Bridge in Pittsburgh?

Bill Judd 06-26-2007 04:38 PM

That wheel is from the Str. Jason / Herbert E. Jones

Judy Patsch 06-26-2007 04:53 PM

...and isn't the AQ's whistle from that towboat?

inactive user 02 06-26-2007 05:16 PM

The whistle she came out with was from the Str. HERBERT E. JONES, on loan from Capt. Nelson Jones, Madison Coal and Supply Company. She currently carries a 3 chime brass whistle from Khalenberg. The whistle was installed aboard in 1999 and later dedicated her to her late Captain Lawrence Keeton.

Steve Huffman 06-26-2007 07:27 PM

Who has the Jason's hull these days? I was thinking Madison Coal had it for a while with an A-frame lifting rig on it. It was listed for sale in a Waterways Journals a couple years ago.

Jon Tschiggfrie 06-26-2007 07:42 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Not sure where I found this photo.... but I figure this constitutes fair use (educational).

David Tschiggfrie 06-26-2007 09:16 PM

Talk about taking a detour and coming in by the back door! I just read Jonathan's inquiry about the JASON's sternwheel at Pittsburgh, and recall being taken over to view the remains of that boat (which served as a "boatel" if memory serves correctly) back in 1968 or 69. Jimmy Swartzwelder took Gabe Chengery and myself out to see it while the DQ was in port that day. Somewhere in my slide files I have some slides of that day's outing. Strange thing is, Jonathan never mentioned this to me, and it wasn't until I read his posting that I made the connection! Isn't the internet and this message board wonderful? They have ways of bringing families together!

David Smith 06-29-2007 10:33 AM

While true that the wheel was last on the HERBERT E. JONES, it is actually the shaft that came out on the ALEXANDER MACKENZIE in 1939. The JONES ran through herself and broke her shaft, I think in 1954, and Amherst brought the laid up MACKENZIE to Port Amherst where they dismantled her, using the shaft and assorted parts to get the JONES going again.
To answer Steve's question, the JONES hull is at Tarentum, PA, in the fleet of R.J. Brown Towing Co., where she does serve as an A-frame. I was on her a couple of years ago, and it is in pretty good shape. Still welded on each side of the bow is "STR. HERBERT E. JONES".

bernd lorenzen 06-29-2007 10:54 AM

The crank looks big in comparison to the diameter of the wheel. Seems to me like the outer circle (and the bucket planks, of course) are not there anymore?!


Richard Weisenberger 06-29-2007 11:06 AM

Identify the Whistle
Is the the three bell chime on the bottom right of the webpage the same whistle? Click on the icon to hear it. The General Jackson carries one like it.

[QUOTE=Travis Vasconcelos;6315]The whistle she came out with was from the Str. HERBERT E. JONES, on loan from Capt. Nelson Jones, Madison Coal and Supply Company. She currently carries a 3 chime brass whistle from Khalenberg. The whistle was installed aboard in 1999 and later dedicated her to her late Captain Lawrence Keeton.[/QUOTE]

Steve Huffman 06-29-2007 02:31 PM

Thanks for the info on the JASON's hull. Regarding the wheel, I haven't seen it in person, but wasn't it on display at Pittsburgh's "Station Square" shopping mall a few years ago? Has it been moved to its current location at the Fort Pitt bridge, or is this location part of "Station Square"?

Keith Baylor 06-29-2007 04:46 PM

I agree with Bernd. It's definitely missing the bucket planks.

Steve Huffman 06-29-2007 05:51 PM

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Here is a photo of the JASON's wheel in action, June 1943. This is the same wheel that is on display, except the shaft is now from the ALEXANDER MACKENZIE, as David said. So here you can see the full diameter with bucket boards, etc.

Barbara and I inherited a bunch of JASON photos when we moved into this house, as it was the former estate of Capt. Leon Ash, the first Master of the JASON from 1941-1944.

Shipyard Sam 06-29-2007 09:28 PM

Herbert E. Jones
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Here's the HERBERT E. JONES doing it's own fleet work in the west end of the Cinti harbor in the late 1950's. The HEJ was my family's fav steam workhorse, and it was always a treat when Mr. JONES was in town.

bernd lorenzen 07-01-2007 12:53 PM


o.k., I am convinced. What a great shot of the Jason`s wheel in action.


Jon Tschiggfrie 07-01-2007 07:33 PM

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A picture that I found while going through my photo box....

This displays the entirety of the bucket-less sternwheel. This photo was taken by me in the summer of 2003.

Bela Berty 07-01-2007 09:53 PM

Yes, Steve, the JASON's wheel was on display at Station Square many years ago; I remember being awed by its size. Perhaps that was in 1989.

inactive user 02 07-02-2007 06:01 PM

With it looking that good, it makes me want to go up there, get the wheel, and build a boat around it!

Really, it is in amazing shape for steel which has been out of doors for such a long time. It would be a good basis for a great boat!


Jon Tschiggfrie 05-26-2017 12:31 AM

Sorry to dig up an old thread, but does anyone know what's happened to the JASON's wheel? Google Maps shows the area has been repaved as a parking lot and the wheel is nowhere to be seen.

R. Dale Flick 05-26-2017 07:55 AM

*Fate of JASON's wheel*
Morning, Jon & gang,
Sorry for just clicking/reading this older but interesting web question RE: the JASON's wheel. Two possible sources of information on the wheel's fate may come from the memories of Capts. Bill Judd and Bill Barr. Capt. Judd does 'lurk' here now and then with responses. No idea if Capt. Barr reads Thanks for an interesting topic and the photos from you, Don Sanders. Cheers!

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

Steve Huffman 05-26-2017 12:59 PM

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Jon, you're right, the wheel seems to be gone now. I have circled in red where it should be in these images. That's too bad.. Hope it wasn't scrapped!

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