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Shipyard Sam 04-21-2010 03:48 PM

Mark Twain Centennial
One-hundred years ago, on this date, the [I]Patron Saint of the Steamboat [/I]and all it has stood for well-past its time, [B]Samuel Langhorne Clemens[/B], died. Without him there would be no [I]us[/I], steamboatingly speaking.

[url=]Willie and Buster's Whirlwind Tour of the World - Mark Twain[/url]

inactive user 02 04-21-2010 07:54 PM


It's funny how he spent such a short time of his life on the river yet is best known for it. He was like many of us once we leave the river, the river never leaves us.


Francis Nash 04-21-2010 10:41 PM

As I write I lift my glass a time or two to Samuel L Clemens.

Mark Twain had several connections with Georgetown, PA. As a friend from the Overholser Research Center would say – Georgetown is a little town with a big history.

(1) Horace E Bixby, under whom Mark Twain worked as a cub pilot, worked on the str [I]Sallie[/I] as one of her pilots at least one season on the upper Missouri. The [I]Sallie[/I] was owned by Thomas S Calhoon and Jackman T Stockdale who were neighbors in Georgetown.
(2) Mark Twain’s brother Henry was scalded when the str [I]Pennsylvania[/I] exploded. Before that accident, the str [I]Pennsylvania[/I] worked the Pittsburg to Cincinnati trade and was involved in the Wheeling Bridge Case.
(3) In “Life on the Missisiippi," Twain wrote about the snagging of the str [I]Nick Wall[/I]. The [I]Nick Wall [/I]was owned by Capt Thomas W Poe of Georgetown, PA. As the story goes, Capt Thomas W Poe attempted to save his wife, Martha Jane, who was trapped in her cabin. He took an ax to the cabin ceiling and accidentally hit his wife in the head. Details of the tale differ, but end result was the same.

A fave Mark Twain description is on steamboat racing: “I think the most enjoyable of all races is a steamboat race... two red-hot steamboats raging along, neck and neck, straining every nerve... that is to say, every rivet in the boilers – quaking and straining and groaning stem to stern, spouting white steam from the pipes, pouring black smote from the chimneys, raining down sparks, parting the river into a long streak of hissing foam – this is a sport that makes a body’s liver curl with enjoyment. A horse race is pretty colorless and tame in comparison.”

It does not get better that that.

mel hartsough 04-22-2010 02:40 AM

this thread makes me think of Richard Bissel's book My life on the Mississippi or why I'm not Mark Twain. Great book!

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