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Owego in Tioga County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Steamboats and Docks

 
 
Steamboats and Docks Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, October 26, 2019
1. Steamboats and Docks Marker
Inscription.  Steamboats were a common sight in this part of the Susquehanna in the 19th century. The first one to ply the Owego section in the spring of 1826 for several weeks was the "Cadorus,” built in 1825 at York Haven, Pennsylvania.

That seems to have been the impetus for no less than seven very large steamboats which were constructed right here on the riverbanks on Front Street. Their names and dates of operation are as follows:
1835: “The Susquehanna" 1857: "The Picnic” 1876: "The Lyman Truman" 1839: "The Lillie" 1874: "The Owego" 1884: “The Marshland” & “Glen Mary”

These flat-bottomed boats could carry from 200-700 people. Most of them traveled from the village up to Hiawatha Island, (just east of today's Hickories Park) and when the water was deep enough, went all the way into Binghamton. Many of them had bands on board and food concessions. Starting in 1874, Hiawatha Island (then called Big Island), three miles east of the village, was a summer resort. People clamored for rides on the boats to the island. Visitors came from all over the United States, and even
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foreign countries. Besides the large steamboats, smaller ones were built. There were also ferries used to tote people, wagons and at the turn of the century, cars.

There were three main docks on Front Street, at the ends of Ross, Paige and Church Streets. There were also a number of dams built over the years to enable the steamboats to operate. The last dam was built just below the bridge. It did its job well until a group of vandals, who had too much to drink, decided it would be a lark to destroy it. They waded into the river armed with their axes and saws, and with a lot of effort, the dam swooshed like Niagara Falls over the top of them. A reporter noted in the newspaper that not only was the dam broken, but some swimming titles were broken that night as well!

For additional information, go to: www.villageofowego.com or www.visittioga.com
 
Location. 42° 6.09′ N, 76° 15.722′ W. Marker is in Owego, New York, in Tioga County. Marker is at the intersection of Front Street and Court Street (New York State Route 96), on the left when traveling west on Front Street. Marker is in Draper Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Owego NY 13827, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fishing the Susquehanna (here, next to this marker); The Bridges of Owego (a few steps from this marker); Routes of the Armies
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(a few steps from this marker); Former Residence (within shouting distance of this marker); Two Rivers Greenway (within shouting distance of this marker); 1849 Great Fire (within shouting distance of this marker); Ithaca-Owego RR (within shouting distance of this marker); Tioga County Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Owego.
 
Also see . . .
1. Village of Owego. (Submitted on October 30, 2019, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
2. Welcome to Tioga County, NY. (Submitted on October 30, 2019, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels
 

More. Search the internet for Steamboats and Docks.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 30, 2019. This page originally submitted on October 28, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. This page has been viewed 45 times since then and 6 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on October 28, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. • Michael Herrick was the editor who published this page.
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