Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Rochester in Beaver County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

About River Transit ...

Riverfrontiers

 

—Stories of Beaver County & its Rivers —

 
About River Transit ... Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 14, 2011
1. About River Transit ... Marker
Inscription. The great Ohio River - and the Beaver River that flows into it - played important roles in attracting settlers to the Rochester area. Two hundred years ago, the rivers here served as main transportation routes, sources for industrial water power and shipping, and, of course, a food source through fishing.

In those days, the waterways were very useful but also were barriers - without a bridge or a boat, people and towns remained isolated on opposite shores.

Indian tribes and early explorers used dugout canoes to travel the rivers and cross them; but, to haul many people or heavy goods, larger sturdier boats were needed. In time, vessels such as the flatboat, the cotton boat and the keelboat were built to carry heavier loads and were also specially designed for traveling against the river current. Long poles were used to help these boats move upstream or in shallow areas. A keelboat was used by Lewis and Clark in 1803 to move upriver during their expedition on the Ohio and Missouri Rivers.

Aaron Burr (Vice President of the U.S. under president Thomas Jefferson) commissioned the building of covered keelboats across the river in Bridgewater around 1805. These boats were to be used in Burr's plan to rouse western states to secede from the U.S. - a plan which failed
About River Transit ... Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 14, 2011
2. About River Transit ... Marker
View of the historic marker on the north shoreline of the Ohio River, looking across the Ohio River in the background of the picture.
and caused him to be tried for treason.

By 1807, the steamboat had been invented. This boat was powered by a steam-heated engine instead of using man-powered paddles or poles. Ideal for hauling heavy cargo and for providing fast, safe passenger travel, the new steamboats were so successful that by 1811, boat building was one of Beaver County's largest industries.

At one time there were numerous boatyards right here at the mouth of the Beaver River. Countless boats were constructed, launched, docked, loaded and unloaded at Rochester, linking it to other towns along the Ohio River.

River Transit Today
Today, the Ohio River is still widely used for shipping - you can still see barges loaded with freight and coal, but many more boats on both the Ohio and the Beaver are used for recreation. Riverboats are a common sight, carrying sight-seeing travelers on short excursions. More common are the hundreds of private leisure and fishing boats. About 6,500 private craft are registered in Beaver County resulting in the many marinas and boat launches along the shores of the local rivers.
 
Location. 40° 41.881′ N, 80° 17.173′ W. Marker is in Rochester, Pennsylvania, in Beaver County. Marker is on Water Street west of Harrison Street, on the
About River Transit ... Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 14, 2011
3. About River Transit ... Marker
View of the historic marker looking west along the Ohio River with a railroad bridge seen spanning the Ohio River in the distant background.
left when traveling west. Touch for map. This historic marker is located in a community park, along the Ohio River north shore line, near the east side of the mouth of the Beaver River. Marker is in this post office area: Rochester PA 15074, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lewis and Clark (within shouting distance of this marker); Spanning the Waters (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Industry Along the Banks (about 400 feet away); Always A River 1991 (about 500 feet away); Logans Town (about 500 feet away); Make Way for the Railroad (approx. 0.2 miles away); Rochester Lodge Number 229 (approx. 0.2 miles away); H.C. Fry Glass Company (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rochester.
 
Categories. Waterways & Vessels
 
About River Transit ... Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 14, 2011
4. About River Transit ... Marker
View of the historic marker looking east along Water Street.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 2, 2012, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 304 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 2, 2012, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.
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