Sunday, March 13, 2016

Indiana Bicentennial Winter Escape - Howard Steamboat Museum - Jeffersonville, Indiana


Indiana is celebrating its 200th birthday this year. A great way to celebrate the Indiana Bicentennial is to take in some of Indiana's rich history. The weather outside is still nasty and cold, so a great way to find out about Indiana history is to visit some of the great museums in the Indiana. The Howard Steamboat Museum in Jeffersonville is one of these museums.
Howard Steamboat Museum
Howard Steamboat Museum
Howard Steamboat Museum
Jeffersonville, Indiana lies along the banks of the Ohio River in southern Indiana. The spot, first occupied by white settlers who constructed 1786 Fort Finney near the current location of the Kennedy Bridge, quickly grew into a settlement. Fort Finney protected the area from American Indian attacks. They renamed the fort in 1791 to Fort Steuben in honor of Baron von Steuben, a Prussian general who served as Inspector General during the Revolutionary War, whom most military historians consider one of the fathers of the Continental Army. By 1793, there was no further need for the fort and the military abandoned it, but the city grew on.
22 Room Romanesque Revival Mansions
The old Howard family residence, a 22-room Romanesque Revival mansion, serves as the home of the Howard Steam Boat Museum. James Howard began his career of building boats in 1834 in Jeffersonville, Indiana on the Ohio River by establishing a boatyard and constructed his first boat, the Hyperion. His company would occupy three generations of his family and last 107 years. He had his home constructed next to the shipyard and used the craftsmen that worked on his boats to build his home in 1894. The work of these master craftsmen is evident throughout the home.
Examples of Master Woodworking Craftsmanship
There are several examples of these exquisitely crafted wooden fireplaces, as well as other finely built wooden features throughout the home as it exhibits grand staircases, carved window moldings and period furniture.
Organizing a Business in the Pre-Computer Age
This is James Howard's desk, custom-built to his needs by one of his expert woodworkers.
Extensive Riverboat Artifacts Collection
The museum includes many old steamboat artifacts, including items from Robert E. Lee, the Natchez, the Howard-built J. M. White and the pictured original paddlewheel from the Delta Queen.
Thousands of photographs, shipbuilding tools and implements and many paintings compliment the collection, affording the visitor a sense of the scale and importance of these successful enterprises.
Steamboats, Flatboats and Barges
The model boat collection comprises dozens of steamboats, but includes many other types of historic watercraft that plied the waters of the Ohio, Mississippi and other of the rivers of the American interior. Water transportation was essential in the early years of the country and the Ohio was one of the major arteries, carrying passengers and freight along its course. Many of our immigrant ancestors rode boats like these to their new homes.
End of an Era
U.S. Navy Purchase for LST Construction
The Howard Steamboat Museum represents an important cog in our nation's history. The Howard family's control of the shipyard ended in 1941 when the U.S. Navy purchased the yard in 1941 to construct LST's for use during World War II. The Howard legacy and their contributions to Indiana's rich history continue today.
Howard Steamboat Museum
1101 East Market Street
Jeffersonville, IN 47130
(812) 283-3728

If you develop a sweet tooth after touring the museum, take some time to head over to an old time candy store, Schimpff's Confectionery.

Schimpff's Confectionery
Schimpff's Confectionery
Schimpff's Confectionery

Schimpff's Confectionery
347 Spring Street
Jeffersonville, IN 47130
(812) 283-8367
Schimpff's Confectionery is one of the oldest family owned continuously operated candy stores in the United States. The confectionery opened in 1891 in its current location. Step into the 1950's when you enter the soda shop. The original tin ceiling, soda fountain, and glass cases will transport you to another era.
Tours and candy making demonstrations are given frequently. Schimpff's Confectionery is located in the historic downtown district of Jeffersonville Indiana.
Schimpff's Confectionery
347 Spring Street
Jeffersonville, IN 47130
(812) 283-8367

 Exploring Indiana's Historic Sites, Markers & Museums - South East Edition

© 2015 Paul Wonning





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