Packet Boat on the Monongahela

IMG_9658 (2)

Packet Boats ran up and down the river in the early 1900s. These boats were smaller than the sternwheelers that ran up and down the Mississippi. As you can, see the paddle wheel is on the side of the boat instead of on the back.

I found a photo of this one on my hometown site and decided to try to do it in watercolor today. I am still trying to get it right. Watercolors are quite different to work with than the acrylics I have been using. This scene is on the Monongahela River in Southwestern Pennsylvania, not far from where I grew up.

Packet boat’s wheel churns

White foam trailing in the wake

Steam power long gone

Watercolor Painting: Dwight L. Roth

The Unami word Monongahela means “falling banks”, in reference to the geological instability of the river’s banks. Moravian missionary David Zeisberger (1721–1808) gave this account of the naming: “In the Indian tongue the name of this river was Mechmenawungihilla (alternatively spelled Menawngihella), which signifies a high bank, which is ever washed out and therefore collapses.”[11]     ~Wikapedia

40 thoughts on “Packet Boat on the Monongahela

  1. I like the painting! Watercolours make it kind of transparent, exactly what you would want in a river view. Is the name of the river Monongahela a word from one of the original inhabitants languages of the land? And, if you by any chance know, what does it mean?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Peter. It does look that way. The name is from the Indians who lived there….
      Wikipedia… The Unami word Monongahela means “falling banks”, in reference to the geological instability of the river’s banks. Moravian missionary David Zeisberger (1721–1808) gave this account of the naming: “In the Indian tongue the name of this river was Mechmenawungihilla (alternatively spelled Menawngihella), which signifies a high bank, which is ever washed out and therefore collapses.”[11]

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I like the converging diagonals in the picture. My late friend, Norman, was very knowledgeable about our paddle steamers. One day I saw one in the middle of a field on the Isle of Wight. I rang him, quoted the name, and asked if he knew where it was. He did.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: Packet Boat on the Monongahela – Nelsapy

  4. Pingback: Landlubber | rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity

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