River History

Series of ‘Steamboat Celebration’
events to culminate with cruises

Bells of Louisville, Cincinnati
to visit Madison in October

Staff Report

(October 2011) – 2011 marks the bicentennial of an event that changed the course of history in North America and the world. In 1811, Nicholas Roosevelt did what many thought impossible – he successfully guided a steamboat up and down the Ohio River and eventually to New Orleans, a major feat for the time.

Belle of Louisville

Photo provided

The Belles of Louisville and Cincinnati
will offer cruises and a race in Madison,
Ind., in October as part of the Rivers
Institute’s “Steamboat Celebration.”

On the weekend of Oct. 14-16, the “Steamboat Celebration” in Madison, Ind., will be held. Several organizations are working together to make this weekend one of the Steamboat Celebration highlights of the year. The Rivers Institute at Hanover College and the Belles of Louisville and Cincinnati are partnering in an event that will educate and celebrate this turning point in history. The public from the Madison, Louisville and Cincinnati and beyond areas are invited to any or all of the cruises offered.
Both Belles will travel from their home states (with passengers) on Friday, Oct. 14. That evening, both Belles will offer a Moonlight Cruise. The following day, Saturday, Oct. 15, docked boat tours, a lunch cruise aboard the Belle of Cincinnati, the Bicentennial Steamboat Race and a Belle Ball aboard both boats will be available. 
Sunday, Oct. 16, will be the final day of the weekend-long celebration with a brunch cruise aboard both Belles and then the boats will make their way home.
The Madison Area Chamber of Commerce’s Soup, Stew, Chili & Brew festival will also be held this same weekend. This community based celebration of food and music on Main Street in Madison will include judging in three categories: soup, stew and chili. Tasting opportunities will be available for a donation and live music will be available all day. This year will feature celebrity judge Wayne Johnson, a Lifestyle Contributor at NBC Universal.

Celebration Events

• Oct. 1-31: Riverboats of the Ohio River Art Show at the Madison Art Club Gallery, 509 Jefferson St., Madison
• Oct. 14-16: Various cruises about the Belle of Louisville and the Belle of Cincinnati on the Ohio River in Madison
• Oct. 15-16: Legacy of Steam Power Show at the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site
• Oct. 16, 12:30-2 p.m.: Of Times and Rivers: Downstream in History featuring book signing and talk by author James Alexander Thom at the Village Lights Bookstore, 110 E. Main St., Madison

The Lanier Mansion State Historic Site will play host to a “Legacy of Steam Power Show” on Oct. 15-16. Participants can see working steam-powered machines, including the famous Stanley Steamer automobile, learn about how steam and water power have helped build the economy in Indiana, enjoy two days of machines, tools, talks, music and more. Hands-on area for children will provide fun fall activities.
Also in celebration of the Steamboat Bicentennial, the Rivers Institute at Hanover College and the Indiana Historical Society will sponsor a one-day symposium to commemorate the importance of steamboat to life in America. The public is invited to join the celebration of the bicentennial of the first steamboat on the western rivers of North America. The symposium will be open to the public and held at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center in Indianapolis on Friday, Oct. 21. 
The symposium is one of a number of programs to celebrate the bicentennial of the first steamboat on the Ohio River. The goal of the celebration is to educate the public about the history of steamboats and their dramatic impact on the economic, social, cultural and environmental history of the United States.  Following the symposium, on Saturday, Oct. 22, the Rivers Institute at Hanover College and the Indiana Historical Society will play host to the Steamboat Family Day again at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center. The day will include hands-on activities, storytellers, musicians, food, games and more – all focusing on the topic of how steamboats changed the world.
Many other events will be happening throughout 2011 all along the Ohio River.

•  For more information regarding the 2011 Steamboat Celebration and the Rivers Institute, visit: http://rivers.hanover.edu.

Back to October 2011 Articles.



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