In the summer of 1975, there were only a few privately owned sternwheel boats being operated on our rivers. Most of those had been old sternwheel driven towboats which were totally rebuilt and converted to live-aboard vessels. The owners of those boats and other dedicated to the preservation and encouragement of the sternwheel boat tradition. In January 1976 a small group of these folks met at the historic Lafayette Hotel in Marietta, Ohio, for the express purpose of forming such a club. The result of the meeting was the founding of the American Sternwheel Association, Inc., with headquarters at the Lafayette.
The ASA functions primarily to raise public awareness of paddlewheel boats. These efforts are working, as evidenced by the increasin number of cities along the Ohio river and its tributaries that are having festivals centered around the boats. Some festivals have been featured on local and even national television programs.
Meetings are held on the second Saturday of every other month, begininning in January; (Jan.-Mar.-May-July-Sept.-Nov.). The May and July meetings are often held in cities other than Marietta to give members who cannot attend regularly the chance to participate. All out-of-town meetings result from an invitation from the host city and must have an organizer to make the arrangements. Members are notified of the time and location of these occurances.
Dues are $20.00 per year for the first member of a family and include 2 issues of the ASA magazine, The Sternwheeler, and 4 issues of the ASA Newsletter. The magazine contains articles on river events, boats under construction, history, and other subjects pertinent to paddlewheel boating. The Newsletter keeps members informed on current activities.
If you enjoy history, river boating, river festivals, and the company of some real great people, you’ll enjoy them all as a member of the American Sternwheel Association.
Write: The American Sternwheel Association, Inc., P.O. Box 1482, Charleston, WV 25325
On the Web: www.americansternwheel.org