Water in Adair

Owenby's Lake
1908 Owenby's Lake
Owenbys Lake 1910 picture 1
Owenbys Lake 1910 picture 2
man in row boat
Old Swimming Pool -
when a swim was 12 cents a day.
Old Swimming Pool
Thousand Hills - Forest Lake
THOUSANDHILL boats at the point
1800's Mayflower-Chariton River
Chariton 1918
Chariton River
Chariton Iron Bridge
Chariton-Old Iron Bridge
Chariton River bridge
Chariton Bridge
Old Mill Dam 1910
Fishing Resort 1907

The Chariton River Steam Boat "Mayflower" which operated on the Chariton
River about 1896 to the early 1900's made trips between Sloan's Point, MO, and
Yarrow, MO This poat had a capacity of about 50 passengers, and made excursion
trips up and down the river from Sloan's Point, MO near Novinger, MO to Yarrow, MO.
These trips were quite popular and of much interest for passagngers of all
ages about the turn of the centruy.

According to information given by Velda Simler, the original idea of such
a boat seems to have been born in the mind of Mr. Clayton Weaver, a saw mill
operator, who lived in Adair county. He thought such a vessel for excursions
on the river would be a profitable venture. In 1898 he got in contact with a
Mr. Leopoid, a shipbilder of Kansas City, MO., and they drew up loans for such
a boat, and started the construction of it, and soon had it built, so that the
summer vacation it would start the trips on the river. It was built with two
stern-wheel-paddles that propelled the boat in the water. Mr. John Mayer was
selected as the Engineer, because of his long experience in operation steam
engines with Grist Mills, Saw Mills, Threshing Machines, etc. Mr. Moyers widow
is still living in Kirksville, Mo., (1962). Willis A. Goodwin owned and operated
a general store at sloan's Point at this time. He is also living in Kirksville.
Sloan's Point was a Post Office at that time, and was located about one-half
mile east of the present town of Youngstown, Mo., which was not organized untill
about 1903, when the Iowa & St. Louis Railway was built through the vicinity.
Mr. Goodwin was asked to establish a cafeteria on the boat, and with the aid of
some girls as waitresses, he offered for sale refreshments, Ice Cream, Candy,
lunch items, etc. Mr. Goodwin has furnished part of the information about the
boat. Seats for the passengers were arranged around the outer edge of the decks.
They were made of unfinished native lumber, but were guite adaquate for the
purpose. A guard rail was usually in place in front of the seats to prevent
the passengers from falling off the boat into the water. Directly above the
boiler an engine was the Pilot's Cabin and from where the Pilot steered the
ship, Mr. Leopold was the first Pilot, and he steered the craft on it's course,
avoiding snags, sand-bars, ripples and other navigation hasards along the way.
The smoke stack was extended thrrouth the upper deck and was firmly amebered
with supporting from rods. There was no roof over the decks,s o this was strictly
a "Fair-Weather" Craft", and made the trips only on nice days, and good weather.
The ship was christened the "Mayflower", but was usually referred to as just the
"Boat". It always had the American Flag flying at it's bow when in operation.
The water in the rover needed to be only about two or three feet deept in order
for the boat to float and navigate properly. It could never travel farther
north than the rapids over the rocks in the bed of the river at Sloans Point
near the bridge, except at times when the river was in flood stage, and no
mention is made as to the boat ever making a trip north during any of such times.
Sloan's Point was hardly a town, but at one time was a U.S. Post Office.,
had one store, and a few houses, all of which were soon abandoned after the
advent of the Railroad and Youngstown. After a few years no trace of any such
place as sloan's Point remained, except the Bridge over the Chariton River,
The boat on it's trip would usually leave it's nearing at the point about 7:00 A. M.,
and reach Yarrow in about three hours, stopping about half way to take on some
wood for full for the boiler. Om Yarrow the ? whould go ashore
and gather at the pointe grounds for their entertainment and refreshments, and
then around 3:00 P. M. they would board the ship for the return journy home.
This would take more time and trouble than going down stream, and they again would
stop for fuel at the location provided by the owners, and a supply of wood the
right kinel and ? for the use is the firebox of the boiler. Persons who live
along the river, and nearby hills would usurally hurry to places of vantage to watch the
boat go by, when they would hear the sound of the steem whistle of
the poat. Trips were made about every Sunday during the warmer weather, but be made
because the 50 cents per person was not enough to make the trip a finantual success
with less than 50 fairs. Some times other special trips would be made on days other
than Sunday for special ocassions. No one seems to know of exidt fate of this ship
or what became of it. In the memory of some persons it was abandoned near Youngstown
near the south of Billy's Creak, where it was eventually covered with mud and silt as
succeeding floods covered it entirely. Some stories state that part of it was still
visible above the water as late as 1930's.
Photo supplied by John Mayer and Herald Moore, 1963