Ohio History Journal

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[Mr. Irven Travis, the writer of this article, was born near Rox-

bury, Windsor Township, Morgan County, August 17, 1849. His father,

John Travis, lived in McConnelsville where he was employed in build-

ing flat-boats in the summer and taking them to New Orleans in the

winter. Mr. Irven Travis became a pilot on the river boats at the age

of twenty, serving in that capacity on the steamers "Carrie Brooks,"

"Perry Smith," "Oella," "Gen. H. F. Devol," and "Lizzie Cassell."

In 1887, Mr. Irven Travis became United States Storekeeper at McCon-

nelsville, when the state turned the river improvement over to the

national government, and has had charge of the river affairs at that

place ever since. - EDITOR.]

Our knowledge of the earliest navigation on the Muskingum

seems confined to rather narrow lim-

its. The needs of the red man were

probably satisfied by the use of the

primitive canoe, its use being no

more than the carrying of himself

and his game when on hunting ex-

peditions. However the time soon

came when the white man encroach-

ed on the hunting grounds of the oc-

cupants of this valley and their

progress in the way of civilization

soon made better facilities for navi-

gation necessary.

We find the first attempt, in

the way of improvement, was the

building of crafts, larger than the canoe of the Indians, but still

called a canoe. In its construction often the largest trees of

the then unmolested forest were used, their length being from

75 to 90 feet, their diameters from 30 to 36 inches at the top.

The center of this huge timber was removed, leaving a shell of