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Ingram, Orrin Henry, 1830-1918 / Autobiography, Orrin Henry Ingram : May, 1830--December, 1912

Chippewa River navigation,   pp. 56-58 PDF (635.9 KB)

Page 57

lengthwise and crosswise, which gave us a stiff, strong bottom.
We put these barges on either side of the Silas Wright and
sawed 10x16-inch timbers long enough to reach across the
boat to the outside of the barges. We put strips of iron on
each timber on either side of the boat, giving the iron which
was 3x3/4 inches, a half twist, so that the lower ends would
lay flat on the side of the boat's hull. With a short plank rest-
ing on the timbers of the boat on the inside, and by using rub-
ber packing where the bolts went through the iron strips, we
made the bolt holes water tight, then we bored two-inch holes
in three places to let the water into the barges until they were
sunk so the bottoms were even with the bottom of the boat;
then we put in dry pine plugs and pumped the water out of
the barges, which raised the boat so that she was drawing only
twelve inches of water; then we put in longer arms to the
stern-wheel, to let her buckets down even with her bottom.
We were thus enabled to navigate the river and carry consid-
erable freight on the boat and barges. In the fall, when mer-
chants here were laying in their winter stocks, we chartered
a larger barge we found on the Mississippi, and by running
guy-lines from the outside corners of the barges diagonally
across the boat to the outside of the barge, and drawing them
taut, we held that barge straight ahead of the others. We
were thus able to carry all the freight for Eau Craire, and the
price made it a paying proposition, altho it took about a day
and a night between Reed's Landing and Eau Claire. After
putting the barges under the boat we didn't often carry the
raftsmen, on account of the longer time it took, hence the men
came to Eau Claire by team or afoot. Before we built the
Silas Wright I had walked with the raft-crews. Once, in com-
ing afoot between Luna and Rock Falls, Mr. Campbell, who now
keeps a hotel at Chippewa Long Lake, then kept a hotel at
Luna, told me of a farmer between Rock Falls and Luna whom
he thought might like to hire some of the raftsmen to help him
with his harvest; so, one time, when I was coming up with our

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