West Virginia State Museum Education

Discovery Room 13: Boats and Rivers

Discovery Room 13



Did you know that while Robert Fulton is credited with inventing the steam engine boat, a West Virginian tested a steam-powered engine boat in Shepherdstown twenty years earlier? You can see a model of James Rumsey’s engine boat in this room. The model is more than 100 years old.

Like the railroads, river transportation meant a great deal to West Virginia’s industries. Even today our major rivers are important for transportation. If you’ve never been on a steam boat, check out the pilot wheel on the wall. How hard do you think it might be to steer with this wheel?

Throughout our history we’ve faced tragedies when the rivers have left their banks. Devastating floods are part of our state’s river history, too. You’ll see pictures of a few of them in this room.

Discovery Room 13

Video courtesy of West Virginia Public Broadcasting; Videographer/Editor: Janet Kunicki; Narrator: Beth Vorhees

Continue to Explore, or return to the preview homepage:

Discovery Room 1
1: An Ancient Land
Discovery Room 2
2: Prehistoric People
Discovery Room 3
3: Conflict and Settlement
Discovery Room 4
4: Frontier Life
Discovery Room 5
5: John Brown's Raid
Discovery Room 6
6: The War within a State
Discovery Room 7
7: The Case for Statehood
Discovery Room 8
8: The Big City
Discovery Room 9
9: The Family Farm
Discovery Room 10
10: The Company Store
Discovery Room 11
11: Changing Roles of Women
Discovery Room 12
12: Trains and Railroads
Discovery Room 13
13: Boats and Rivers
Discovery Room 14
14: Industrialization
Discovery Room 15
15: The Mining Life
Discovery Room 16
16: The State Capitol
Discovery Room 17
17: It's Not all Work
Discovery Room 18
18: The Great Depression
Discovery Room 19
19: The Mine Wars
Discovery Room 20
20: West Virginians at War
Discovery Room 21
21: Late 20th Century
Discovery Room 22
22: Celebrating West Virginia
Discovery Room 23
23: From Here to There
Discovery Room 24
24: Painting and Sculpture
Discovery Room 25
25: A Legacy of Craftsmanship
Discovery Room 26
26: Traditions of Music

Museum Hours of Operation

Operating Hours:

Tuesday through Saturday

9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

***Closed Sundays and Mondays***

Closed all National Holidays except Memorial Day weekend

Admission is free

For more information call: (304) 558-0220