In 1905 just after the Market Street Bridge was constructed, the “Nathaniel,” a side-wheeler steamboat ferry that crossed between Steubenville Oh., on to East Steubenville, on the West Virginia side, was discontinued. The ferry landing, known as the middle ferry, was used to transport passengers and farming goods to the Steubenville markets for over a hundred years being established in 1799 by Richard “Greybeard” Wells. The “Nathaniel” was sold to the bridge company and abandoned. While many boats were used over the 104 years of the ferry crossing, the “Nathaniel” lasted the longest, being built in 1887 by its former owner W.H. Wells.
The ferry boat “Nathaniel” docked near Market Street Bridge. Circa 1905. Courtesy of WV Archives.
Three ferry crossings existed below and above Steubenville. The two ferries that served the Follansbee vicinity were the middle and lower ferry boats. The middle ferry crossing was located where the “Nathaniel” transported goods across near the Market Street Bridge. The lower ferry left the Ohio bank from a point south of Wells Run and landed on the West Virginia shore at the Seeley farm located where the Koppers Plant is today.
Above Steubenville, the upper ferry operated at the location where the Fort Steuben Bridge once stood and served the Holliday Cove area. In its earlier days, it was a cable ferry, operated by Mr. Halleck going back 50 years. It was sold in 1907 to Harry Lowe. “He operated it until it was sold to the Butte brothers.” The ferry continued in operation until a brick road between East Steubenville and Weirton was completed in about 1910.
Steubenville Herald Star, “Passing of Old Ferry Boat Nathaniel,” Aug. 25, 1905.
See also on Timeline: East Steubenville