History
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History

history

The original paddle wheel ferryboat was built in Des Moines, IA, and purchased by a Mr. William Kamp who brought it down river in 1922. It provided the shortest route from Calhoun County to Missouri, operating from the southwestern shore of the county across the Mississippi River to St. Charles County, MO, and this eliminate a 75 mile trip to get to the St. Louis area. It could carry approximately 8 cars per crossing and it was constructed completely of wood. Of course the ferry could not operate in the winter when the river was frozen or even during periods of floating ice due to the possibility of damage to the wooden paddle wheel or the boat itself. In 1933 the St. Louis Structural Steel Company was hired by Kamp to create a new steel hull for the boat and that was eventually completed in 1935 and the carrying capacity of the boat increased somewhat. The general construction remained the same and to the end of the paddle wheel operation in October 1998 it was still operated from the original pilothouse, which was updated and enclosed through the years. The paddle wheel consisted of 2 sets of nine fir planks that measured 10 feet high and 20 feet long when configuration was completed. After Mr. Kamp began operation and continued in planks that measured 10 feet high and 20 feet long when the configuration was completed. After Mr. Kamp began operation and continued in planks that measured 10 feet high and 20 feet long when the configuration was completed. After Mr. Kamp began operation and continued in business for several years the boat and operation was run by the Pohlman family. This actually made the operation family operated for about 75 years at which time the company was sold to Steve and Vince Baalman who operate the Winfield ferry on the west side of Calhoun County.