Courtesy of Frederic Way, Jr., 121 River Ave., Sewickley, Pa. 15143 1965 Whistle Blow at Long Reach, West Virginia
121 River Ave., Sewickley, Pa. 15143
Old steam whistles from Ohio and Mississippi steamboats of yore will be blown on Saturday, May 7, 1966. This will be second annual 'Tootenanny' staged by the Sons and Daughters of Pioneer Rivermen.
The Union Carbide Corporation, Silicones Division, has again made available their steam facilities at Long Reach, W. Va. for the whistle blowing. This location is along the Ohio River several miles downstream below Sistersville, W. Va. on W. Va. Route 2.
Last year fifty old whistles were brought to the location and blown. Mode-Art Pictures, Inc. of Pittsburgh had professional tape recorders on the scene and later released a platter, 44 minutes playing time, called 'Whistle Echoes,' narrated by S&D's president Capt. Frederick Way, Jr. Mode-Art will again record this year.
The whistles blown in 1965 ranged in size from the mighty three-barrel whistle of the old towboat SPRAGUE, weighing 480 pounds, to the shrill peeps o f several vest-pocket editions. Most of the old whistles were brought by whistle buffs who had saved them, but who had no means of blowing them. Nobody suspected so many old steamboat whistles existed. This year's repeat was decided upon because many other whistles since have been located.
The Whistle Committee of S&D is headed by Walter W. McCoy, 315 South Wells St., Sisterville, West Va., who also headed up last year's blow. Walter says:- 'Visitors are welcome, and we are particularly anxious to do a good job. Persons who have: an old steamboat whistle are invited to bring it. Our requirement is that it must have been used on the Ohio or Mississippi or tributaries, and that the whistle is intactsame as when used on the boat it came from. It will help a great deal if applicants will drop me a line describing the whistle, and particularly the pipe size.'
Walter McCoy's committee is composed of S. Durward Hoag, proprietor of the Motor Hotel Lafayette, Marietta; Capt. Ross Rogers, Jr., of the Wall Rope Co., Sewickley, Pa.; Robert L. Stone, president of Mode-Art Pictures, Inc., Pittsburgh, and George M. Fowles, plant engineer at Union Carbide's Silicones Division.
Inasmuch as this is strictly an outdoor affair, extremely adverse weather conditions could defeat the program, in which case the committee plans to postpone the date until the following Saturday.