On the way home from my mother-in-law's today I saw the W.H. Dickhoner of Ingram Barge downbound past Gallipolis OH. I remember this boat from when it was on the Ohio River all the time -- or at least it seemed that way.
That was back in the 1980s, when the Dickhoner was owned by Ohio River Co. Ohio River Co. had at least two boats like this -- the W.H. Dickhoner and the James C. Justice. It had two others of similar appearance -- the Omar and the Omega -- but they had engines that burned No. 6 diesel fuel and they had controlled-pitch propellers. Those two boats shook the windows every time the went past. Kind of like the way some car stereos are, but more intense. It was great.
I was supposed to ride the Omega from the Gallipolis Locks and Dam to Huntington. I boarded the boat early one morning as it sat above the locks waiting its turn in line. And we waited. And waited. By dark, I got off.
Ingram bought out Ohio River Co. a few years ago. The Omega is now the Erna E. Honeycutt and operates primarily on the Upper Mississippi, from what I can gather. The Omar still bears its original name, I think. Both have been repowered and no longer talk to the windows, I hear. I know Ingram or Ohio River Co. had to do that, but it's a bit of a shame.