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From the desk of Alison Gibson, Director
This 1908 postmarked postcard shows both the wharf boat and the top line of the Courier here in Ripley. (If you look closely, you can see the Courier name). We first looked up the Courier in the Way’s Packet Directory, 1848-1994. Built in 1885 using engines from the side-wheeler Scioto, started life out doing a Wheeling-Parkersburg run. In 1895, was sold to the White Collar Line and began the Cincinnati-Maysville run. She had hit the Central Bridge in Cincinnati in 1896, sunk, was raised. In 1904 she was sold to local Capt. Gorden C. Greene and kept the Maysville-Cincinnati run going. In 1917, she completed her last runs and was dismantled in Ashland. Her roof bell went to a church in Pliny, West Virginia, and her whistle went to the steamer Tacoma. Apparently, the whistle was one of the sweetest and most recognizable on the river. First made for the Express No. Two, then to the St. Lawrence steamer, then to the Courier. Reading the local papers, Capt. Greene had wanted the whistle, didn’t get it right away, had one made that was close to the original, and finally was able to procure ‘the whistle’ for the Courier. One article described it as “musical whistle that has for years sounded through the hills and regulated the ringing of dinner bells, sounded the alarm for early rising, the dinner hours, the bedtime lullaby, and told the time of night to give medicine to the sick and suffering”. The Way’s Packet Directory book said her whistle was outstanding; A-flat and C, treble clef, and D-flat and low A-flat, bass clef. (One could spend quite a bit of time researching the boats that stopped at Ripley for passenger and freight business.)
Fickle winter weather keeps us guessing on the road conditions. While we hope and plan to be open as much as possible, when in doubt, please call or look on our Facebook page to see if we have closed early, opened late or whatever we may deem appropriate. Since we open later than the local schools, we do not always follow suit.
Cold weather brings to mind big bowls of hot soup, good bread and conversation. We have lots of ‘soup’ books as well as cozy reads to help the grey days pass—stop in, find a new author, an inspirational cookbook, a good movie and more, here at your local library.
Next Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and our libraries will be closed in observance.