Steamboat Building in Elizabeth, PA

A Journal of daily activities at the Elizabeth Marine Ways 1898 to 1925 

Packet Boat Elizabeth along the Monongahela

To view a larger image with music background of Packet Boat Elizabeth along the Monongahela click here  

Go Directly to:           

* Search this Web Page
* Recent Updates to Web Page
* View Pictures relating to Elizabeth, PA
* View the complete video of the 1934 Elizabeth Centennial which includes a short view of the Elizabeth Marine Ways in 1934
* JW's Family History added.  Two pages copied from a Lynch Family Bible.
* View video of 1929 Riverboat Parade in Pittsburgh
*  Story of search for the Model of Steamer SPRAGUE

This site is mirrored at  and


Introduction Journal Directory Master Directory J. W. Lynch Sprague Model Photographs Name Directory Links Tips Table of Contents Guestbook Comments


  The Elizabeth Marine Ways is located in Elizabeth, PA along the Monongahela River. The work performed at the Ways during the early part of the 20th century was related to the river boat industry, in particular to the building and repairing of steamboats. My great grandfather, John William Lynch, worked there from 1898 until his retirement in 1925, starting as a general laborer and ending as superintendent.  JW kept a journal during his lifetime with entries which began in 1869 and ended in 1948, just weeks prior to his death. 

  This web site has the entries made during his work life at the Marine Ways, JW details the day to day activities at the Ways, specifically he names men he worked with and the boats that were being repaired or built and if the boat was being repaired, he lists the exact repairs completed.

  I expect that this information should be of interest to Genealogists, those researching the history of Elizabeth, Pennsylvania and " Riverbuffs." 

  JW continued to record his daily activities after his retirement from the Marine Ways in 1925 as he made entries into 1948.  He included the names of numerous citizens of the Elizabeth, PA area in his journal. He wrote in his journal during March 1925 the following:  "The Deaths of People I have known well or have been around and with through my life follows at intervals in this Diary."  I have included the names of these individuals on the page titled  "Name Directory"   You can use the Search function on the Home Page or Name Directory Page to see if your ancestor is named. 

  The Photograph Chapter contains hundreds of photographs taken during JW's lifetime with an emphasis on the early part of the 20th century.  Photos include Elizabeth, PA, the Elizabeth Marine Ways, Locks and Dams along Western Pa Rivers, Small Towns Views along the Rivers, Small Town Bridges in Western PA, Pittsburgh Views and Pittsburgh Bridges and of course Riverboats, some of which you are able to hear their whistle.  Additional photographs are added continuously.  

Photos Needed is a page that lists Riverboats, Pump Boats, Model Barges, and other craft that I am searching for photographs of, your help is appreciated.

Enjoy !    

Search this site to look up Surnames and Riverboats that JW may have written about in his journal. I suggest when searching for Surnames that you search for the surname (last name) only.  When searching for a specific Riverboat I would suggest putting in only the name of the boat, do not use a prefix such as "Steamboat".

As I continue to add photos and information additional hits may show up on your searches so please keep returning. 

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Browser such as Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari do not allow the captions (Balloon Text) I have inserted on many photos to be seen when you place your mouse pointer / cursor onto that photo. Internet Explorer  shows these captions by default. Chrome has an extension " Pop Up Image Alt Attribute"  and a few others  that if downloaded will show the photos captions and I advice downloading one of these extension if using Chrome. Firefox and Safari may also have extensions which allow these captions to be seen.  Comments and suggestions are appreciated.


This site was last updated on 03/08/21      

The most recent additions to the site include:   


3/8/21 Guest Comment page added to site
7/22/19 Two photos added to Elizabeth Town Scapes      .
5/30/19 Photo added to Elizabeth, PA Page

Comments, Questions, and Suggestions are appreciated.   Please contact Jay W. Mohney at the following email address:
 jwmohney "at" comcast "dot" net    Please make the following changes to the email address as it is not a clickable address,  "at" = @   and "dot" = .

I have read that by altering your email address with written words in place of the symbols will  confuse spammers programs that search web pages looking for email addresses, I highly recommend you do this when leaving a comment in the Guestbook.  

The Guestbook links below are intentionally disabled due to hackers constantly entering comments onto the page.  Comments and Suggestions are still appreciated by using the email address above.

 To Sign the Guestbook or to View previous Guestbook entries click on the link below or the link in the Menu Bar at the top of this page.

Sign My Guestbook      


If the comment you are going to add to the GUESTBOOK contains a question for me, to help me respond please make sure the email address  you use is current and/or email me the question direct using the email address above. Also to help insure you receive my reply add my email address to your SPAM program as a safe address to avoid having my response sent to your Spam Folder. 

If your comment is more than one sentence please leave it in the comment section rather than in the two question areas above comments as these have length restrictions. If you have any problems leaving a comment in the GUESTBOOK please email me to make me aware.

Your comments and questions are appreciated.


The actual journals of J. W. Lynch are maintained at the library of the H.J. Heinz Historical Center, Pittsburgh, PA.  Visiting the library at the H.J. Heinz Center will enable you to hold and view these journals, the journals are catalogued as item MSS 376.  Visit the History Center web site for hours and directions:

Below are various links that the History Center has as aids to help individuals find information on the journals:

These finding aid are keyword searchable, so anyone searching any of the words from the finding aid from these search portal will be led to information on the journals.

A direct link to the J. W. Lynch finding aid on Historical Pittsburgh is available by clicking this sentence.

A link to the Senator John Heinz History Center Library & Archives is available by clicking this sentence.

This link will also find the journals by clicking on this sentence.

In addition these records are shared with two international databases of library and archival material that will help ensure that researchers from across the world will be able to find information about this collection:  and Archivegrid 

The History Center also published a blog post on September 11, 2014, click this sentence to view this information.


All rights are reserved, permission to utilize the information on these pages for personal research is granted. Any commercial use of the information on these pages is not granted without my permission.