Harvesting the River
Harvest Transport History

Home > Transportation > Boats> Boats on the River


Watersports, Havana
Watersports, Havana, Illinois
Havana Public Library District, Havana, Illinois
Elzada Horton Collection
Zoom in on Watersports, Havana
The towns along the central Illinois River were established in large part by settlers who came up the river by keel boat, packet boat, and steamboat. The river served as the main "road" for importing supplies and shipping out products. Some of the residents along the river literally lived "on" the river in houseboats.

View images of the steamboats, packet boats, barges and tow boats, and other small fishing and hunting boats that crowded the Illinois River and its lakes. See and hear audio and video clips that feature river residents recounting stories about commercial and recreational travel up and down the river. Learn the history of the river's boating traffic, through the River Traffic Timeline.

Images Videos Audio clips

      Steam Boats
      Small Boats
      Duck Boat
      Kidney Boats
      House Boats
   Plank Roads
      Northern Cross
      Illinois River
   The River

State of Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources Illinois State MuseumSearch