UPDATE 5/30/2014 8:15 AM
The W.P. Snyder, Jr. returns home to crowds of people who couldn't be happier.
The sternwheeler made the trip back to Marietta from its renovation project on May 8.
But high Muskingum River waters delayed its return to the Ohio River Museum.
Fred Smith with the Ohio History Connection says they are finalizing the boat right now, including main decks and boiler decks, painting, new electrical work and signs.
As early as Thursday afternoon people were able to go on board.
"It's really gratifying that the Ohio Department of Transportation had this funding available through the Federal Government and the state of Ohio had 20 percent match for the 80 percent of the federal funds that allowed this to even happen -- because the boat is so expensive to maintain," Smith says.
He says it's a long time coming and super exciting.
We've been waiting for it and it's great to have it back on the heels of the summer season.
Tonya Hosie came in from Galloway to see it up close.
“I think it's pretty exciting and it's very fun,” she says. “I think it's cool for the kids, seeing how it operates and hearing the history, you know -- and just information about it.
Hosie says when it opens she'll be first in line.
UPDATE 5/29/2014 11:30 AM
The W.P. Snyder, Jr. returned to its home outside the Ohio River Museum in Marietta Thursday morning.
We'll have more throughout the day on WTAP.
UPDATE 5/28/2014 12:00 PM
The W.P. Snyder, Jr. will soon be home.
The Ohio History Connection (formerly the Ohio Historical Society) says the boat will move from Vienna to the Muskingum River by 10:00 a.m. Thursday and it will be back at its home at the Ohio River Museum by noon.
It returned to Marietta earlier this month after being renovated at Amherst Madison, but river conditions kept it away from the Ohio River Museum.
UPDATE 5/14/2014 3:35 PM
High water keeps the W.P. Snyder, Jr. away from its home a while longer.
The Ohio Historical Society says due to concerns about high water on the Ohio River, the boat is moving to Neale Marine in Vienna.
It just returned to Marietta last week after being renovated at Amherst Madison.
But it was docked near the Lafayette Hotel because of river conditions.
The Ohio Historical Society says the Snyder will return to its home near the Ohio River Museum once river conditions improve.
UPDATE 5/8/2014 5:00 PM
An old sternwheeler comes back to Marietta new again.
The W.P. Snyder, Jr. left Marietta this fall for renovations and it returned Thursday.
It's the last of its kind and a huge piece of history in Marietta.
It underwent a successful phase two, which consisted of fixing the exterior of the historic sternwheeler.
Crews say the repairs went extremely well.
Starting last fall, phase two was a $1 million project.
The boat traveled to Amherst Madison on the Kanawha River.
The project made the Snyder water tight and it got new flooring, repaired main decks and paddle wheel, plus a new paint job.
"Not something we normally tackle so there were concerns that we would have the expertise to deal with it," says Josh Pray, project manager with Amherst Madison. "Selecting the paint colors, finding someone still capable of painting the signs, everything went very smoothly, we had a great crew from the Ohio Historical Society to work with us."
The last of its kind, the Snyder has been in Marietta since 1955.
The historical society is currently working on funding for the third phase of the project as well, hoping to do that in 2015.
The Snyder is attached to a tow boat and crews will be watching over it.
Because of the high water in the Muskingum River right now they are waiting until Monday to bring it back to the Ohio River Museum where it usually sits.
UPDATE 5/8/2014 2:00 PM
An historic sternwheel's voyage home is nearly complete.
The W.P. Snyder, Jr. made its way back to Marietta Thursday.
The 95-year-old vessel is headed to dock at the Ohio Historical Society's Ohio River Museum.
It was scheduled to return Thursday morning but water conditions delayed the return.
It is docked at the Lafayette Hotel until the conditions calm.
This past October the steamboat went to the Amherst Madison Shipyard in West Virginia for repairs and preservation work.
It's the only remaining intact sternwheeler still on the nation's river system.
We will have a live report from the boat Thursday on WTAP at 5 and WTAP News at 6.
UPDATE 5/5/2014 05:30 PM
After leaving for a much needed makeover last fall, the W.P. Snyder Jr. heads back to the Valley this week.
As one of the most beloved attractions at the Ohio Historical Society's Ohio River Museum, the 95 year old sternwheeler arrives in Marietta Thursday morning.
This past October the steam boat went to the Amherst Madison Shipyard in West Virginia for repairs and preservation work.
It's the only remaining intact sternwheeler still on the nation's river system.
The W.P. Snyder is expected to arrive around 10:00 Thursday mornnig at the Ohio River Museum.
It's a big project for the old sternwheeler.
With much anticipation, many people lined the banks of the Muskingum River Thursday morning to send off the WP Snyder Jr.
It was a very exciting and long morning.
The WP Snyder Jr was scheduled to leave between 8 and 9 a.m.
The sternwheeler didn't leave its docking place until around 10:30 a.m.
But many community members were out watching and waiting the whole time.
Officials with the Ohio Historic Society and the boat said this isn't unusual.
Something that is tied up, secure and historic like that takes time to move.
The WP Snyder Jr is headed down to the Kanawha River to be fixed up by Amherst Madison.
Shannon Thomas with the Ohio Historical Society says the trip will take around 24 hours.
And Fred Smith, an Ohio Historical Society architect, will be on the boat.
With the Harmar Bridge having to be turned Thursday morning and the Snyder being the last boat of its kind, many people showed up Thursday for the send off.
Thomas says the work that will be done on the Snyder is much need and the Ohio Historical Society is happy to help.
The boat should be back around late spring and the Ohio Historical Society will be announcing that when the time comes.
Everyone Thursday said there will be a big welcome back party.
UPDATE 10/08/2013 4:45 PM
Big moves for the WP Snyder, Jr.
The sternwheel that you see sitting next to the Valley Gem will be missing for a while.
This boat is a huge part of Marietta's historic downtown and the last of its kind.
The boat needs repairs and that is just what is going to happen.
On Thursday morning the boat will be taken out of its docking place and transported down the Muskingum River by two boats.
The Harmar Bridge will be turned and then the boat will be tied between two barges on the Ohio River to be transported to the Kanawha River.
Amherst Madison is the company that will fix the boat at their shipyard at Henderson - across the river from Point Pleasant.
It is a restoration job because of the requirements of the grant.
They have around $1 million to use on fixing the boat.
People working closely with this project say this is a wonderful thing.
The restoration will take around 120 days.
Jeff Spear, President of the Sons and Daughters of Pioneer Rivermen, says he is not worried what happened to the Becky Thatcher will happen to the WP Snyder, Jr. - she has a new hull and is very sturdy.
Everyone is welcome to come down and see this historic event Thursday morning at 8 and the Harmar Bridge turning will follow.
UPDATE 9/13/13 4:50 P.M.
More details to a story we brought you Thursday.
The W.P. Snyder Jr. now has $1 million in grant money for repairs and the company that will be doing the work was announced Friday afternoon.
Architect Fred Smith with the Ohio Historical Society met with the Sons and Daughters of the Pioneer Rivermen Friday.
He says the company that will be constructing phase two of the W.P. Snyder Jr. is Amherst Madison.
Smith says the project will repair the boiler and main decks, the hull super structure and the whole boat is being repainted.
"A representative from the company is here but I've been working with the fellows in Charleston. It will be transported down to the Kanawha river just across from Gallipolis in Ohio and it will go up the Kanawha river little bit to the repair yard there," Smith says.
Smith says the support from many organizations has been outstanding and they have been waiting a long time for this finally to come together.
UPDATE 9/13/13 10:55 A.M.
A fixture of the Muskingum and Ohio Rivers in Marietta, the W.P. Snyder gets some new life.
It is a main attraction for Marietta's historic river front.
"The W.P. Snyder is probably one of the featured attractions in the entire area - especially part of the Ohio River Museum. So we are really excited to see an overhaul come," says Casey Knowlton, with the Marietta-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The Washington County Commissioners voted yes Thursday, approving a construction bid presented to them for the W.P. Snyder Jr. phase two.
"Now the second phase is super structure work and this is stuff you are going to see, and it's unfortunate you can't see how beautiful that hull is - it's gorgeous, the super structure in painting and materials, that have wasted away will be replaced, she will come back looking like a shiny new penny," says Jeff Spear, President of the Sons and Daughters of Pioneer Rivermen.
Spear says they have around $1 million for this project.
"Yeah we have been waiting for a long while, the boat has been falling apart now for the better part of 15 years," Spear says.
Twenty percent of that money is coming from the state and 80 percent is coming from federal.
The grant is through ODOT, the Transportation Enhancement Program and the State of Ohio capital appropriations.
Knowlton says the community is really excited.
"Its been a process and they have shown some repairs in the past and being able to cosmetically get it to the point where it's once again beautiful really matches the beauty of the inside the vessel it will be nice, I think it's been a long time coming and the community is ready to see it happen," Knowlton says.
The project is to be started in October.
The boat will be dry docked and construction will take around 120 days
Fred Smith with the Ohio Historic Society will be in town Friday meeting with the Sons and Daughters of the Pioneer Rivermen.
He is announcing which company will be doing the work - a much anticipated announcement.
UPDATE 9/12/13 4:59 P.M.
A fixture of the Muskingum and Ohio Rivers in Marietta - the WP Snyder gets some new life.
The Washington County Commissioners voted yes Thursday, approving a bid presented to them for the WP Snyder Jr. phase two.
Fred Smith with the Ohio Historical Society says they have around $1 million dollars to restore the boat.
20 percent of that money is coming from the state and 80 percent of that money is coming from federal.
It is through the Transportation Enhancement Program and the State of Ohio capital appropriations.
Many historical societies around Marietta are very excited about this, with the boat being a huge part of the history and the Ohio River Museum.
Jeff Spear, President of the Sons and Daughters of Pioneer Rivermen, says the project starts in October and will take around 120 days.
Fred Smith will be in town Friday meeting the Sons and Daughters of the Pioneer Rivermen, annoucing which company will be doing the work - a much anticipated announcement.
Washington County Commissioners approve a bid to restore the WP Snyder Jr.
At the Washington County Commissioners meeting Thursday morning the commissioners voted yes for the bid presented by the Ohio Historical Society.
The Ohio Historical Society is working with a federal grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation.
The Washington County Commissioners are working as the local agency for the grant regulations to help this go through.
Commissioners say the grant is for $780,700.