W.P. Snyder Set to Begin Phase Two of its Restoration

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A southeastern Ohio steamboat is being restored again by the Ohio Historical Society.

The W.P. SNYDER Jr., located at the Ohio River Museum in Marietta, is the last remaining steam-powered, "pool-type," stern-wheeled towboat in the United States.

The Ohio Historical Society is planning to begin phase two of its restoration after phase one was completed in 2010.

Phase two's project manager, Fred Smith, said this phase will cover all the work that tourists will be able to see.

"We are going to restore the principle deck, the upper deck, all of the engine house, the cabin, and also put in a new electrical system and repaint the entire vessel," said Smith.

Phase one repaired the hull of the boat and the paddlewheel to make sure the boat did not sink.

Smith said the OHS received over $950,000 in state donations and grants as well as many private donations to allow phase two to happen.

The 94 year old boat is currently being used as a museum exhibit and has no plans to ever be operable again.

With phase two, Smith said the boat will look as good as it did when it was in its prime.

"We want to be able to display the vessel as she was in pristine condition to our visitors," said Smith. "The vessel is really the last of its kind and to have it be in spectacular condition is really a rare sight for a lot of people."

Smith said he hopes the work will start in the fall, but it is more likely it will start in the spring of next year.