The Maritime Museum and Wooden Boat Festival were excited to reveal this year’s Wooden Boat Festival poster by artist Mickey Asche. We couldn’t be more pleased!
Please see the Wooden Boat Festival website for more information on this year’s poster and poster artist: https://www.woodenboatfest.org/info/posters
The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum Wooden Boat Festival chose to recognize the steamboat “Josie” for her maritime connection to St. Tammany Parish and Lake Pontchartrain. The history and legacy of past vessels are formed by their owners and masters who sailed them.
Henry Thomas Grace Weaver of Covington was a veteran schooner master and steamboat captain. In October, 1881, Master Weaver purchased the schooner “Two Son”, a six year old lake schooner originally built in Madisonville by Louis Baham. The schooner was 60 feet long and 27 gross tons. He sailed the schooner for 10 years to and from Covington to New Orleans.
In the summer of 1891, Master Weaver contracted with Madisonville boat builder Louis Cardone for a new freight schooner. He named the vessel “Josie Weaver” after his new bride, Josie Frederick Weaver. The schooner of 40 tons, was nearly 70 feet long and cost $2,500.00 to build. The “Josie Weaver” became one of the most recognized sights on the lake, making weekly journeys from Covington to New Orleans.
Tragedy befell Captain Weaver, around the turn of the century when the “Josie Weaver” burned and became a total lost. He asked well-known boat builder Valerian Baham to build a new schooner. The new schooner was built at a cost of $4,000.00 and was launched on May 11, 1901. The new schooner was also named “Josie Weaver” and christened by Miss Amanda Doerr.
In 1908, Captain Weaver made a daring investment by contracting with the Oulliber Brothers Shipyard in Madisonville for a new steamboat. The new steamboat named “Josie” was finished in July 1908. She was almost 90 feet long, 25 feet wide and 80 gross tons. The steamer “Josie” was built at a cost of $12,000.00. She plowed the lake, using her 96 horsepower steam engine and eleven man crew. She made weekly trips to New Basin Canal at New Orleans, carrying sand, rosin, turpentine, lumber, rice, hides and other farm goods.
Captain Henry Thomas Grace Weaver died in 1914 at the age of 64 and is buried in a Covington cemetery. He left his freight business in the hands of his son Dudley Weaver. The steamer “Josie” left the lake trade in the mid 1920’s when she was sold to Daphne Boat Company of Daphne, Alabama.