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Rare Vintage Photos of Coney Island's Early Steamboat Crews


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I have inherited my great-grandfather's steamboat possessions. His name was Captain William Eakins and was a 4th generation steamer from Dayton, Kentucky. He worked for the Coney Island Company for several years until 1920. I attached a few photos from his album as well as a letter from when he retired. I started scanning the album and letters, and have uploaded them to here: https://imgur.com/a/EjWNO

I have been looking to find somewhere in Cincinnati where I can do furthger research as there does not seem to be a whole lot of info about the first Island Queen (and the sister ships, Morning Star and Island Princess) and the crew members. My mom was working with him on a biography before he passed away, but it was never finished. I would love to be able to finish it and get it published, but would also like to try to find more info about these images as well as information not mentioned in this lot. Unfortunately, my mother passed away about 3 years ago and my uncle passed away about 6 years ago. There's only a few members of the family left alive and I would love to be able to get his story told.




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Have you made attempts at obtaining records through the Cincinnati public library?  Also, Museum Center at Union Terminal has a vast amount of historians on retainer that may be able to help.  Now that the renovations at the Terminal are complete, you'd likely have a better chance at assistance.


Most cities have a hall of records or center of historical records.  Not sure where to start - but the above two options could lead you in the correct direction.

Finally, a subscription to an archived news service online can be of immense help.  There's several options for researching/reading old newspaper articles - all the way back to the turn of the century!

Good luck!

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Interesting that they were located in the First National Bank Building.  I'm wondering if that's in reference to the First National Bank of Cincinnati, which after several mergers, became US Bank.  It would be interesting to see where that building is/was, although the address is a bit of a mystery.

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