Cutting Firewood by Moonlight, 1856
The OMAHA was built in 1856 at Madison, Indiana. She was a
dependable boat that traveled the Missouri River for ten years. Her
was the 771 miles that stretched between St. Louis, Missouri and Sioux
This painting depicts her 1856 voyage up the Missouri River. On that
voyage to Sioux City, the OMAHA was carrying close to $70,000.00 in
This shipment of merchandise consisted of hardware, sawmills, and even
prefabricated buildings - all the items necessary to build a new
The firm of Tootle and Jackson commissioned the OMAHA to deliver these
goods. Once the OMAHA arrived they could begin to build Sioux City.
settlement became an important staging area for future travels on the
River to the Montana gold fields.
In this painting the OMAHA has stopped for the night. It was during
this time the crew would cut firewood in order to replenish their
Steamboats possessed a ravenous appetite for firewood. It was not
for the vessel to use between ten and twenty-five cords of wood a day.
An essay on the history of the OMAHA, written by noted author John
Madson, will accompany each print.