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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Dan River Steam Navigation Company

by Lindley S. Butler, 2006

The Dan River Steam Navigation Company was incorporated by the state legislature in 1855 for the purpose of operating steamboats on the Dan River from Clarksville, Va., to the head of navigation in Rockingham County, N.C. Brothers Marshall and John W. Parks, of Norfolk, Va., both engineers, proposed a design for a shallow-draft steamboat that could tow up to a dozen bateaux through the rapid currents and narrow sluices of the Dan River. Although it is unknown whether this company actually succeeded in navigation on the Dan, there is evidence of at least one privately owned steamboat based in Danville sailing on the upper river in the 1880s.


Thomas H. Sloan, Inland Steam Navigation in North Carolina, 1818-1900 (1971).

Additional Resources:

North Carolina Digital Collections search results on Dan River Steam Navigation Company


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