Venango Museum of Art, Science, and Industry

270 Seneca Street Oil City, PA 16301
(814) 676-2007
Email: themillers@csonline.net


About the Packet Boat "Pine Knot"

The building of the Pine Knot began in March 1992, patterned after Pomeroy's Express, a packet boat that was built at Schaeffer Farm on Oil Creek in the late 19th century. It was used to transport passengers and goods up and down the creek, to and from the Allegheny River. Boats of this type were also used during the boom years in the Oil Region to transport oil down the creek on pond freshet days. The Pine Knot is constructed of white pine boards of unusually large dimension. The original 19th century boats often had just one board for the gunwale because large virgin timber was readily available.

Once the white pine was secured for the Pine Knot and cut to size, it was ricked up in a well ventilated building to dry out.

On March 18, 1992, construction began, upside down on a dolly made from large pipes and two large wheels. The dolly gave the builders the ability to work under her and move her about as needed. At a later stage, the boat was turned over to complete fabrication of the deck, seats, bracing, stringers, flooring and top rails. Finally, a sturdy base was constructed for the bow winch, the sweep pivots for both bow and stern and framing for a 20 foot canvas cover.

The Pine Knot made its maiden voyage in April 1992, carrying a crew of fifteen and captained by Jan Snyder of Port Angeles, Washington, who is also to captain the April 1996 excursion. The boat proved to be sound and seaworthy.

Lew and Paula Weingard of Tionesta, Pa. provided the research and design work necessary to build the Pine Knot. Bert and Lannie Lehman of Tionesta served as general contractors.

The Pine Knot is 36 feet long, has a beam of 12 feet and drafts 7 to 9 inches of water. It is owned by the Venango Museum of Art, Science and Industry and has been used since 1992 for river expeditions and as a Classroom On The River for area school children, who learn about early river navigation, the environment and ecology of the Allegheny River and the early history of their communities while aboard the vessel.


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