Design by Dustin Johnson
With support from an IYO grant Bellarmine Historian Fedja Buric will be our guest speaker at Barnes & Noble Bookstore on Thursday, October 26. Born in Bosnia, at the age of 13 in 1992, he was forced to flee his home town with his brother and parents when a brutal ethnic conflict broke out in the former Yugoslavia which would lead to the murder of over 100,000 people and displace 2 million more. After roaming the Balkans in search of a safe haven they slept in an out-of-service train car before the UNHCR relocated them to a refugee camp in Turkey where they shared a couple of bathrooms with 3,000 unfortunate Bosnians. From there his parents wrote more than 30 letters seeking asylum. All said no except for the United States and in June 1995 the family came to Louisville. A graduate of Bellarmine University he spent a semester abroad at Oxford and a summer at Cambridge. He received his PhD in History at the University of Illinois. He teaches modern European history at Bellarmine and is researching the “Mixed Marriages of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Creation of Ethnic Difference.” He’ll be talking about “Bosnia: More Than Twenty Years since Dayton.”
The Scioto (Courtney Ellis Collection)
Thanks to lock and dam construction by the Rough River Navigation Company, incorporated in 1856, the citizens of Hartford and Ohio County, Kentucky once enjoyed regular steamboat traffic along that tributary of the Green River. Late in the 19th century the Scioto, a 94-foot-long craft owned by the Hartford and Evansville Packet Company, transported both freight and passengers between Hartford and Evansville, Indiana.
The daily demands of operating the Scioto are documented in a collection of bills and receipts held in the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives of WKU’s Department of Library Special Collections. Dated 1899, they show the expenses necessary to maintain this floating conveyance of people and goods. We see purchases of foodstuffs such as flour, peas, corn, butter, coffee, ketchup, sugar and potatoes; provisions such as oil, matches and deck brooms; services rendered for laundering sheets, towels and tablecloths; and repairs to stoves, pipes and flanges. The Scioto‘s crew did business at both ends of its route, so Hartford and Evansville merchants are well represented. Some of these firms catered specifically to the steamboat trade, promising to serve their customers’ needs “at all hours.” Many of the Evansville businesses were appropriately located on Upper Water Street, now Riverside Drive.
Click here to access a finding aid for the Scioto steamboat collection of receipts, and here to learn about our premier collection of Ohio River Valley steamboat photographs. For more, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.