At the ripe old age of 19, James Howard started a shipyard in Jeffersonville, Indiana building his first boat, the Hyperion. During the 107-year history of the Howard Shipyard, they launched over 3,000 riverboats, becoming the largest inland shipyard in America. The story of the Howards is preserved at the Howard Steamboat Museum, a massive 22-room Romanesque Revival mansion adjacent to the shipyard. The craftsmanship of the shipbuilders is evident in the gingerbread woodwork and grand staircase in the residence. Items from the Robert E. Lee, the Natchez, and the J.M. White are on display along with the original paddlewheel of the Delta Queen. There is also a collection of 4,500 photographs, shipbuilding tools, documents, paintings, full ship models and half breadth models from the steamboat era. The shipyard is now run by the American Commercial Line Barge Service, which built the Mississippi Queen, and the General Jackson. The newly launched City of Evansville is the newest craft from the oldest continually operated inland shipyard in the country.
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