Fishing Guide, Pals Recover ’20s-Era Boat
WALLIS -THE BAXTER BULLETIN
GASSVILLE — A blurry apparition on
the bottom of the White River has turned out to be
The river, at a spot known to locals as
Red Bud above Rim Shoals, has yielded a boat that is
95 percent intact and dates to about 1929.
Mike Flippin, a lifelong fishing guide
on the White, said Wednesday that he first spied the
object that looked like a staircase on the river
bottom in May.
A regular angler on those waters,
Flippin said he kept an eye on the object as the
river level fell during the summer.
In late June, it became apparent the
object was an old boat, he said.
On July 2, assisted by friends Eric
Totty and Joshua Due, Flippin came prepared to raise
the boat and inspect it closely.
“It’s about 95 percent complete,”
Flippin said. “It looks to me like it was a push
boat with an add-on hinged motor block.”
Very few examples of similar boats
built in 1920s exist today. Flippin said he believes
the boat he found may have originated from the
Galena (Mo.) Boat Co.
Flippin said Ozarks researcher and
author Larry Dablemont has written about the
seven-day float trips from Galena to Branson and
14-day float trips from Branson to Cotter that were
popular excursions in the 1920s.
“These boats were taken out of the
river at Cotter and carried by train back to
Galena,” Flippin said.
After raising the boat and taking it
ashore, Flippin said he immediately re-immersed it
inside a larger boat lined with heavy plastic and
filled with a solution recommended for preserving
wood that has acclimated to being underwater.
He then called Julie Lovett, a Bull
Shoals State Park interpreter, who estimated that,
based on the style of nails use, the boat was built
between 1927 to 1930.
“I’m just tickled to death it’s out of
the river and safe,” Flippin said.
He said he hopes eventually to see the
boat exhibited where the public can see and
appreciate it for its place and purpose in history.
Flippin said similar boats are on
display at College of the Ozarks and Silver Dollar
The Silver Dollar City boat is a new
boat created by craftsmen in the style of the boats
built commercially in the South by Charlie Barnes of
This story was
published Saturday, July 24, 2010 in THE BAXTER BULLETIN Newspaper
Ron and Debbie
P.O. Box 96