The Friends of Jennie Wade is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization founded in 2003. We operate on the memberships and donations of people interested in keeping history alive and meaningful. Through the sternwheeler, the Jennie Wade and the media center she houses we give visitors to the Chilo Park an opportunity to see and experience the types of flat bottom boats that once traveled the rivers of early America. Through the media center productions, like Men of the River, visitors learn about some of the wonderful pioneer river men and women that called this region home.
If you are interested in getting more information or in becoming a member click here for an application.
Learn about the story of the restoration of the Jennie Wade from how she looked in 1970 as an amusement park ride at Gettysburg Timeless Townes of the America to present day at her home port, Chilo Lock #34 Park.
Click here for the story of her full circle journey back to Ohio.
The Jennie Wade as she looked in Gettysburg Pennsylvania, 1990.
The Jennie Wade is launched into the Susquehanna River, 2000.
The 2003 and 2004 seasons are spent on the Ohio River.
Steve Free in Concert on the top deck of the Jennie Wade part of the festivities of the Ohio Tobacco Festival
Focus on education:
Since its beginnings in 2003, the Jennie Wade has made education one of our main focuses. Thousands of school children have toured the facility, learning about her namesake, Jennie Wade the young teenage volunteer and Civil War heroine who was killed during the Battle of Gettysburg. They learn the story of the restoration of the Jennie Wade and about volunteerism, the driving force that made this project happen. The children also learn about the use of the flat bottom boats that traveled the rivers before the wicket dams were built to control the rivers.
Now a new display shows how these boats worked. A model of the Proctor K. Smiley, an early Ripley Ohio ferry boat, shows visitors the inner workings of a steam driven engine.
New Educational Display
Another organization that focuses on education and is filled with boat building ideas is the American Sternwheel Association. Check out their site right here.