Tag Archives: riverboat

Ghost Town of Butler, Florida

Butler and Butler’s Ferry (Butler Landing) as shown on a 1935 map of Jackson County, Florida.

Butler was a thriving Chattahoochee River community during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It is a ghost town today.

The village was named for the Butler family that once lived there. At its height it was the location of a store, sawmill, gristmill, turpentine still, cotton gin and paddlewheel steamboat landing.

Butler was demolished in 1951, however, after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers acquired the site during the construction of the Jim Woodruff Dam. Lake Seminole, the 37,500 acre reservoir formed by the dam, was expected to flood community. The waters of the lake did rise and inundate parts of the site, but much of old Butler remains above water.

Click the play button to watch our special tour of the Ghost Town of Butler, Florida:

If you would like to visit the site of Butler, it is located within the Apalachee Wildlife Management Area 6.2 miles north of U.S. 90 at Sneads, Florida. The community surrounded the intersection of River Road (SR-271) and Butler Road.

This map will help you find it:

 

Exploring the wreck of the paddlewheel boat Albany

The paddlewheel steamer Albany has been a landmark of Florida’s Apalachicola River for 90 years. Two Egg TV obtained special permission to visit her wreck for this story:

A U.S. government snagboat, the Albany operated on the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers from around 1928 until 1959. She was tied up and abandoned at Chattahoochee a short time later during a high water event.

Her sister ship, the Montgomery, took over snag duties and continued to operate until 1982.

Many residents of the Chattahoochee and Sneads area remember the novelty of seeing the Albany as she sat high up on the bank of the Apalachicola River. Children played on the decks and explored the empty cabins of the virtually intact steamboat.

Paddlewheel at the stern of the Albany as seen in 1961 after she was abandoned atop the riverbank at Chattahoochee, Florida.
Paddlewheel at the stern of the Albany as seen in 1961 after she was abandoned atop the riverbank at Chattahoochee, Florida.

The Albany slowly deteriorated over time, however, and all that remains today is the hull and lower deck. Even that is rapidly disappearing and in another decade or two nothing will likely be left of the historic vessel but the steel beams of her hull.

She is one of the impressive number of wrecks to be found along the banks of the Apalachicola River at Chattahoochee. The presence of the skeletons of so many paddlewheel steamers and historic wooden barges there have led the stretch of water between the Jim Woodruff Dam and the CSX railroad trestle to be dubbed “Florida’s Inland Graveyard of Ships.”

The wreck of the Albany on private property and is not open to the public. We received special permission and assistance from the owner to photograph the meager remains of the once proud government steamer.

If you enjoyed our story on the Albany, you might also enjoy our visit to the wreck of the steamboat Barbara Hunt:

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