Cooper Flatboats

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Captain Cooper's River Trips


Historical Flatboat Trip Logs

At Cooper Flatboats, we are always interested in maintaining accurate records of our work and travels. The following are historical flatboat trip logs and information concerning our work, excursions, and even our historical flatboat modeling.

Captain's Log

1984 - Steel barge - Little Momma 35' long steel hull workboat. Personal work barge.

1985 - Flatboat - Double Eagle Flatboat measured 20' wide x 44' long.
Cumberland Wildlife Foundation Fundraising. Built in Gallatin, TN on the Cumberland River. Sailed five days from Gallatin, TN to Celina, TN. Cumberland Wildlife Foundation Fundraising journey began on the Cumberland River in Celina, TN, traveling to Nashville, TN. River trip was 280 miles, with 27 days on the Cumberland River to Clarksville, TN.

1985 - One Dugout - 14' long dugout for Historical Mansker's Station located in Goodlettsville, TN. Hewn out of Poplar wood for authentic representation of the 1830s.

1986 - Flatboat - Spirit of Kanawha Flatboat measured18' wide x 40' long. Built and sailed for the 1988 first Tall Stacks Steam Boat Festival in Cincinnati, OH. Built at Big Bone State Park, Union, KY.
Sailed from Big Bone State Park, Union, KY, to Cincinnati, OH. Sailed up the Ohio River to the Tall Stacks Steam Boat Festival. Ohio River trip was 7 days. Sailed up the Kanawha River to be featured for the National Geographic Book, Great American Journeys. Kanawha River trip was two weeks with four days of filming on the Kanawha River.

1987 - Flatboat - Spirit of Ohio Flatboat measured 16' wide x 45' long.
Educational purposes of the Flatboats along the Ohio River. Built at Big Bone State Park, Union, KY. Sailed the Ohio River from Cincinnati, OH, to Charleston, West Virginia. This river journey was to stop along river ports and towns for educational purposes. Ohio River trip was approximately 60 days journey.

1987 - Dugout Canoes - Two Dugout canoes each 12' long. Both were hewn from Yellow Poplar trees and were hewn on Odom's Bend Road, Gallatin, TN. Dugout one was for Cannonsburgh Village, Murfreesboro, TN. The Cannonsburgh to be displayed at Cannonsburgh Village, Murfreesboro, TN. Dugout two was for personal use on the Cumberland River.

1988 - Log Raft - South Street Special Measured 16' wide x 24' long.
This log raft was built on the Caney Fork River at the base of Center Hill Dam. The Yellow Poplar logs were provided by U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. This log raft floated down the Caney Fork River to the Cumberland River, destination was Nashville, TN on the Cumberland River. 24 day journey was the last log raft to go to market on the Cumberland River. South Street Special was to bring awareness and raise funding for the South Street Inner City Community Center, Nashville, TN. Logs were sold in Nashville, TN to various individuals. River journey was 24 days.

1988 - Flatboat - Tricentennial Beginnings - 16' wide x 50' long. Built in Gallatin, TN. Built for Charlie Allen, to tour the Cumberland River to bring awareness of the founding of the community called Buffs on the Cumberland (now Nashville) by flatboats and for awareness of flatboats and the Cumberland River. Several trips were made throughout the year.

1988 - Flatboat - The Double Eagle Flatboat was 20' wide x 44' long. Built on Odom's Bend Road in Gallatin, TN. To film Natchez Trace Pathways to Parkways with Bill Golden as narrator. Journey was 3 weeks.

1990 -Flatboat - The Cannonsburgh 14' wide x 30' long. Built at Cannonburgh Village, Murfreesboro, TN. For stationary display of river travel of 1800 period.

1990 - Flatboat - Living Waters 16' wide x 45 long. Built at Big Bone State Park in Union, KY for the 1992 Tall Stacks Festival in Cincinnati, OH. Trip was approximately 7 day journey. This was the second Flatboat built at Big Bone State Park. First was Spirit of Ohio for the Tall Stacks Festival in 1988.

1992 - Steel hull workboat - 12' wide x 42' long. The Red Barge is a steel barge with a crane in the middle. Built in Mt. Juliet, TN, for Mike Anderson for commercial use on the Cumberland River.

1992 - Flatboat - 14' wide x 32' long. Cumberland River Clean Water Sailed Cumberland River. Various trips throughout 1992 to bring awareness to the Cumberland River.

1992 - Dugout - 30' long. Hewn out of Cottonwood Log. Built for personal use on the Cumberland River.

1996 - Flatboat - Built in 1988. Tricentennial Beginnings 16' wide x 50' long. Davy Crocket journey from Dyersburg, TN on the Obion River down the Mississippi River to Memphis, TN. Trip was 21 days.

1996 - Flatboat - Built in 1992. Cumberland River Clean Water moved flatboat by truck to various cities for display. During the various city displays, the Cumberland River Clean Water Flatboat was moored at:
Knoxville in the World's Fair Pool
Chattanooga on the Tennessee River
Kingsport on the Holston River

Group of People on a Wooden Flatboat

1998 - Dugout 32' long. Charlie's Boat hewn out of cotton wood tree. The dugout was hewn at Wynwood Historical Site, Gallatin, TN, and Bledsoe State Park, Gallatin, TN.

1999 - Steel barge 10' wide x 16' long. The Penny was built on Odom's Bend Road for commercial use.

2000 - Flatboat. 14' wide x 45' long. Angela's Ark built for Taylor County Kentucky Historical Society. Sailed Ohio River for Ursuline Nuns in Owensboro, KY. Journey lasted 9 days on the Ohio River. Reenacting of the first nuns establishing a convent in Owensboro, KY, in the year of 1874, now known as Maple Mount, KY.

2003 - Flatboat. Angela's Ark sold Angela's Ark to Lewis and Clark Group. Sailed from Alton, Illinois on Mississippi River to Memphis, TN. Sold to Mudd Island River Park and Museum, Memphis, TN. It is currently on display at Mudd Island River Park, Memphis, TN.

2006 - Canoe - 14' wide x 22' long. Assembled a two Canoe Pontoon boat with Canoeist at Alton, Illinois on Mississippi River for East Germany Film Team. Titled Film: Mr. and Mississippi.

2006 - Flatboat - 15' wide x 44' long Journey of Remembrance built in Terre Haute, Indiana, for private individual to reenact his great, great grandfathers first trip to establish the first Missionary Baptist Church. This was the first Protestant Church west of the Mississippi River. Year of 1806. Sailed from the Little Miami River above Cincinnati, OH to Cape Girardeau on Mississippi River. Journey was 3 weeks.

2008 - Flatboat - Journey of Remembrance II added 16' to original Journey of Remembrance at Rockport, Indiana at the Ohio River. Sailed from Rockport, Indiana on the Ohio River to Cairo, Illinois, from Cairo Illinois to New Orleans Louisiana on the Mississippi River. Recreated Abraham Lincoln's first flatboat trading trip in 1828.

2009 - Flatboat- 14' wide x 45' long. Built at Netherland Inn on the Holston River, Kingsport, TN. Flatboat is grounded and on permanent display across from the Netherland Inn, Kingsport, TN.

2015 – Davidsonville State Park, Pocahontas, Arkansas – Trapper Flatboat-Museum Flatboat built inside the Davidsonville State Park visitors center. Fully equipped trader boat set against background of the Black River. Fully accessible for museum patrons. Wheel chair accessible.

2017 – Flatboat Patience – Built in Gallatin, TN . Flatboat Patience was transported by land to Pittsburg, PA area to be launched on the Monongahela River. Our flatboat Patience, traveled by Ohio River to Mississippi River to New Orleans, La.  3 month journey

2018 – Ferry Boat – Ditto Landing, Huntsville, AL.  Built in Gallatin, TN, This ferry boat was transported by land to Ditto Landing State Park in Huntsville, AL. This 1807 style ferry boat is to be used as a historical ferry boat on the Tennessee River.

Keelboat - Early Works Museum - Huntsville, AL. 12' wide x 38' long. Keelboat with working gristmill wheel. Provided 6 scale models of Flatboats, keelboats, and steamboats. Fully furnished Keelboat and surroundings with authentic wares with furnishings from the time period of 1800's. Fully functional in place at Early Works Museum, Huntsville, AL.

Pirate Ship - 16' Wide x 42' Long. Built fully operational Pirate Ship for Boy Scouts of American at Boxwell Camp, in Lebanon, TN as a permanent floating display on the Cumberland River. Moored in 2011 at Boxwell Camp on the Cumberland River.


Scale Model Work

Historical Flatboat in the River

We have crafted scale models of flatboats, keelboats, Conestoga Wagons, Shanti Boats, historical buildings, and sternwheelers for several organizations, including the following:

  1. Early Works Museum, Huntsville, AL
  2. Mudd Island, Memphis, TN
  3. Library at Lincoln Pioneer Village Crockets Museum in Rockport, IN
  4. Model of Lincoln Flatboat at White House Rotunda, Washington, D. C.
  5. Model of Conestoga Wagon in the State Capital, Little Rock, AR
  6. Model of the original FFA camp building (1928) for the State of Tennessee
  7. Model of Conestoga Wagon at Davidsonville State Park, Pocahontas, Arkansas
  8. Model of Harland Hubbard Shanti boat for private individual