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The American success story played out on America's greatest rivers.
The Center for Louisiana Studies is proud to publish our second title in the Louisiana Life Series, about a South Louisiana family of boatmen who started their business with an old paddlewheeler and transformed that business into one of the nation's largest towboat enterprises. This is the story of Captain Joe Chotin and his son, Captain J. Scott Chotin, and their families during the course of much of the twentieth century. It is a story of courage, ingenuity, and just plain hard work.
Captain Joe Chotin was one of the last of a breed-an honest-to-God, shirt-burnt-by-cinders Mississippi River steamboat captain. Although he would later in life preside over a large modern towboat operation, he remained in his heart of hearts a steam-and-paddlewheel man, the typical rugged American who could take a continent, tame it, and make it something grand.
As the early decades of the century passed, the operation expanded and Captain Joe's son, Scott, joined his father in this family venture. But tragedy struck when their pride and joy the steamboat J. N. Pharr was overturned by a tornado and sank. The future looked bleak. But the Chotins found the backing for a new boat, and then another, and another, until there was practically no navigable river in America that did not sport a modern diesel-fueled, propellor-driven towboat with the big red Chotin "C" on its stacks.
Shortly after he graduated from high school, Captain Scott became one of the youngest pilots on the river. Before he died, Captain Joe was the oldest pilot still holding an active license. Together, their life's work spanned nearly a century on the waterways, first on the bayous of South Louisiana, and eventually along the full length of the Mississippi and its tributaries.
Bradshaw's account of this saga is outstanding.
Volume 11 of the Louisiana Life Series.
Beginnings in the Bayou Country
The Chotins of Brashear City
The Meeting Place of Rail and Water
South Louisiana Steamboats
Captain John Newton Pharr
First Chotin Boats
Disaster at Paducah
Captain Scott Learns the Trade
Marriage with Exxon
From Steam to Diesel
Expanding the Fleet
Rollin' on the River
Chotin Innovations Lead the Industry
Fun on the Water
Some Early Steamboats in South Louisiana
Center for Louisiana Studies
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Library of Congress: 2001132985
Book Publisher: Center for Louisiana Studies
No. of Pages: 207