The National Achievement Award is the highest honor presented by the National Rivers Hall of Fame to those people who are making significant contributions to America’s waterways. The National Rivers Hall of Fame with members in 36 states is the only national museum telling the stories of the people of America’s rivers.
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Honored in 2001
Charles T. Jones grew up on the banks of the Kanawha River. While attending Hun School, at Princeton, New Jersey, he spent many afternoons rowing with the Hun Crew on Lake Carnegie where he met Albert Einstein, who would observe his rowing each afternoon
He began employment with Star Coal and Coke Company and later with Amherst Coal Company. In 1951 Amherst purchased the Hatfield-Campbells Creek Coal Company, which owned a fleet of steamboats, barges and river terminals on the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers. Jones headed up the fleet under Amherst Barge Company, which continues today as AmherstMadison.
Amherst operated the last coal-fired steamboat in towing service on the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers, the Herbert E. Jones, named for his father, which was retired in 1960. The M/V Charles T. Jones operates on the Ohio River and tributaries today.
Jones joined the Ohio Valley Improvement Association (OVIA) in 1953 and was instrumental in its consolidation into the DINAMO group in 1982. He was appointed to the Inland Waterways Users Board, served as Chairman, and continues to serve as Chairman Emeritus on the board.
He has owned and operated his personal sternwheel towboat (Laura J) since 1956 and is the only captain who has participated in every Charleston Sternwheel Regatta since 1971. Today, his company operates the largest fleet of sternwheel towboats in the world and the oldest propeller driven inland river towboat in service.