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 1995
For over forty years Wilbur Edgerton Dow, Jr., was president of the Lake George Steamboat Company. This was the oldest continuously operating passenger steamboat company in the world, dating back to 1817.
Born in 1906, Mr. Dow had many and varied accomplishments. For example, he led the only expedition to reach the magnetic north pole.
In 1972, the 66-year-old Mr. Dow started the New Orleans Steamboat Company, building the steamer Natchez at a time when most believed that a vessel of her size with steam propulsion would never be seen again.
The Natchez became one of the most treasured attractions for New Orleans and one of only a handful of steam powered riverboats operating in the inland waters of America. The company grew to include the Cotton Blossom and the m/v Jean Lafitte. Mr. Dow, who died in 1991, helped preserve a nearly bygone era for millions of people.