George M. Verity (towboat)

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George M. Verity
Name: Thorpe (1927–1940)
George M. Verity (1940–)
Builder: Dubuque Boat and Boiler Works
Launched: 1927
Out of service: 1960
General characteristics
Length: 162.5 ft (49.5 m)
Beam: 35.1 ft (10.7 m) (as built)
40.6 ft (12.4 m) (after modification)
Depth: 5.1 ft (1.6 m)
Installed power: 2 × Nordberg Machine Works tandem-compound condensing steam engines
Propulsion: 16 bucket radial paddlewheel (as built)
experimental double helical paddlewheel (1945–)
George M. Verity (towboat) is located in Iowa
George M. Verity (towboat)
Location Keokuk, Iowa
Coordinates 40°23′25.4″N 91°22′47.5″W / 40.390389°N 91.379861°W / 40.390389; -91.379861Coordinates: 40°23′25.4″N 91°22′47.5″W / 40.390389°N 91.379861°W / 40.390389; -91.379861
Built 1927
Architect Dubuque Boat & Boiler Works
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 89002459
Significant dates
Added to NRHP 20 December 1989[1]
Designated NHL 29 December 1989[2]

George M. Verity is a towboat now located in Keokuk, Iowa. She is significant for being one of only three steam-powered towboats in existence in the United States.

She was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1989.[2][3]

Built in 1927 at Dubuque, Iowa by the US Government as SS Thorpe, she inaugurated barge service on the upper Mississippi. The first of four steamboats built for the revival of river transportation, she was the first to move barges from St. Louis north to St. Paul. She remained in service there until 1940, when she was sold to Armco Steel Corp. and put in service on the Ohio River. Armco renamed her after their founder, George M. Verity.

In 1960, George M. Verity was retired after 33 years of service on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, and in 1961, the boat was given to the City of Keokuk for use as a river museum.

Now berthed in Victory Park, she houses the George M. Verity River Museum of Upper Mississippi River history, and is open daily 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, April to November.


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  2. ^ a b "George M. Verity (Towboat)". National Historic Landmarks Program. National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-10-08. 
  3. ^ Foster, Kevin J. (10 July 1989). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Geo. M. Verity / ex S.S. Thorpe" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
    "Accompanying 5 photos, exterior and interior, from 1948, 1955, 1961 and 1988" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 

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