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Friday, July 15, 2011

For Geneva College Getting There Was Half the Fun

The flagship Cincinnati (shown above) along with sister ships, the Greater Pittsburgh and the Queen City, leading the way, made her "Dedication Cruise" from Pittsburgh on October 18, 1929. Less than a year later, the Greater Pittsburgh carried students and others on an excursion trip to Rock Springs Park.

On July 27, 1930, friends, faculty and alumni of Geneva College in Beaver Falls, PA, took the first of many annual excursion trips from Rochester to Rock Springs Park. The Beaver Daily Times gave a wonderful account of the trip the next day which included the myriad sights, sounds, and colors of an eight-hour trip on the Ohio River.

The Daily Times - July 28, 1930

Eight Hundred Persons Take Boat Trip Down Ohio - Plan for Annual Event

The multi-colored lights of the giant steamer blinked around the bend where the grey Beaver meets the green Ohio, the massive stern wheel swish-swished to a stop at Rochester wharf, there was the dull thud of lowered gang planks and the first annual steamboat excursion of the students, alumni and friends of Geneva college came to an end shortly before 11 o'clock last night.

Nearly 800 of those who have received their education in the Beaver Valley's college, who are now attending the institution, or who are counted as close friends of this source of culture in this center of industry, were aboard the Steamer Greater Pittsburgh when it left the wharf at 2:30 o'clock yesterday and pointed its nose down the river for an eight-hour trip through the tree-green hills and the deeper green of the serene old Ohio river.

Throughout the afternoon and evening musical entertainment tickled the senses as the younger folks raced from deck to deck in search of new thrills and their elders sat in friendly groups forward on the four major decks, renewing acquaintanceships [sic] as they faced into the cooling upstream breeze or exposed themselves to the light of the brilliant sun. Members of the college musical organization presented a program afternoon and evening. The steamer band played stirring airs. There were games and contests. At dinner time picnic baskets appeared in many groups while (others) enjoyed a steamboat dinner on the lower deck. From 7 until 8 o'clock the boat was docked at Chester, W. Va., while passengers paid a visit to Rock Springs Park.

The success of the trip as indicated by the comments of those who enjoyed the day gave indication to college authorities that this excursion idea would become an annual feature of the social life of the college.

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