The Ozark Johnboat: Its History, Form and Functions
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This essay looks at three aspects of wooden johnboats. The first section tracks their history from their roots in Colonial Missouri through the present day of 1991. Johnboats were used during the period of railroad construction. They have been popular in the Ozarks for decades, particularly during the float fishing boom which took place in the area between the 1920s and the 1950s. The second half looks at the form and construction of the boats. Traditionally, they were thirty feet or longer, but today they are much shorter. The essay discusses the types of wood used, the costs involved, and other concerns. Finally, it looks at the future of johnboats.
Missouri Folk Arts Program, 1991