Between 1836 and 1841, a system of eleven hand operated locks and dams were constructed on the Muskingum to assure a constant river pool for steamboat commerce. This was the first time a complete river had been canalized in the United States. Today, the Muskingum River locks and dams still operate by hand just as they did in 1841. It was an engineering marvel of its day and still works. The Valley Gem was specifically designed to operate through these locks. The Muskingum River lock system is a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a Navigation Historic District.
We will travel through three locks, both up river and down river and two side cut canals. During this unique cruise, you will get to see the lock operations up close as the lock masters open and close the lock chambers by hand.
This experience cannot be duplicated anywhere in the United States. The Valley Gem was specifically designed to fit in these lock chambers and now we are the only passenger vessel that runs the Muskingum River. This tour departs from Marietta at 9am and returns to the dock at 7pm. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served on board the boat. Reservations are required. $90.00 per person