Pilothouse wheel restoration completed

From left are Ed Thurber, who restored the Potomac pilothouse wheel and Steamboat Era Museum board member Phil Williams. Photo by Michael Geissinger

IRVINGTON—The Steamboat Era Museum recently announced the wheel for the steamboat Potomac pilothouse is now restored and waiting for installation in the wheelhouse.

The wheel was donated to the museum by the family of Jerry Neault. While it can’t be proved this was the Potomac’s original wheel, it was built by the same company that built the Potomac in 1894 and it is the correct size and style for the wheelhouse, reported executive director Barbara Brecher.

Local craftsman Ed Thurber has been working on the restoration since May, said Brecher. It has taken many hours of intense work to rebuild the wood and bring it back to its original glory.

“The museum is indebted to Mr. Thurber for his work and careful restoration of the wheel,” she said.

The pilothouse is scheduled to be placed in the museum in the fall of 2018.