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A look at river models

Gary Floyd of Phoenix, Ariz., passes a line of five wooden sternwheel packet and ferry boat models while looking at the paintings along the wall of the Vicksburg Battlefield Museum Saturday. The five models are, from left, the Peerless packet, the Charles J. Miller ferry, the Alice B. Miller packet, the George W. Miller ferry and the Mary H. Miller packet. The museum received the last sternwheel boat of the set, the Alice B. Miller, from builder Bill Atteridge of Arcadia, La., last week. Each boat takes about four to six weeks to complete and would cost anyone other than a dealer about $1,500. Ferry boats were used along the Mississippi River to transport people, livestock, merchandise and eventually rail cars. Museum director Lamar Roberts said ferry boats became big business in Vicksburg in the 1830s after John Miller of the Mississippi River Ferry Company near City Front received exclusive rights to operate the city’s ferries, including the ones represented by these models. The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.Melanie Duncan Thortis The Vicksburg Post)