The first steamboat that ever reached Wirt Court House was the "Scioto Belle" in the year 1842. She was built by Shanklin & Sons at Parkersburg, in the summer of 1840, for the Scioto river trade. She never made but one voyage on the Little Kanawha. After she arrived at Parkersburg she was taken to the lower Ohio, and never returned. The second steamer that ascended the river to the Court House was the "Lodi" in 1847. When she left the landing, on her return voyage, John Petty, then residing in the Mingo bottoms, boarded her, expecting to get off when the boat reached what is now known as Mingo Landing, but upon her arrival she could not land. Mr. Petty was carried several miles below the mouth of Hughs river, and was compelled to return on foot the next day. During his absence one of his cows gave birth to a calf, which (in memory of the steamer on which he had made his experimental voyage on the Little Kanawha) he called "Lodi." From that date until the beginning of the oil excitement in the early part of the year 1860 but little was done, but with that came the charter of the Little Kanawha Navigation Company. Improvements were at once commenced on the river. Then came a number of steamers, among which were the George Thomson, the Zebra, the Silver Heel, the Do Ra Me, the Argo, and others. In 1871 Captain F. A. Martin built a steamer for the Little Kanawha trade at Burning Springs, which he called the Wirt. She was soon after taken to the Muskingum river, where she remained about a year, and then returned to the trade for which she was designed.