Navigation Co.'s

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by justind, Nov 27, 2001.

  1. justind

    justind Member

    I often see the older railways (usually logging routes) had names like Mill Creek RR and Navigation Co. Why were they calling themselves Navigation Companies?
  2. billk

    billk Active Member

    Just a guess...

    Before railroads, transportation was provided by boats traversing the rivers. Possibly with the advent of the railroad, some of the companies that operated boats branched out. Thus what was originally the Mill Creek Navigation Co. became the Mill Creek RR and Navigation Co? (That's my story and I'm sticking with it.)
    Bill K
  3. justind

    justind Member

    Thanks Bill, I didn't think of it that way...I figured that it was becuase they were mapping and surveying as they went, but I wanted to be sure.
  4. billk

    billk Active Member

    justind -
    That would have been my second guess! I think the term navigation is usually thought of as water travel, but any thing involving maps and compasses, included surveying I guess, could be thought of as navigation. I work in GPS, so should know more about this than I do!
  5. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member

    Some of the early railroads, at least on the Pacific coast, also had ships, either ocean-going or river steamers. Also some had car ferries. The term navigation is very much as you guessed, related to water transport.
  6. billk

    billk Active Member

    Also, many of thge early railroads had a lot of "wishful thinking" in their names. For example "xx & Pacific" when it never got west of the Rockies. The "navigation" part of the name could just be a reflection of someone's dream of establishing a land/sea route from Miller Creek to Tokyo.

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