Saturday, June 4, 2022

James Rumsey Exhibit Debuts at Maritime Museum

  A large exhibit detailing the life and accomplishments of inventor James Rumsey is now on display at the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum in Madisonville. 

The exhibit includes several panels and scale models representing the development of the steamboat, from its earliest incarnations to its large sternwheeler watercraft that plied the waters of the Mississippi River and made New Orleans what it is today. 

Donald J. Sharp provided the historical research that went into the creation of the James Rumsey exhibit, particularly the information on how Rumsey once lived on Bayou Rouville off Bayou Lacombe, and also on Pearl River Island southeast of Slidell. There is evidence that he worked in secret on his steamboat invention at those two locations, before being forced to re-locate to Baltimore, Maryland, by the American Revolution. 

The maritime museum exhibit celebrates the local contributions to the early steamboat design, an invention that changed the course of history.

A video featuring a detailed interview with Sharp explains the sequence of events that brought Rumsey to St. Tammany Parish, and how his contributions led to boats being able to overcome the current of a river and move upstream carrying people and goods to points all along the Mississippi River. 

One part of the exhibit tells about Don Sharp and his research

Friday, May 13, 2022

The Sharp Family Comes To St. Tammany

 Over the past six decades Donald J. Sharp has researched the history of how the Sharp family came to St. Tammany. Here are the results of his work. 

Sharp Family History Part 1

Click on the Play Triangle in the Above Window to view

Sharp Family History Part 2

The Sharp Family Genealogy Pedigree Chart

PDF Files
Click on the links below to see the documents

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Lighthouse History

In this interview taped on April 12, 2022, historian Don Sharp tells about the history of lighthouses on the Gulf Coast, with a focus on the Tchefuncte River lighthouse south of Madisonville, La. 

Click on the "play" triangle above to view the video. 

Lighthouse History Recap

Video With Recap of Lighthouse Information

Don Sharp

Friday, March 25, 2022

Aerial Photos from 1965

 Here are a couple of aerial photos from 1965 showing the Tchefuncte River from Madisonville to the lighthouse. 

Click on the images to make them larger. 



Thursday, January 27, 2022

Don Sharp Talks About History & The Historical Society

 Don Sharp recently did an interview telling about how he got started in historical research.

Click on the above "play triangle" to view the video.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Martime Museum Meeting

 Don Sharp, who celebrated his 92nd birthday recently, met with Jim MacPherson, executive director, and Jeanne Brooks, educator, both with the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum, on Wednesday, August 18th, to share with them his extensive historical research into the "Tchefuncte River Corridor." The museum is located in Madisonville, just a few yards from the river itself, and Don's findings are of considerable interest to museum officials.