A lot has been written about the origin of the celebrated flat-bottomed wooden boats used on the James and White rivers. Outdoor writer Robert Page Lincoln wrote a long article on these boats, published in the March, 1948 issue of Fur-Fish-Game magazine, for which he extensively interviewed Galena river guide and boat builder Charley Barnes.
Robert Page Lincoln was a prominent writer on hunting and fishing in the 1930s through the 1950s. Seen here dressed like a running buddy of Ernest Hemingway, Lincoln observes Charley Barnes crafting a float boat. Lincoln wrote Barnes didn’t care for the name ‘johnboat.’