|Captain Don helps lock the Jennie Wade through the Meldahl Dam lock on her way to Cincinnati.|
On April 1, 2013, Don ended his term as "President" of Champion Window, a company he had worked for and developed for twenty years. The company was purchased from the original owners by a group of out-of-state investors. The writing was pretty much on the wall. But not for Don ...
Don was able to become the owner of the Rivertowne Marina on Kellogg Avenue. This is the "right" move on so many levels. Don has always had a love of the river, working on the Delta Queen just out of high school, and purchasing increasingly larger boats over time. His current boat, the Fleur de Lis, was docked at Four Seasons Marina and provided the larger Jones family with countless memories, especially of trips to view the fireworks on Labor Day.
This second career has enabled Don to combine a love of the river with his business skills. He immediately made changes to the marina, cutting down overgrown weeds, identifying abandoned boats for removal, etc. But that's not enough for Don.
Rivertowne Marina actually includes 42 acres (including water) and has a lot of empty space that could be developed. Long-time customers were thrilled to discover that the new owner actually has a Captain's license and a love of boating at all levels -- well, maybe sailboats are an exception.
He has so much vision. He recently made the decision to purchase the Jennie Wade, a 54' sternwheeler with an interesting history. Lacking an engine, the boat was pushed down the river by a towboat yesterday to make its new home at Rivertowne Marina. Don has an incredible vision for the future of this boat. It may serve as a concession enabling Rivertowne boaters to purchase ice, soft drinks and snacks without having to leave the facility. It will also add quite a bit of ambiance to a somewhat sterile environment. He has many other ideas, but I would be remiss to reveal them at this time.
I think all of the Joneses couldn't help but believe that Dad looked down on us with approval as we moved the Jennie Wade from Chilo to Cincinnati in beautiful weather. The marina is not very far from the East End location where four generations of Joneses lived and worked as far back as 1840 in Cincinnati. I feel like we have come full circle and that all of us are rejoicing in Don's newest project. If you want to know more, "like" the Rivertowne Marina facebook page and follow a new blog on the Jennie Wade located at Jennie Wade Sternwheeler.