Sternwheeler being rebuilt for tours on Ohio’s Buckeye Lake

BUCKEYE LAKE, Ohio (AP) — The local historical society is aiming to put a sternwheeler back on central Ohio’s Buckeye Lake as a tour boat.

Director J-me Braig says the donated, 88-foot sternwheeler will be reconstructed at a boatyard, where it’s being displayed Thursday.

Braig says it’s a throwback to sternwheelers used for tours there decades ago. A smaller pontoon boat has been used for tours in recent years.

The sternwheeler is expected to launch for tours and dinner cruises in spring 2018.

Drawing back visitors is important to businesses that suffered the economic impact of the water being kept low over the past year while workers started a project to replace the lake’s deteriorated dam. If the weather cooperates, officials plan to let Buckeye Lake fill more this summer to accommodate boating and fishing.