Pittsburgh's Front Door... and more
It's a pretty amazing story. He apparently built a boat from a kit call the Sometub he had shipped to him and which he assembled in his kitchen. Then using one of the earlier outboard gasoline engines made the trek down the canal. Not many options to boat over a mountain any longer. You can't even put that trip on your bucket list since the canal itself is no longer. Alas.
Also of note. The article says his wife was active in the Pittsburgh chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy. Pittsburgh had a chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy?
Even more amazing. From June 1912: Pittsburgh's Front Door, but the same (I presume) John Cowan.