Ocklawaha steamboat model
This model represents a Florida steamboat called the Ocklawaha. Built in 1868, the Ocklawaha carried mail and passengers along a Florida river of the same name. It left Palatka on Sundays, Okahumpka on Wednesdays, and Silver Springs on Thursdays. As late as 1882, steamers departed the Jacksonville Post Office three times a week, delivering mail down the meandering Ocklawaha.
In 1823 Congress declared all steamboat routes to be post roads, which made them subject to federal regulations and allowed the Post Office Department to contract with steamboat companies to carry mail. Although steamboats never carried as much mail as stagecoaches or railroads, they provided mail to areas not serviced by stages or trains. Steamers carried mail across lakes and along rivers countrywide.