Steamboat Illustrations, Page 9


MARK TWAIN cigar (band) from a dealer in Toledo, Spain

Dominican cigar bands, Vitolas, Centro-Americanas "MARK TWAIN" (Escritor)


The cover of the 1974 paperback edition of Ben Lucien Burman's 1938 novel BLOW FOR A LANDING with a painted illustration by David Grove. Published by Ballantine as one of their "Mockingbird Books" (probably named in honor of Harper Lee's great 1960 "Southern Novel" TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD).

In the Introduction to this edition Burman wrote among other things:

"I love to hear the melodious whistling of the steamboat, the rhythmic chugging of the excursion boat, the steamy thunder of the showboat calliope."

The first letters of the boat's name suggest it was named PROVIDENCE. The artist may have been inspired by photos of the sidewheeler CITY OF PROVIDENCE, built at the Howard Ship Yards in 1880 and ice on the frozen Mississippi near St. Louis caused her to sink in 1910.


I made the attached a long time ago and Barbara Schmidt has it on twainquotes. It's a combination of a photo of the AMERICAN QUEEN's stacks and 3 chime whistle by Jon Kral from his photography book LIVE STEAM, 2000. The photo of Sam Clemens' face worked nicely manifested within the billowing steam.


Unfolded brochure circa 1957-59 promoting the RIVER QUEEN (formerly GORDON C. GREENE) while she was a tourist attraction floating in a basin filled with fresh water created by a coffer dam in order to keep her hull safe from the salt water in the Manatee River at Bradenton, FLA. When completely unfolded the brochure measures approx. 9 x 12 inches. The artist enlarged the pilot house considerably to make it more conspicuous on top of the Texas cabin. The stiff folks dressed in period costumes look a bit like "waxworks."

Belle of Alton Oval Vignette DeSaturated HALF size

Oval vignette detail derived from the sheet music cover (below).


Murphy Library's photo of the Belle of Alton for comparison to the sheet music cover (below).
Photo Courtesy of Murphy Library at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
Steamboat Collection Photographs

This is one of the best of the reprints made by the Mississippi Lime Co. of Alton. Original sheet music would have been published circa late 1860's. After looking at the Murphy Library's photo of the boat it seems that either artistic license was taken by the draughtsman or the boat was remodeled at some point. The art work shows a "double decker" cabin without a Texas under the pilot house. It's doubtful but possible that the Texas could have been embellished later by encircling it with a promenade deck but the only photo shows the boat with the standard single cabin with Texas above.

Belle of Alton 1868-1873
Built 1868 by Howard Ship Yards, Jeffersonville, Indiana; home port St. Louis, Missouri
Her machinery came from SOUTHWESTER
Her machinery went to CARONDELET. Alton and St. Louis Packet Company, Captain John A. Bruner
Officers and Crew: In 1870 New Orleans-Grand Encore, J.P. McKinley (master), William A. Hurd (clerk), William W. Marsh (engineer)
Operated on the Mississippi, Ouachita and Black Rivers
Way's Packet Directory- 0511:
Burned at Algiers, Louisiana, laid up, March 28, 1871. Her engineer, William W. Marsh, was jailed in New Orleans charged with arson, later released on $6,000 bond. At trial he was honorably acquitted. Hull was used as a barge. Hull burned at Vicksburg, November 18, 1873.

recent acquisitions

recent acquisitions

Seymour Fleishman's sepia toned map of Tom Sawyer's town and a medium sized file of my colorized version of the map which took a lot of man hours to do but it was a fun way to pass the time.

recent acquisitions

Steamboat Landing attraction opens a year from now . . . see details and link below.
contact info:
Phone: (916) 775-1166
Email: steamboatacresorganic[at]frontier.net
Welcome to Steamboat Landing. Steamboat Landing was established sometime in the late 1800s or, at the latest, in the early 1900s.

It is located about 20 miles south of Sacramento on State Hwy 160 at the junction of the Sacramento River and the northern confluence of Steamboat Slough.

On the property is also a natural sandy beach and a guest boat dockage.

The concept for Steamboat Landing is of a country eatery/deli/bakery located in a country farm setting along the Sacramento River. The eatery will serve simple, but wonderful food to the local traffic and the traveling tourist trade by highways and waterways. The menu will include such items as rotisserie chicken, ribs and turkey. We will offer deli style foods such as meats, cheeses, sandwiches, soups, salads, breads and baked goods. Our baked goods will focus on pear products such as pies, breads, jams, jellies, chutneys, turnovers, fritters, etc. Pear ice cream and pear milk shakes, along with other favorite flavors will be offered. Beer and wine (some pear), soda, iced tea, other drinks and water will be served.

Steamboat Landing is located on the family farm known as Steamboat Acres. Steamboat Acres is in part being developed into an Agri-tourism venue to include:

• Farm to Table - Home Cooked Foods
• Pumpkin Patch
• Farm Tours
• Produce and Fruit Sales
• Picnic Areas
• Fishing Pond

The main activity area is the "Pear Park" which is about 24 acres directly adjacent to Steamboat Landing. The Pear Park will have many picnic areas and activity areas for the whole family.

steamboat tote bag


Attached is a scan of a detail of a steamboat from a magazine ad that I bought on eBay taken from an undated magazine, probably four or five decades old.

At first I thought Rice-Stix was some kind of snack food but turned out the company was a big St. Louis dry goods wholesaler.

I like this style of "idealized" illustration, much like an Iowa muralist who specialized in steamboats . . . don't recollect his name but Ed Garbert and I based our Hannibal, MO 1848 panorama on his post office mural style.

The following company history is quoted from: historyhappenedhere.org (offline?)

"Rice-Stix Inc. was a dry goods wholesaler that started in a small building on North Broadway and grew into one of the largest manufacturers and distributors in the country. Jonathan Rice, William Stix, and Benjamin Eiseman opened a small retail store in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1861. Other members of the families—Jonathan Rice, David Eiseman, and Elias Michael, a Stix son-in-law—joined the firm.

The yellow fever epidemic of 1878 spurred the company to move upriver to St. Louis the following year, where the store opened in a small building at 410 North Broadway and soon expanded along that thoroughfare. In 1889 the company moved to a newly completed structure, later known as the Merchandise Mart, and by 1907 Rice-Stix occupied the entire building on the block of 10th, 11th, St. Charles, and Washington.

In 1913 an annex was added a block south and in 1920 additional space was constructed. Rice-Stix had the largest space of any downtown St. Louis firm, plus warehouses and factories in outlying areas. By midcentury Rice-Stix offered some forty products and was one of the largest manufacturers of wearing apparel in the country, with imports from Ireland, China, Japan, and Europe. The firm included eighteen factories in the Midwest and six branches of traveling salesmen. In 1955 the families sold the company, and in 1957 it was moved to New York."


Attached is a circa 1950's "silk fabric" necktie using a classic photo of the Amy Hewes on Bayou Teche as the main point of interest. The designer added color, Spanish moss hanging from trees above and a photo of cotton bales piled up in the foreground.

The photo of the Amy Hewes also provided the inspiration for the January, 1934 cover of Motor Boating magazine in which the the artist changed the angle to more of an overhead point of view. We've got in our illustration gallery.

I first saw the necktie when visiting Keokuk and Bob Miller was wearing the tie at a Midwest Riverboat Buffs gathering aboard the Geo. M. Verity. For many years Bob and his son John were curators aboard the Verity.

Believe I finally found the tie quite a few years ago on eBay. I had it matted and framed.


A good photo of the boat depicted on the tie.

Amy Hewes
(Towboat, 1903-1949)
Built 1903 in Franklin, Louisiana
Retired in 1949

OWNERS: Jeanerette Lumber Company; Planters Lumber; Joseph A. Provost Lumber Company (1941); May Brothers (1942)
OFFICERS & CREW: Captain Dolph Cassidy (master, 1903-?); Captain John McCarty (master, 1920s)

Fred Way in his Towboat directory - T0127 described her as "A fine little towboat with pilothouse on the roof."

Photo Courtesy of Murphy Library at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
Steamboat Collection Photographs


With the exception of images credited to certain institutions,
most of the images on this page are from a private collection.
Please request permission before reproducing our images in any publication.*