Steamboat Photos, Page 11

Valletta steamboat

Steamer Valletta. Just bought this photo today at a Pasadena postcard show. The Valletta (built in 1901 destroyed by fire 1932) was a Sacramento River boat. They're providing transportation for an Odd Fellows picnic here. (I confirmed it was an outing for Lodge 133 at Colusa on the Sacramento River.)

This almost looks like a movie still with a bunch of extras. My favorite part (outside of the boat) are the dogs in the lower right corner. Feels like you could step right into this picture doesn't it? There isn't a date on it but I'd guess very early 1900's, not long after it was built. Thought I may have scanned this crooked but the people are standing straight so the boat must be listing towards the shore with too many passengers on that side.

The original photo measures 6-1/4 X 8 inches, mounted on a larger piece of board.


CINCINNATI Sidewheel Packet

Way's Packet Directory Number 1033

Hull built by Midland Barge Company, Midland, Pennsylvania and completed at Cincinnati, 1924 for John W. Hubbard of Pittsburgh;

Navigated the Ohio and Mississippi rivers

This boat had a double cabin, parlor rooms, baths, separate dining room, steam heat and all the trimmings.

She was designed by marine architect Tom Dunbar as a single-cabin packet for the Cincinnati-Louisville trade.

Before completion, the stateroom capacity was vastly enlarged by the building of a second passenger cabin.

The original cost of this boat was $417,000 of which she made back about $200,000 in the first eight years of operation.

The boat was owned by John W. Hubbard, Pittsburgh and operated by the Louisville and Cincinnati Packet Company.

She made Cincinnati-New Orleans Mardi Gras trips without a break from 1924-1930 and cleared $40,000 on her first Mardi Gras trip.

She was in Pittsburgh on several occasions, and brought the 31st annual convention of the Ohio Valley Improvement Association there in October, 1925.

She appeared for the 1929 celebration of the completion of the Ohio River locks and dams.

Her principal business was regular summer operation in the Louisville-Cincinnati packet trade.

On May 24, 1928 while between Carrollton and Madison, she collided with the MV BELMONT and engineer Homer Johnston was killed.

Hard times came with the Louisville and Cincinnati Packet Company having financial troubles.

The Cincinnati was sold to Streckfus Steamers, Incorporated, St. Louis IN 1932.

Streckfus tore her down to the hull and built a superstructure for an excursion boat named PRESIDENT.



A neat photograph of the government snag boat MATHLOMA on the Willamette River, OREGON circa 1900.

The original real photo postcard is a faded sepia so it's difficult to bring contrast back to it but by converting the file to grayscale and adjusting the saturation it improved it somewhat. Included detail of the pilot house where the boat's name is easier to read.

Some additional history about the MATHLOMA has been provided by Jim Hale who found it for us in the book "Stern-Wheelers Up Columbia: A Century of Steamboating in the Oregon Country" by Randall V. Mills Pacific Books, 1947:



The little photo of top is from La Crosse, the bottom photo is a detail of passengers aboard the CHEVALIER on a glass negative.

Sternwheel Packet
Way's Packet Directory Number 1003
Built in 1888 at Mason City, West Virginia
Owned by the Bay Line:
Ran Huntington-Gallipolis on the Ohio River under the ownership of Captain M. E. Brown, Gallipolis
On May 22, 1907 at 1:00 a.m. she burned at the Cincinnati and Ohio wharfboat, Huntington, West Virginia. The fire department could not reach her due to the road being blocked by Chesapeake and Ohio Railway freight cars.


Attached scan of latest "find." Glass positive transparency, image area 2.20 x 2.80 inches inside a 3.20 x 4 inch mount. Have concluded that this 1889 photograph was taken aboard the CITY OF ST. LOUIS (1882 - 1903), taken on the hurricane deck with starboard smokestack, both 'scape pipes, the pilot house with 4 chime whistle, front of the texas cabin with windows and doors crowded on the front of it. Below them are the skylights of the main cabin and stairs leading to the roof of of the main cabin visible where the"rouster" in the foreground is headed as he carries a bunch of "double bend draft shafts" to which horses would be harnessed when they pull the of the buggies or carriages that have already been loaded on the decks.

Here is John Fryant's professional appreciation of the photo:

"Wow! Another gem of excellence in steamboat photography. The details are fascinating. The finial atop the clerk's office (behind the carriages) and the iron rods that held the stacks upright. And note the rolled up "blinds" that could be let down to cover the texas windows.

I just enlarged the print and am amazed at the quality and detail.

Wonder who the photographer was?

Note the fire axe on the front of the texas with the axe head nestled in a heart shaped holder. The more I look the more I discover."

Sidewheel Packet

Way's Packet Directory Number 1130

Built in 1883 at Jeffersonville, Indiana at Howard Ship Yards

978 tons

Original price $86,850.

Home port or owner's residence circa 1882, St. Louis, Missouri.

Captain W. H. Thorgewan bought her at a U.S. Marshal sale at St. Louis, March 1898 for his bid of $19,050.

In 1901, she was running harbor excursions at New Orleans; President McKinley rode her that May.

Sold early in 1903 to the Greater New York Home Oil Company but a U.S. Marshal stepped in and sold her to attorney T. Marshall Miller for $3,125.

Laid up at Carondelet, Missouri and burned there on October 29, 1903.

After she burned, the Anchor Line sold her original roof bell to Captain J. Frank Ellison and it went to the QUEEN CITY.


dailymotion * youtube

Disney employees Every Role a Starring Role - Mark Twain Riverboat Captain - Disneyland Resort video.


First photo is of the steamer as ELIZABETH LOUISE on the Sacramento.In the second photo she was the QUEEN of SEATTLE at Seattle, Washingon.The initials "AQ" between her stacks originated during her second incarnation as the ALASKA QUEEN in Alaska.


Sternwheel Excursion Steamer

Size: 149 feet long

launched: 20 January 1981

Comments from the current owners of the ELIZABETH LOUISE:

"The steam engines on the Elizabeth Louise which drive the paddlewheel were built in 1884, and were originally installed for the primary propulsion on the floating sawmill RAY. Later, the engines spent many years powering the paddlewheel freighter WILLIAM SMITH. The third steamboat which used these engines was named the COPPERTORY, which was later re-named the DETROITER. After lying in a scrap yard, the engines were purchased in 1975. Construction of the ELIZABETH LOUISE was started in 1975. The hull was built in Rancho Cordova, California, approximately 21 miles from the launch point in the Sacramento River near Elkhorn, California.The Elizabeth Louise was launched on January 29, 1981. It was then outfitted, and the engines were refurbished and installed. It was placed into initial operation in the summer of 1984.

At quarter of its value, Queen of Seattle paddle-wheeler still for sale

Originally published July 2015The price has recently been cut to $250,000 on the 138-foot Queen of Seattle, a steam-powered, paddle-wheel boat moored on Lake Union.By Jack Broom Seattle Times staff reporterShe has worked in three states under three different names. She loves to party, and has her own bar, cabaret stage, dance floor, player piano and 38-whistle calliope. There's even a touch of mystery in her background, stemming from the fact that her first owner's body was found in a California river in 2003—a death never fully explained. Call her Queen of Seattle. That's the name this 138-foot paddle-wheeler used on her most recent job, taking visitors on a 2-1/2-hour loop around Lake Union from 2010 to 2013. "I love her. She's an amazing piece of history," said Lisa Dindinger of Alaska Travel Adventures, owners of the boat since 2005. "She needs loving care and someone with the know-how to make the best of her."

The steel-hulled vessel, which can carry up to 400 passengers, has the classic "floating wedding cake" look of a paddle-wheel riverboat, with its bright-red, 24-foot-diameter stern wheel. Dindinger said her company decided reluctantly that the boat isn't a good fit with its Alaska focus, and has offered it for sale for more than two years. Based on an insurance appraisal that put the boat's replacement value at more than $1 million, Dindinger said, the company first listed it for sale at $895,000, then dropped the price after about a year to $500,000 and—in the last two weeks—to $250,000.

Any potential purchaser would need pockets deep enough to cover not just the purchase price, but the succession of expenses for moorage, maintenance, fuel, insurance and renovations that will follow.

And there's this: Anytime the boat is under way, the Coast Guard requires that it have a licensed steam engineer on board.

Dindinger admits only a small slice of the boat-buying public would have a use for a vessel like this. She's had a couple of recent inquiries, but nothing that panned out.

The boat was built in Sacramento in 1984 as the "Elizabeth Louise" by Harold Wilmunder, whom Dindinger said was a sign maker by occupation and a steam engineer by hobby. He didn't operate a consistent tour business with the boat but did some charters and special events, and took friends and family for rides along the Sacramento River.

One day in 2003, the 78-year-old Wilmunder got a call from police saying it appeared a hatch had been forced open near the boat's bow. Wilmunder went to investigate and was never seen alive again.

After his body was found in the water between a Coast Guard boat and a dock, authorities said the death appeared to be a drowning but were hesitant to rule out possible foul play. Dindinger said she and her husband learned of the boat online and found Wilmunder's widow willing to sell. The boat was barged to Seattle, renovated and then steamed its way Ketchikan to begin running tours under the name "Alaska Queen."

(It still carries the initials "AQ" in gold letters high between its smokestacks, even though the hull identifies it as the Queen of Seattle.)

But Dindinger said the Coast Guard was concerned that the boat, which is tall, narrow and sits high in the water, might not be stable enough for winds and waves in Southeast Alaska, which could be as strong as those in the open ocean.

So the tour company brought the boat down to Seattle and put it to work on Lake Union. But Dindinger said it's been difficult for the company to give the boat tours proper attention, since its other operations are based in Alaska.

Dindinger said she doesn't expect the price to drop below the $250,000, adding that it could cost nearly that amount to dispose of the boat. "We sure hope it doesn't come to that," she said.

NightFallOnTheOhioDetailStrCINCINNATI_LOC_detroit publishing_NO. 071954exp

Detail from "Night fall on the Ohio"

Steamer CITY OF CINCINNATI 1899-1918

Detroit Publishing No. 071954

In the Library of Congress collection.

City of Cincinnati

Sidewheel Packet

Way's Packet Directory Number 1066

Built in 1899 at Jeffersonville, Indiana by Howard Ship Yards
Original price $40,000. Engines from Anchor Line's CITY OF HICKMAN.

Port or owner's residence 1899, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Owned by Louisville and Cincinnati Packet Company; Commodore Laidley (White Collar Line)
Ran on the Ohio and Licking rivers

Teamed up with the CITY OF LOUISVILLE in the Louisville-Cincinnati trade.
This was a well-proportioned sidewheeler.

She came out carrying the whistle from the last TELEGRAPH but it sounded too much like the TELL CITY's whistle so it was exchanged and after 1907 she had the old BONANZA whistle which had last been on the double-cabin CINCINNATI.

On January 20, 1910 while ascending the Ohio River, one of the CITY OF CINCINNATI's sidewheels hit the corner of a coal barge and the barge sank.

The CITY of CINCINNATI was lost in the ice at Cincinnati, Ohio in January 1918

paddlewheel boat

Puddle Jumpers - There appear to be 5 boats in this photo although all you can see of one of them are its stacks visible between the 2 boats in the right foreground. Jim Hale identified more than the Yazonia and Hibernia, will have to ask him again what the other names were. This is pretty much the right half of a panoramic photo which included more of the riverbank to the left. The Yazoo was often not navigable when the river got really low and even these little puddle jumpers didn't have enough water to float on.

Jim Hale identified the Yazoo boats for us. I'm attaching the same file again so you'l have the caption ready if you decide to hang the picture in the museum.

The boat in front of the "Hibernia" is the "Des Arc." The boat nearest the bank is the "Fifteen" and the small pool style boat between the Fifteen and the Des Arc is the "Maggie."

paddlewheel boat

North Star of Rock Island on Upper Mississippi. This was one of the photos that was included in the Julia Belle Swain brochure when she was running out of LeClaire some years ago.

New Orleans photo

Newest arrival, an undated Associated Press photo, possibly '40's of '50's Probably not a paddlewheeler but a nice looking boat with great name and signage. Nice that the life preserver included NEW ORLEANS on it.

. . . written in blue pencil on verso:

Mississippi River
Packet boat which supplies delta with merchandise & returns to New Orleans with oranges, furs, fish, moss.


Hi Dave,
Fascinating photo. Great detail. From the size of the stack and the shape of the pilothouse front I'd say a gas or diesel powered prop boat. Not steam, as she has a horn on the stack. Perhaps converted from an old steamboat with new upper works. Can't find any reference to her in Ways Packet Directory. Might be a good submission to the Reflector for possible i.d. The paint job looks fairly new or well scrubbed.


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