Steamboat Photos, Page 13


Artist Michal Blaser sent this today with some other image files. Michal's a friend of Don Sander who owns the CLYDE. Michael is doing a special painting of the BELLE OF LOUISVILLE in honor of her upcoming 100th birthday.

CLYDE was built by Ed Newcomb in Pepin, WI from 1991 - 2001.

The CLYDE. was named after the Rafter CLYDE., the first iron hulled boat (1870) on the Upper Mississippi River.

Ed Newcome's grandfather, Frank Newcomb, was pilot on the CLYDE and his brother Ike Newcomb was Master.

When Ed was a kid, his dad built a 20' sternwheeler with a 6 HP Briggs, and "this started the whole deal", Ed recalled.

On May 17, 2012, Captain Don Sanders, long-time steamboat Captain; former Master of the DELTA QUEEN, the P.A. DENNY and many other paddlewheel vessels, bought the CLYDE from Mr. Newcomb and with the help of a friend, Everett Dameron, brought the sternwheeler under its own power from Alma, Wisconsin, on the Upper Mississippi, to Aurora, Indiana on the Middle Ohio River a distance of some 1,300 miles.

The CLYDE presently calls Aurora home.


From the Library o' Congress a photo of the BISCAYNE on the Miami River in Florida in 1901. Named for an Island called Key Biscayne just off the Florida coast.





Four 3 x 4 inch snapshots taken of the MORNING STAR on the Upper Mississippi River Am pretty sure we had a photo and waybill on her on Waybills 4 but I don't see her there. These 4 can go together on one of the Photo pages.


Sidewheel Packet/Excursion boat

Way's Packet Directory Number 4043

Built in 1901 at Jeffersonville, Indiana by Howard Ship Yard

Originally ran in the Louisville-Evansville trade.

She was taken to Cincinnati in 1910 and had 25 feet added to her length forward of the boilers.

She then ran in the St. Paul-Davenport-Stillwater trade under the command of Captain Walter Blair.

In the summer of 1911 she ran a special cruise from Davenport to New Orleans and out to the Jetties and return.

A similar excursion planned for April 1912 was canceled due to high water; instead she ran an excursion from Davenport-Cincinnati and back.

In May 1914 she made a special trip from Davenport to the Tennessee River.

By June 1914 she was back running in her usual trade.

In the fall of 1915 she made a tourist trip from St. Louis to New Orleans.

In May 1916 she made a Davenport to Florence, Alabama trip.

She was sold in spring 1918 to the Coney Island Company of Cincinnati to replace the PRINCESS.

She was made into a full-scale excursion boat continuing in the Cincinnati-Coney Island trade until she burned at Cincinnati on November 4th, 1922.

The fire was caused by a watchman boiling tar on the galley stove for roof repairs.


Lady Grace

May 9, 1959.

On June 20, 1963 the new U.S. Mail Packet boat Lady Grace will leave Wheeling that evening to re-enact a historic but commonplace event which occurred 100 years ago when West Virginia became the 35th state.

A formal contract has been entered into between the U.S. Post Office Dept. and Walter McCoy, President of the newly organized Wheeling, Sistersville & Charleston Packetboat Co., of Sistersville, W. Va. to carry U.S. Mail between Wheeling and Charleston by way of the various cities along the West Virginia shore of the Ohio River.

The Lady Grace is owned and operated by Capt. F. Way, Jr. who is well known in Marietta and who is the famous river pilot, author, historian as well as "Mr. Ohio River".

The Lady Grace is an authentic miniature replica of the old-time 1863 sternwheel packet boat which operated on the inland rivers a century ago.

Capt. Way will be assisted by Capt. Walter McCoy of Sistersville and President of the newly organized Packet boat company.

Bob Henderson, Postmaster of Sistersville will act as "Route Agent" for the U.S. Post Office Dept.

The new packet boat company has prepared an attractive cover to be used on this trip and the cachet will combine the West Virginia statehood theme with the river packetboat motif.

In addition to the printed cachet each cover carried will be endorsed with a rubber stamp indicating it was carried by riverboat.

The postage on all covers will be paid by using the West Virginia Statehood U.S. Postage stamp and the mail taken on at Wheeling will bear the "First Day" of issue cancellation.

The Lady Grace will stay at Wheeling all day to receive mail and will leave late evening on Thursday, June 20, 1963 and will make stops at Moundsville, New Martinsville, Paden City and Sistersville on Thursday, June 21st.

On Friday, June 22nd stops will be made at St. Marys, Williamstown and Parkersburg.

On June 23rd stops will be made at Ravenswood and Pt. Pleasant and the final destination of Charleston up the Kanawha River will be reached June 24th.

All mail picked up at the ten post offices on this route will be "back stamped" at Charleston upon arrival and will then be forwarded to the proper destination.

For "First Day Cover" collectors and philatelists this event should be unique and of unusual interest.

The last "packet boat" mail issue was provided in October 1929 during the celebration of the complete canalization of the Ohio River.

People interested can purchase First Day Covers at .50 and the complete set of ten Covers including Wheeling at $3.50.

This is what is known as a Full Service package offer.


Photo taken by "Round and Round's" sharp-eyed camera on special invitation at the opening of the river celebration of the Pittsburgh Bicentennial, Saturday, May 9, 1959.

Capt. John W. Zenn is casting a wreath in the Allegheny River from the Lady Grace; Sea Scout David Woodford is watching.

Capt. Frederick Way, Jr. is in the pilothouse and the Sprague, the largest towboat ever built on the Inland Rivers, is in the background.

The Sprague was on a temporary loan for the Bicentennial from the city of Vicksburg, Miss.

The Sprague's steam whistles are housed in Campus Martius Museum here in Marietta.




The signage "BIRD's POINT Route 60" under the pilot house led me to the locale where the 1927 ferry TRAVELER operated between Cairo, Illinois and Bird's Point, Missouri.

Editor's note: there's a controversy over whether this is the correct location. If you have any information to resolve the location of this photo, please write in! (email)
On Mar 15, 2016, at 7:54 AM, T.R. wrote:

I am a lifelong resident of Charleston, Missouri. I've spent a lot of time in Cairo, Illinois, over the years.

The photograph of the Automobile Ferry Traveler on [here] was most certainly not taken at Cairo.

Evidence is there were never two rail bridges at Cairo. The two bridges also tie into a riverbank much higher than that at Cairo. It appears to be a bluff on the far bank of the river with buildings on it. On the far bank of the river at Cairo is a low, flat flood plain. Also, this river appears not nearly so wide as is the Ohio at Cairo.

There was ferry service for Highway 60 between Missouri and Illinois, and this ferry looks like it was used there. Interesting that it may have traveled further along the rivers or it had been sold elsewhere before this picture was taken.

Please, if you find information about where this picture was taken please advise me.

Dave Thomson replied:
Well Mr. Rolwing may be right but I'm not enough of an expert on Cairo and all the other river towns and bridges to know where to begin to guess where else it could've been taken. BIRD's POINT ROUTE 60 is painted on the boat and that is how the connection to Cairo was derived. Perhaps the boat was sold and then moved to operate in another location but the owners hadn't gotten around to painting out the lettering which gave BIRD's POINT as one of the ferry's ports of call.

You can add Rolwing's e-mail to the caption under the photo of the ferry TRAVELER where perhaps another river town resident will read it and tell us where those bridges are.

Editor's note: good news, we have received more information about the location of this photo from Bill Hunter.
On Nov 16, 2016, at 10:51 PM, William Hunter wrote:

Saw the photograph of the ferry Traveler. I agree that there are no double bridges of that type near the Cairo, Illinois / Birds Point. Missouri area. My guess is that this photograph was taken on the Mississippi River from the Arkansas shore looking towards Memphis, Tennessee. The bridges would be the Hanrahan and Frisco bridges built in 1916 and 1892 respectively.
Bill Hunter

On Nov 22, 2016, at 6:11 PM, David Thomson wrote:

Thanks Bill! Appreciate that . . . Dave T.

Neat photo for steam ferry and vintage automobile buffs. The Coca-Cola sign on the front of the pilot house is another unusual detail.

Traveler (Ferry, 1927-?)
Built 1927 at Howard Ship Yard at Jeffersonville, Indiana
Owner's residence in 1927 was given as Key West, Florida

Cantilevered through truss bridge over the Mississippi River on U. S. Highway 60/62 between Birds Point, MO, and Cairo, IL

Location: Cairo, Alexander County, Illinois, and Mississippi County, Missouri

Built 1929; tolls removed 1954; rehabilitated 1983, 2005, and 2011

Builders - American Bridge Co. of New York (Superstructure)
- Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron Co. of Leavenworth, Kansas (Substructure)
- Waddell & Hardesty (Consulting Engineer)


Cantilevered Warren through truss

Length of largest span: 700.9 ft.
Total length: 5,175.5 ft. (1.0 mi.)
Deck width: 20.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 17.8 ft.


I was given this snapshot along with a bunch of others years ago. The dramatic three quarters stern view of a speedy steamboat about to pass under the Eads Bridge at St. Louis was taken from the hurricane roof of another sidewheeler whose paddle box is prominent in the lower left quadrant.

Had assumed for a long time that this was one of a number of boats that had "EAGLE" as their last name. The boat that most closely resembles this boat in the Murphy Library site is the second steamer called SPREAD EAGLE (1897-1910). The Murphy photo Number 35415 of that SPREAD EAGLE was taken from a similar angle but a lower vantage point. While there are many similarities between the two boats there are also significant differences which suggests they are not one and the same.

Some of the bulkhead may have been missing just aft of the paddlebox which could explain why the horizontal portion of the "L" in EAGLE is missing and the last "E" is gone. However if the boat's last name ended with the letter "I", making the last portion of the word "EAGLI" then it suggests it had another name entirely, a mystery yet to be resolved.


Yukon Steamer AKSALA (ALASKA spelled backwards)
Taken at Whitehorse, Yukon Territory July, 1949




LAFAYETTE LAMB at Winona, Minnesota in 1898
Detail from a Detroit Publishing photograph
Pretty picture taken from a high angle with riverfront park in the foreground

Sternwheel Rafter
Built 1874 at Clinton, Iowa

Way's Steam Towboat Directory Number T1541

C. Lamb and Sons; Valley Navigation Company (1893)
Bronson and Folsom Towing and Transportation Company (1899)
Lafayette Lamb (master, 1874); Captain Cyrus King (master, 1883); Captain John Monroe (master, 1890); Captain J.E. Kaiser (master, 1893) Captain Stephan B. Hanks (pilot/master, 1878); Chris C. Carpenter (pilot, 1899)

Was the first boat of the season to arrive at St. Louis from the south on April 2, 1892. Was sold to the Bronson and Folsom Towing and Transportation Company in 1899 for $2500. She then carried a passenger permit as well as towing. Her machinery, etc. went into the building of the packet FOUNTAIN CITY At one time she had served as the bowboat for the ISAAC STAPLES

Dismantled at Stillwater, Minnesota in the winter of 1904-05


With the exception of images credited to public institutions,
everything on this page is from a private collection.
Please contact for permission for commercial use.*