Steamboat Photos, Page 20





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.




A selection of the three best images from a group of 3 x 4 snapshots apparently taken by a passenger.


Packet, Towboat


Way's Packet Directory Number 0432

Built at Madison, Indiana 1898

Mississippi River; Ohio River; Missouri River; Cumberland River; Illinois River

Much of the equipment came from the D. H. PIKE.

Owned by the Eagle Packet Company and ran principally St. Louis - Illinois River, although in latter years St. Louis-Cape Girardeau commerce.

Ran St. Louis - Fort Madison, in 1929.

She was sold to a contracting company for use as a quarter boat on the Missouri River.

This was her last use before she broke in two and sank in the Missouri River in 1934.



Two photos by John Miller of the cabin aboard the former steam ferry CITY OF BATON ROUGE provided by co-owner Carrie Stier in recognition of the recent Centennial celebration of the ferry which serves as wharf boat for the riverboat TWILIGHT at LeClaire, Iowa.

The classic nautical architecture of the arches and skylights evokes a nostalgic glimpse of what passengers experienced on steamboats in the Mississippi valley during their long golden era on our inland waterways.

Adapted from an article in the Quad City News: Centennial birthday celebration and re-christening of the "City of Baton Rouge"

LeClaire, Iowa

A centennial birthday celebration and re-christening of the former steam-powered ferryboat, City of Baton Rouge, was held on Saturday, May 28, 2016 at 1 p.m. on the LeClaire riverfront.

Hosting the celebration were Captain Kevin and Carrie Stier, co-owners of the Riverboat Twilight. Local river historian Judy Patsch served as christening official. Travis Vasconcelos, riverlorian and acting docent, gave a performance on the calliope. Historical commentary was provided by the editor of the S & D Reflector, Dave Tschiggfrie.


The City of Baton Rouge was built in 1916 at the Howard Shipyard in Jeffersonville, Indiana, for the sum of $22,000. Operated by the Baton Rouge Transportation Company, she served as a ferry boat on the lower Mississippi river between Baton Rouge and Port Allen, Louisiana.

Her steam engines were manufactured in 1915 by the Gillett, Eaton and Squire Company of Lake City, Minnesota, and were required as part of the building contract to provide enough power to make a seven-minute crossing between the two landings.

She has a catamaran hull and was formerly powered by a single center paddle wheel. The City of Baton Rouge had a capacity for 500 passengers and 21 cars. She operated as a ferry until April 1968 when the opening of a new bridge over the Mississippi ended the need for ferry service.

About this time, Captain Dennis Trone was just beginning to realize his vision of building an authentic steam-operated riverboat. By November 1968, Captain Dennis Trone had completed the purchase of the City of Baton Rouge, and she was on her way upriver to Dubuque, Iowa, to have her steam engines, paddlewheel and other equipment salvaged for use on Trone's new steamboat, the Julia Belle Swain.

While at the shipyard in Dubuque, the City of Baton Rouge was remodeled to function as a dock boat for Trone's new excursion boat company operating out of Peoria, Illinois. A ticket booth was added, a full kitchen and food storage area was built in place of the center paddle wheel, the main deck was opened up to provide a sheltered area for passengers waiting to board the Julia Belle Swain, and eventually the upstairs passenger area was divided into small staterooms to house the crew.

On the evening of August 9, 1980, a strong thunderstorm—some say it was a tornado—blew through downtown Peoria, and the resulting winds tore off the old pilot house and damaged the roof, forever altering the iconic look of the historic ferryboat.

In 1987, the City of Baton Rouge was lashed to the front of Trone's newest excursion boat, the Riverboat Twilight, and Trone's fleet (the Julia Belle Swain, the Twilight, and the City of Baton Rouge) traveled downstream to Grafton, Illinois, and then up the Mississippi River to LeClaire, Iowa. The trip of almost 435 river miles took three full days. Traveling through the night required excellent piloting skills as the Twilight was most definitely not designed to do the work of a tow boat.

Once the trio arrived at LeClaire, the City of Baton Rouge was permanently moored to the shore and began her third career as the home dock for Trone's Mississippi River cruise operations. She continues to this day to serve as a passenger boarding area for the Riverboat Twilight. She also serves as storage area, workshop, and crew accommodations. Her second deck has the best seat in the house to watch LeClaire's annual TugFest fireworks.

During the centennial re-christening, in addition to celebrating 100 years of service for the City of Baton Rouge, the former ferry was also re-dedicated her to her last "Captain"— Captain Harry Alsman, who passed away in August 2014. One of the first LeClaire residents to come down to the riverfront to welcome the new riverboats to town, Alsman ended up with a second career, lifelong friends and countless memories.

He and his wife, Joanie, assumed responsibility for the City of Baton Rouge and the grounds where she was moored. Joanie started a beautiful garden, and Harry made sure the boat looked her best and was present to welcome every passenger.

Harry Alsman hauled the lines back to the wharf, waved to the passengers at every departure, and was always on time to throw out a line when the boat returned to the City of Baton Rouge. He knew every crew member and often just shook his head at their antics. He drove the crew to the bus station, the mall, the doctor, the hospital, and anywhere else they needed to go. He was a father figure, a shipmate, a co-conspirator, but most importantly, a friend to everyone.


Standing in front of the name board at the rear of the pilot house of the PRINCESS are two gentlemen who I gather from their uniforms were musicians "on a break" between giving performances on the boat.

(Excursion boat 1924 - 32)

Sidewheel Packet

Way's Packet Directory Number 1033;
Hull built by Midland Barge Company, Midland, Pennsylvania and completed at Cincinnati, 1924 Ran on 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 M.V. BELFONT 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. They 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 post card 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:



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