Steamboat Photos, Page 21


J.S. of the Strekfus line, starboard view.


UW La Crosse Historic Steamboat Photographs
Title: Delta Queen (Packet/Excursion boat, 1926- )
Photographer: Muster, Bill
Date: ca. 1977
Description: BOAT DESCRIPTION: Sternwheel
BUILT: 1926 at Stockton, California
OWNERS: California Transportation Company; Isbrandsten Steamship Lines (1940); Greene Line Steamers, Incorporated (1946); Overseas National Airways (1969); Delta Queen Steamboat Company; Coca-Cola Company, New York (1976); Prudential Lines, Incorporated, San Francisco
OFFICERS & CREW: Captain Paul Underwood (master); Captain Ernest E. Wagner (master); Captain Clarke "Doc" Hawley (master); Captain Gabriel Chengery (master, 1977)
RIVERS: Mississippi River; Ohio River; Missouri River

OTHER INFORMATION: Ways - 1504; Fabricated at Glasgow, Scotland along with her sister ship, the Delta King. All steel work done on the River Clyde at the Isherwood Yard, Glasgow. Both boats were knocked down and the sections sent by steamship to San Francisco and then barged to Stockton where the boats were completed.

The building operations extended from 1924 through part of 1927. Her machinery was built at Denny's Shop in Dumbarton; the paddlewheel shafts and cranks were forged at the Krupp Works, Germany. The upper cabins were built by U.S. shipwrights, four decks high, largely of oak, teak, mahogany, and Oregon cedar.

When completed the two boats were the most expensive river sternwheelers extant, costing $875,000 each. In the beginning of her career she ran in the San Francisco-Sacramento trade on a regular year-round schedule. Frequent excursions were made to Stockton. She frequently carried 800 tons of freight.

The staterooms slept 200. Rooms and passenger areas were air-conditioned, hot air heat. The cabins were finished in solid oak with natural mahogany and walnut trim. Plate glass windows surmounted by colored, leaded, stained glass transoms surrounded copious forward lounging areas.

Seven watertight compartments divided the hulls thwartship, all hull space usable. The kitchen was in the hold, pantries and dining room on the boiler deck, with dumbwaiters to convey food and utensils. The main deck was built entirely of ironwood from Thailand. Many rooms had connecting shower or bath, white tiled, and twin beds. All hardware was solid brass.

The Delta Queen and her sister ship were dedicated at the Banner Island shipyard, Stockton, on Friday, May 20, 1927 and entered service about June 1. They did handsomely, weathered the Great Depression, but a modern highway linking San Francisco and Sacramento was too much. The Delta Queen's last trip came on the closing day of the Golden Gate International Exposition, Sunday, September 29, 1940.

Both boats were sold. After Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the Navy took both boats and used them in the San Francisco Bay area, painted drab gray, designated "Yard Ferry Boats". At war's conclusion, they were turned over to the U.S. Maritime Commission. The Delta Queen was sold at public sale to Greene Line Steamers. She was then transferred to New Orleans, first undergoing repairs and a complete renovation. Changes were extensive.

Her two cabin decks were extended forward, dining room placed on the main deck which was formerly the freight area. The air-conditioning was completely renovated; paddlewheel covering was removed; fuel capacity augmented; many new luxury cabins added where the dining room had originally been; new pantries, bar and toilet facilities appended to numerous staterooms.

The Delta Queen left the Dravo Corporation yard at Neville Island, Pennsylvania on February 28, 1948 and arrived at Cincinnati March 1 to receive her new furniture, a swinging stage, etc. Since then she has been in tourist service on the Ohio, Mississippi, Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. Following the untimely death of Captain Tom R. Greene on July 10, 1950, the Delta Queen was managed by his widow, Letha Cavendish Greene until advertised for sale.

Richard C. Simonton reorganized Greene Line Steamers in 1950 and the Delta Queen became a profitable venture. After Simonton became ill, on November 21, 1969, Greene Line was transferred to Overseas National Airways with operations based at Kennedy International Airport. The Delta Queen ran head-on into Public Law 89-777 prohibiting the operation of wooden superstructured overnight passenger vessels.

In 1971, President Richard M. Nixon exempted the Delta Queen from the terms of the law for three years. Subsequent presidential sanction has kept the boat operative. The Delta Queen was brought 5,380 statute miles by sea, the lengthiest salt water transit of record for a flat-bottom sternwheeler. She came through unscathed, a tribute to her builder, James Burns, Oakland, California

LCSH Subjects: Packets—Mississippi River / Packets—Ohio River / Packets—Missouri River / Excursion boats—Mississippi River / Excursion boats—Ohio River / Excursion boats—Missouri River
Subjects: Sternwheel packets / Sternwheel excursions
Type: StillImage
Is Part Of: UW La Crosse Historic Steamboat Photographs
Rights: This image cannot be copied or reproduced without the permission of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Murphy Library, Special Collections
Submitter: University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Special Collections
Note: Delta Queen (A)
Local Identifier: LaCrosseSteamboat.steam05207.bib


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.


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.


Another one of those "perfect" photos from La Crosse with a neat, spic and span steamer captured by the camera under ideal daylight lighting conditions with fine contrast, plenty of smoke, nice refection on the water.

Sternwheel towboat

Way's Steam Towboat Directory Number T0724.

Built in 1907 at La Crosse, Wisconsin, the ELLEN was named for Mrs. W.W. Cargill. W.W. Cargill of the Sawyer Austin Lumber Company used the ELLEN as a part-time rafter and also for pleasure. Captain Charlie De Lisle was master, circa 1912 and 1916. Captain W. A. Thompson was master in 1918 when the ELLEN sank 3 miles south of Brownsville on October 8th and was raised.

A steel hull was put under her after she was purchased by the U.S. Engineering Department in 1930 and Captain John Suiter served as master during the '30s Also while under U.S. ownership, the cabin was air conditioned and an elevator installed in anticipation of the expected arrival of President Franklin D. Roosevelt; but for some reason the trip was canceled.

Sold at public sale in 1943 to Ralph M. James, then sold to Standard Oil of Ohio who, in turn, sold her in 1944 to Industrial Marine Service of Memphis, Tennessee who converted her to diesel with twin propellers.


dailymotion * youtube

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


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