Delta Queen Photos




The Delta Queen at a shore landing in Sept 1993. Was the perfect day with beautiful clouds in the sky and sunlight on the boat.




The Delta Queen's bell was made by the Kaye Co., (a.k.a. "Kaye & Co." & "Kaye Belle & Brass," a foundry in Louisville, Kentucky from 1841—1895).

The bell first served on the Anchor Line's sidewheeler CITY OF ST. LOUIS, built in 1883 by the Howard Shipyard at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

The CITY OF ST. LOUIS burned in 1903, the bell survived and was sold to Capt. J. Frank Ellison who placed it on the Str. QUEEN CITY, remaining on that boat for her entire career from 1897-1940.

Later, the bell served on the towboat MILDRED, the packet OUACHITA, and the towboat JOHN W. HUBBARD (now the MIKE FINK restaurant at Covington, Kentucky).

The bell was placed aboard the DQ in 1947 or 1948.


From some ancient negatives from the early 1980's that I've been making scans of and some are O.K. Took this on the Hannibal landing while some local boys were watching the river and the Delta Queen. Reminded me of the opening of Chapter 4 of Mark Twain's memoir of his piloting years on the Mississippi.

Chapter 4. The Boys' Ambition

When I was a boy, there was but one permanent ambition among my comrades in our village of Hannibal, Missouri on the west bank of the Mississippi River.

That was, to be a steamboatman.

We had transient ambitions of other sorts, but they were only transient.

When a circus came and went, it left us all burning to become clowns; the first negro minstrel show that came to our section left us all suffering to try that kind of life; now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.

These ambitions faded out, each in its turn; but the ambition to be a steamboatman always remained.


This was taken after I took the first one when they were apparently unaware that I was there . . . the 2 lads on the left laughed while the one on the right reserved judgment. Maybe some people in Hannibal recognize the boys and can tell me if any of them remained in town.


Louisville: the DQ during our overnight stay Must've used a tripod, must've been a time exposure. Boats mostly golden on account of the tungsten lights.


Captain Chengery and Pilot Hillman on the bridge of the Delta Queen.


Your curator of the collection in front of the DQ's pilot house eagle en route from Memphis to Cincinnati in Sept '93.


With the exception of images credited to certain institutions,
most of the images on this page are from a private collection.
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