Lone Star Steamboat Photos


This is the oldest photo of the LONE STAR I have ever seen but it's plainly the same boat except at the time this was taken it had only a single smokestack.

Found it on eBay and the person who listed it couldn't read the name of the boat so it wasn't identified in the listing which is probably why I was the only one to bid on it.

If there is a historian working in the museum at LeClaire, Iowa where the LONE STAR is now exhibited, they would be interested in this and I am curious to know about when this picture was taken.

It could have been during the late 1800s or early 1900s.

Last visited the boat with Michael Blaserin 2007 when I visited the LONE STAR when she was still outdoors at the mercy of the elements.

The Lone Star now sits in under a handsome shelter next to the Buffalo Bill Museum in Le Claire, Iowa. In all the other photos I've seen of the LONE STAR she has two stacks, as she does today preserved lovingly for posterity.

What a relief to have her safely in out of severe weather and restored with all her roguish charm intact.


Frame captures and links to two beautiful videos on YouTube of "Bellpepper's" radio controlled model of the LONE STAR.

For some reason the second video plays perfectly in high definition but I haven't been able to get the first video to play in sharp focus.

RC Lone Star Sternwheeler
Uploaded on Sep 11, 2011
Music: "The Ash Grove" by Joemy Wilson (Google Play • iTunes • AmazonMP3 • eMusic)

"Radio Control Model of the Lone Star Steamer, a tow boat used on the Mississippi River until 1968, and now on display at the Buffalo Bill Museum in LeClaire, Iowa.

I started with the Dumas Myrtle Corey kit as a base for this model and scaled the Lone Stars dimensions to it. I used the vacu-formed hull, paddle wheel, and lower deck, the rest was scratch built on top of that.

The model includes an on board sound system from Model solutions of Canada, a Harbor Models smoke generator, and stacked gear reduction drive.

It took me 3 years to build off and on, and I've finally gotten up the courage to put it on the water, and thankfully it didn't sink.

Many thanks to the staff at the Buffalo Bill Museum for all their help with this project."

RC Lone Star Sternwheeler 2
Music: "Paris, Texas" by Ry Cooder (Google Play • iTunes • AmazonMP3)
Uploaded on Sep 15, 2011
"Nice fog at the lake today."

steamboat photos

In 2007, steamboat artist Michael Blaser and I visited the LONE STAR at LeClaire when she was still outdoors exposed to the elements and her hull held up in a rather tortuous looking way. The patina of age and the craftsmanship with which the boat was built were fascinating to behold from these low vantage points of the sternwheel and bow.





Dan Martin / Dave Thomson in Lone Star pilot house, Sept. 1991.


Some photos I took of the LONE STAR in '91 at LeClaire, Iowa when she sat at the mercy of the elements outdoors next to the Buffalo Bill Museum.

The postcard "chrome" view of the LONE STAR when she was pushing barges was taken by Rene Briegel. The LONE STAR now resides safely in a deluxe climate proof building on the LeClaire waterfront


The Lone Star Stern Wheeler (built 1868, decommissioned 1967) is the only surviving example in the United States of a wooden-hulled boat built in the traditional Western Rivers fashion.

The Lone Star was designated a National Historic Landmark and is open to visitors at the Buffalo Bill Museum.

The boat's enclosure, The River Pilot's Pier, has won a significant design award from the State of Iowa for its "green" design in 2008.

A new sound system has recently been added to the River Pilot's Pier building where the Lone Star is located.

The new sound system allows you to experience the sounds of the steamer traveling on the river along with background sounds.


This paddlewheel is cropped out in this black and white photo from the Murphy of the LONE STAR at work on the water but it shows off the starboard profile very nicely.


Have never seen a better watercolor of a steamboat. Would look good with the photos of the LONE STAR sent earlier. Believe this may be in the Muscatine, Iowa Library collection. John Schmits also painted the DQ which I've only seen as a teenzy weenzy little thumbnail file.


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