Save the Delta Queen
Scroll down for links to news articles and inside gossip. This log goes back in time, with newest entries at the top.
Paddlewheel Boats Wanted / For Sale
Please send information to Steamboats.com and we will post your notice here. Another good place to look: eBay.
Historic Preservation Blog
For other news (besides the Delta Queen) click here.
Click here to post.
Other Save the DQ sites: steamboats.org * save-the-delta-queen.org * savethedeltaqueen.com.
Bookmark this page and come back for Save the Delta Queen updates. . . .
On Nov 2, 2007, at 9:51 AM, Warren R Hartwell wrote:
The must not be another loss to our heritage. I tried to save the Steamer NOBSKA but the politicos looked the other way after we had spent over 3 million on the hull.
Let's not lose this piece of American History.
Warren R. Hartwell
W R H Industries, Ltd. 957 Airport Road
Fall River, MA 02720 USA
Toll Free US & Canada 1-800-332-8729
Innovators in Plastics Since 1958
On Nov 2, 2007, at 8:23 AM, Jim Lyles wrote:
Save the Delta Queen. Not a hazard, but a historical joy.
Jim Lyles DDS
Enriching Lives and Smiles
281-655-8500 Spring, TX
Dear Mayor Lewis,
I am currently the Vice Mayor and Mayor elect of the Village of North Bend, Ohio. North Bend is a small village located on the Ohio River about 15 miles downriver from Cincinnati. Our claim to fame is that William Henry Harrison, the 9th President, called North Bend home and is buried here. Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd President was born here.
It has been a time honored tradition among riverboat pilots that when passing William Henry Harrison's burial site, which overlooks the Ohio river, that the pilot gives a blast of the riverboat whistle to honor Harrison for his service to our country.
What a shame it would be to lose one of the last participants in this river tradition. Please let me know what our village and our neighboring villages can do to voice our support to save the Delta Queen.
Vice Mayor and Mayor elect
Village of North Bend, Ohio
On Nov 16, 2007, at 8:27 AM, P&J wrote:
Please add our names to those who wish to Save the Delta Queen. I can't believe that they still think it is not safe. I thought they proved a few years ago that, because it travels in the river, it could get to shore in two minutes or less if it need to do so.
We traveled on the Delta Queen for one trip over twenty years ago, and wish we had done it again. Our son and daughter-in-law spent their honeymoon on board.
Priscilla and Joe Nauer
St. Paul Park, Minnesota
We Need You to Blog!
When a news story comes out, the newspaper or TV station usually has a comment page for the story at their website. We need SOS Save the Queen volunteers to register at these news websites and post comments in favor of the Queen. Read the other blog posts and address any points of misunderstanding, such as people who think the boat is unsafe. Here are some publications where you can blog. Be sure to jot down your Username and Password, so you can revisit the page and blog again. The reporters love it when people post comments to their stories. We must show our support for our Queen!
Minneapolis Star Tribune, by Katherine Kersten, columnist - Read the article - post your comments - click here
Chattanooga WDEF News 12 - read and comment
USA Today - read and comment
L.A. Times - Oct. 24 and Oct. 23
Demopolis Times - read and comment
All DQ movies on You Tube: view and comment
You can still write to the reporter or editor:
Chattanooga Times Free Press, by Mike O'Neal, staff writer - read and post comments
Chattanooga Times Free Press, by Jan Galletta, staff writer - read and post comments
Nori Muster's article at CruiseMates.com - click here
The New York Times - click here
NYT slide show click here
Steamboats.com wishes to thank Mayor John Lewis for passing this resolution and sending it to be posted here. Thanks to Mayor Lewis and all the SOS Save the Queen volunteers, more than two hundred cities have passed similar resolutions. (Editor's Note: Here is a resolution in PDF form from Gallipolis, Ohio click here.)
The Legend of the Delta Queen
by Bern Keating
In 1986, the Delta Queen Steamboat Company published a history of the Delta Queen, including the words of Bern Keating and photos by Franke Keating, Bill Muster, and historical photos, and photos by the media. The book marked the boat's sixtieth anniversary, and included two chapters on the Safety at Sea Law. The book is out of print now, available only through antique or used book sellers. Therefore, Steamboats.com will present excerpts of the book here for the purpose of refreshing our memories about what really happened in the early years of saving the Delta Queen from the Safety at Sea Law.
From Chapter 4, "Saved Again"
A phone call from an old friend, Irving Gobel, who operated a Great Lakes steamer, carried to Mrs. [Leitha] Greene the shattering news that new legislation already passed by the House and pending before the Senate would forbid the operation of both their boats after July 1, 1966, only six weeks away. The villain in the piece was the wooden superstructure of both the Delta Queen and Mr. Gobel's South American, condemned by a new Safety at Seal Law passed in the aftermath of the Yarmouth Castle disaster the previous year. In some panic, Mrs. Greene called on [Richard] Simonton for help. He called on the general manager of his West Coast operations, a brainy troubleshooter named William Muster, who flew with him to Washington.
At a council of war, Muster saw that Gobel's South American and the Delta Queen faced problems so different that they could not make a joint defense. The Delta Queen wanted to argue that as a riverboat it was never far from shore, for instance, but the South American operated in the Great Lakes as far from friendly shores as many saltwater vessels.
About 2 a.m. Muster sent everybody to bed with the promise that he would have an argument ready by morning. He talked the hotel clerk into lending him the office typewriter and sat up all night pecking out a speech in the florid style suited to Jay Quinby's delivery [Quinby was the CEO.]
Without sleep, Muster hunted up a photocopier and ran off 50 copies as required by the Senate subcommittee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries. He arrived at the hearing room, papers in hand, just 15 minutes before Quinby was to take the stand. Commander Quinby put the senators on his side from the beginning. When they inquired where he had acquired the title of "professor" which he was using that particular day, he replied that the pianist of a bordello traditionally is called "the professor." It took some minutes for decorum to return to the hearing room.
Muster sympathized with the senators' dilemma. They wanted to save the Delta Queen. But that untreated wooden superstructure was an undeniable fact, and the public's memory of the Yarmouth Castle was too raw for the senators to ignore so obvious a fire hazard.
They worked out the dilemma with a typical Washington solution - a compromise. They granted not just the Delta Queen, but all vessels - the Queen Mary, the Queen Elizabeth, and hundreds of other foreign flag vessels - an exemption to the Safety at Sea Law. But the exemption was good for only two years, during which time ship owners were expected to rework their vessels to make them comply with the law.
Once more the Delta Queen had tottered on the bring of destruction and had been snatched back at the last minute. But only for two years.
Muster foresaw a long war and decided it was time to know something about the battlefield. he had never seen the Delta Queen, so he, Quinby and Simonton traveled by train and bus to Paducah, Kentucky, where they waited in an early morning fog for its arrival. Muster reports his first encounter with the boat.
"The Delta Queen came out of the fog. She was right on top of us, hugging the bank and riding close to the willows to stay in the eddy currents as she came upstream. We were standing at the water's edge and she wasn't 15 feet out. She is 60 feet tall and every inch of her loomed above me. Now, a steamboat is not like a sputtering diesel; it is absolutely silent. So this enormous vessel glided by in the fog in dead silence. Then, this ghostly apparition was rocked by a full blast from her steam whistle. She was dynamite. I stood there mesmerized as she disappeared in the fog."
From Chapter 5, "A Bypass Operation"
Inevitably, as it will, time passed. It was 1968 and the exemption was running out. Back to Washington went Betty Blake and Bill Muster.
At the Senate hearings, Senator E.L. Bartlett of Alaska casually said that he had only two ambitions left in life - to cross Russia on the Trans-Siberian Railroad and to ride a steamboat to New Orleans. He didn't have to whisper it twice; the invitation followed instantly - for the steamboat ride at least. Obviously, the senator could not fulfill his dream if the Delta Queen was scuttled by Congress, so he introduced a bill extending the boat's life to November 2, 1970, a date which was to become the most perilous of a peril-filled life.
So far, so good, but the pace was telling on some of the players; Simonton was ill, Quinby was aging.
That left Muster who felt that building a replacement for the Queen, steel from the keel up, might be the best solution. From boat builders, he got estimates of $12 to $14 million. He could not find that much capital or the energy among his associates, so he scouted about the country for willing capital, calling on hotel chains, airlines, resort managements. An article planted in The New York Times caught the eye of Steadman Hinckley of Overseas National Airways, who was persuaded in 1969 to buy the Greene Line with the plan of building a super-paddlewheeler.
Meanwhile, they still had a bird in hand, a paddlewheeler which was threatened with forcible retirement. Steadman Hinckley said to Betty Blake and Muster, "You run the Queen, I'll build the new steamboat." [Editor's Note: Keating makes this sound simple, but it is a point over which my father resigned, and resigned again, but came back. He did not like Hinckley or his plans for what eventually became the Mississippi Queen. See this link: Mississippi Queen christening.]
Representative Edward Garmatz of Maryland, a powerful senior congressman and chairman of the all-important House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, had declared war on the Delta Queen. He openly swore to block any further extensions. he found support in the Coast Guard. Between them, they tried to convince Congress that the Delta Queen was a dangerous firetrap.
Muster pleaded with Garmatz that a new boat was a-building, so it was only the decent thing to let the old boat operate till the new boat could take over. No deal. So Betty Blake and Bill Muster undertook an exhaustive campaign to convince the country that the Delta Queen was fireproofed and safe, and a precious American legacy which must be preserved. Indeed, on June 15, 1970, the Delta Queen was listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the Department of the Interior. Almost every act that Betty, Bill, or any member of the company or crew did for the next two years had something to do with saving the Delta Queen.
The boat always had flown a ring of decorative flags around the upper deck to give a feeling of motion even when it was tied up, for instance, but Betty ordered them all replaced by American flags.
"This is an American boat fighting the Coast Guard," she said with magnificent irrelevance, "so let every flag show she's American."
Largely through the Society for American Travel Writers, Betty enlisted most of the nation's travel journalists in her campaign. Coached by her, they pointed out that the Safety at Sea Law was meant for ocean-going vessels, but the Delta Queen was never out of sight of land, so that passengers could be off-loaded in minutes should a fire develop.
They reported that for the previous 60 years riverboats had enjoyed a perfect passenger safety record. The last passenger death by fire, they wrote, happened off Winona, Minnesota, in 1910. The captain had confined a drunk to a cabin aboard the Strekfus boat called simply the J.S. To teach everybody a lesson, the drunk set the cabin ablaze; he died in the flames. The vessel put all 1,200 passengers ashore safely before burning to the waterline, supporting Betty's argument that riverboat passengers are not vulnerable like ocean goers. Few large hotels have as good a fire record as the entire riverboat passenger industry. (The killer fire on the Island Queen happened in a shipyard when a welder cut into a vapor-filled fuel tank - an accident hardly likely to happen on a cruise.)
When Betty went to Washington, she took Vic Tooker, the king of riverboat musicians, to play his banjo at impromptu concerts in the capital's stuffiest restaurants.
"It worked," Tooker says. "We'd start sing-alongs in those fancy restaurants and by the fifth bar - bar of music, that is - we'd have the most powerful people in Washington singing river songs. Senator Ribicoff has a great river man's voice even if he is from Connecticut, and he led some great singing."
Vic won the boat some favorable international press when he found the Queen moored alongside a Russian grain ship which had been quarantined in New Orleans for 30 days. Vic was playing a calliope concert for embarking passengers when he noticed that the entire Russian crew, bored and homesick, were lined up at the railing taking in the alien music. He remembered that a popular song called "Meadowlands" was a pop version of a Russian patriotic song. So he swung into a steamy screaming production of "Meadowlands" which threw the sailors into a cheering frenzy. The New York Times said the calliope concert had done more for détente than a platoon of cultural envoys. And it hadn't damaged the Save the Delta Queen campaign either.
Betty lined up 13 governors and dozens of congressmen in her lobby. Representatives, senators, and the President were bombarded by letters - more than a quarter of a million according to an estimate by a Washington authority - pleading for the boat. Prodded by their constituents, congressmen introduced 25 separate bills to save the Queen, most of them granting permanent exemption.
But all of them ran up against Representative Garmatz, mulishly planted in the path of passage. It made no difference how many congressman joined Betty's crusade. So long as bills having to do with shipping had to cross the committee chairman's desk, he could keep them bottled up and never let them come to a vote. Editorials protested the one-man blockade and pleaded with Garmatz to end his solitary veto and let the matter come to a vote of representatives of all the people. Garmatz was unmoved.
Editor's Note: More from the Bern Keating book soon. Let us leave it here for now, as we are stuck in almost exactly the same place again. For the second time in the Delta Queen's history, she has committee chairmen blocking a vote on her exemption. This time it is Congressman Oberstar and Senator Inouye. In 1970, Rep. Garmatz wanted a $5,000 bribe. My father would not pay it. This time it all different - people are trying to work things out. Hopefully, we can resolve this issue before the current exemption expires in November 2008. - Nori (11/16/2007)
Ambassador Cruise Line press release announcing the resignation of David Giersdorf click here.
Steamboats Wanted / For Sale / Need Saving
Editor's Note: See museum exhibit for latest news on The President - click here.
On Oct 22, 2007, at 5:42 PM, William Wells wrote:
Well, as I got fired up about the Belle of Louisville, being originally from Little Rock, I would wonder how come you haven't gone after the President, the steamboat based at Iowa City owned by the Isle of Capri. The flywheel is still around and could become a project. There is also the Mary Woods that used to work Potlatch berthed at Newport that needs to come into existence for the tall stacks...and then there is the nature of the steam locomotive sitting apart down in Pine Bluff, Arkansas that if assembled might just generate enough pressure in the head to raise the funds necessary. But one would have to be from St. Louis or at least know what it meant to travel to the Cards to see what makes the ball move...
I think there is a science that can be invoked to make this a reality. How can I assist as I work on my research .
William J. Wells
The Goldenrod - another distressed boat (this is a showboat)
Excerpt from JazzMeNews, Nov. 2007 (riverwalkjazz.org):
The Goldenrod Showboat was built in 1909. She is considered the largest and finest showboat ever built with seating for more than 1,400 people. The Goldenrod, like many showboats of her type, is not powered and must be towed. Beginning in 1962 she was moored at Locust Street Landing in St. Louis. At one time, she was designated as a National Historic Landmark. According to historian Walter McCormick, many icons of American show business such as Bob Hope, Nancy Sinatra and Red Skelton got their start on the Goldenrod. "It was like a school for aspiring actors, entertainers and musicians." Beginning in the late 1960s up to about 1985, the National Ragtime Festival at St. Louis was held aboard the Goldenrod during the summer. Many vintage jazz/ragtime bands and solo piano performers were featured, including Turk Murphy, The St. Louis Ragtimers, The Tarnished Six, The Salty Dogs and The Jim Cullum Jazz Band. Many fans and musicians remember those fabulous festivals aboard the Goldenrod with great fondness.
An update from Don Mopsick:
There is good news about the Goldenrod. Because of a short article I put in our November issue of Jazz Me News, preservationists in St. Louis got wind of the impending demolition and a reporter for the Post-Dispatch wrote the following article: http://tinyurl.com/23l8bc which indicates that the demolition will at least be postponed to the parties can negotiate. Also the true story was revealed about what’s actually going on with it.
I eagerly await the news about the DQ. I will be writing my article in the next few days and will be in touch with background questions. Also saw the item in the New York Times on Oct. 25th.
The Goldenrod, photo by Tom Bartlett, JazzMeNews.
Attention Model Builders - Bryn Jones of Stuart Models in England just sent this information.
On Nov 8, 2007, at 4:28 AM, Bryn Jones wrote:
We have now completed our first batch of Puffin Marine Engines, and have begun building these up into ready to run "Puffin Marine Power Plants" complete with boilers.
The complete "Puffin Marine Power Plant" with horizontal boiler is available from stock.
The "Puffin Marine Power Plant" with vertical boiler will be available in December.
To download a brochure on the Puffin range of models, please click on the link below;
For more about the "Puffin Marine Power Plant" with horizontal boiler, please click on the link below;
For more about the "Puffin Marine Power Plant" with vertical boiler, please click on the link below;
For more about the Puffin Engine without a boiler, please click on the link below;
A conversation about the boat "Consignee."
On Nov 11, 2007, at 6:57 PM, Bill Decoursey wrote:
I happened to run across Grant Kearns' inquiry of Jun 17, 2007 at http://www.steamboats.com/research/latestnews6.html concerning Benjamin Lockwood's Steam Boat the "Consignee", built at the Lockwood ship works at Wheeling, VA (now WV).
I would very much like to be placed in touch with Grant Kearns.
I think that I can help add some information of interest. Benjamin Lockwood (1797-1881) is my 2nd great grandfather. He was an industrialist who made his home at Dilles Bottom, Ohio. My great grandfather, William Watson "Wat" Ferrel who was a miner in the Lockwood Coal mine at Dilles Bottom married his bosse's daughter, Emily Lockwood, the youngest of fifteen children of Benjamin and Annie Bell Lockwood of Dilles Bottom.
A great amount of information regarding the ancesty, life and times of Benjamin Lockwood can be fournd in my chronology posted at http://www.rootsweb.com/~ohbelmon/ferrel.html
A partial excerpt from the chronologies that I compiled in the 1970's appear below: For my sources, consult the text at the above URL.
In 1826 Benjamin LOCKWOOD moved near the Ohio river where he engaged in pursuit of farming, merchandising and boat building. The LOCKWOOD's were interested in the Steamboat Business. Benjamin LOCKWOOD owned a Steamboat named "THE CONSIGNEE" which blew up. No one chanced to be injured. Benjamin LOCKWOOD owned vast orchards, estates employing hundreds of men in the grain fields, for his live stock, lumber mills, grain mills (coal mines), etc. "He lived like a king", but so liberal of heart was he that he gave to each of his many employees a home, equipped with implements, livestock, etc. - From "Voices" by Jessie Duval FOWLER (1870-1944), dau. of Elizabeth (LOCKWOOD) FOWLER.
"A business of importance on the river was the loading of large boats -- barges -- with apples, potatoes, and floating down the river to the southern markets. Benjamin LOCKWOOD, William GALLAHER, and many others, were engaged in this style of produce marketing. These produce boats were floated as far south as New Orleans, and after the cargoes were sold, the boat itself was sold. Hence, new boats were constructed for each year.
The following is from: Gallaher, Thomas Maywood (1854-1942), "SOME THINGS I REMEMBER", as recorded by his niece, Anna Gallaher Oyster, (privately published, Youngstown, Ohio 1960).
"The LOCKWOOD BOAT YARD near the mouth of Pipe Creek was a busy place. A score or more of men worked there. Ship-carpenters, from apprentices to master boat builders, worked for twelve hours a day. Thomas M. GALLAHER related, "We lived but a little way from the Ohio River, and even as a small boy, my uncles often took me to the river and the many boats were of tireless interest to me. Tow Boats, packets, barges, small craft, skiffs, johnboats -- all were familiar to me while yet a small chap. I spent much time watching the boat builders when but seven or eight years of age. Men shaving the wooden pins used to pin on the bottom planks. Men fitting the great gunnels together. Men shaping the ends of the gunnels. Men boring the five-foot holes through the placed gunnels for the bolting of them together. These long goat augers were driven by hand, of course. In truth, the tools themselves, were the only machines, all done by hand of the expert workmen. The huge bolts used to hold the gunnel timbers together were called rag bolts. When the gunnels were shaped and bolted, they were placed in proper position, and the bottom floor timbers in position, the bottom planking was pinned to the gunnels and the bottom timbers. The boat was thus built bottom-side up, and the caulking done, and then the hull was launched or slid into the water on smooth poles well 'greased' with soft soap. The hull being bottom up, was then turned over so the finishing could be accomplished -- check posts, decking, and such bins and cabins as were needed added the finishing strokes, and the boat was ready for loading.
"A 140-foot Long Boat, 30 feet wide, and five or six feet or more in depth, up-side down in the water, ready to be righted, would be a problem today without modern machinery. But to those sturdy boat builders who had learned to overcome all ordinary difficulties, just a mere matter of well-known routine; Poles were lashed to one side of the bottom to hold sufficient stone to sink that side well down, and to raise the other side well up in the air. A windy day was selected, and the craft placed so that the wind caught the side up in the air, and a good blast of wind carried the boat over right side up, the loose stone falling off. The spectacle of turning the boat right side up, and the great crash and splash made when the feat was accomplished, always brought all the boys in reach and many adults as well to see the show. Indeed, such a novelty would be worth seeing today, and would doubtless attract many spectators.
"The boat now full of water was merely to be pumped dry, and the work of construction completed. The 'pumping' however, was really done by many men with large buckets all bailing the water out and in a remarkably short time, the boat set high and handsome on the water. Not so long after the finishing, the boat was loaded with produce, the crew selected, and the float began. Quite a venture for the young chap that made his first trip down where the 'darkies' clambered aboard willing to trade oranges for apples, or dance and sing for an apple.
"The boats that plied the waters up and down night and day were of admiring interest. The large packets that carried both freight and passengers were beautiful in their bright paints, their churning wheels, the great waves they flung shoreward, and the graceful movement as they glided over the water. Their passing has always been missed by me -- a loss of something beautiful to look upon. I remember the Eagle, the Gray Eagle, the Golden Eagle, the Courier and the Express. The Hudson, the Potomac, the James Reece, the Telegram, the Liberty, the Phaeton and the Comfort.
"The Comfort was a low-water packet that blew up just below Pipe Creek Landing with the loss of nine or ten lives. The Phaeton blew up farther down the river with loss of life also. The Potomac was the first boat to carry that steam-whistle musical machine known as the 'Caliope'. How that weird music thrilled us when heard at a distance through the still night." Most of the above is from: Gallaher, Thomas Maywood, "SOME THINGS I REMEMBER", as recorded by his niece, Anna Gallaher Oyster, (privately published, Youngstown, Ohio 1960). - I have this booklet in my personal libary.
As I recall from my earlier research, I hink that at least one of the paddle wheel steam boats built at the Lockwood yards was used by the Union Navy during the Civil War during the blockades. I think that it was named after Benjamin Lockwood's wife, Annie (Bell) Lockwood. I have the information in my file someplace; but I misplaced it. I'm 77 years old, and I have "senior moments".
I'd very much appreciate it if you will place Mr. Grant Kearns in touch with me. Thank you.
Editor's Note: I forwarded Bill Decoursey's letter to Grant Kearns, then Grant replied the next day. Things happen fast in the world of steamboat genealogy research.
On Nov 12, 2007, at 11:43 AM, Grant Kearns wrote:
Yes, it is great to hear of someone involved with the Lockwood family and their involvement with steamboating.
It is a fascinating period of history. This was a tremendous technological advance. I have been involved in reenactment of the Lewis and Clark Commeration, and spent time with their replica boats on the Mononghella, Ohio, Mississippi, Missouri, etc. With Lewis and Clark the only means to propel their boats was with water flow, wind, rowing, cordelling, and poling. It took them from August 31st to go from what we believe was Elizabeth, Pa. (suburb of Pittsburgh) to what is now Wood River, Illinois arriving on about December 13th. Lewis and Clark finished the journey to and from the west coast in September 1806.
The following year the steamboat Clermont went up the Hudson River and in 1811the steamboat New Orleans went up the Ohio. This was the start of a dramatic change for human kind, and particularly those pioneers on the western side of the Applachians who were now able to get their products to a market at a reasonable speed and efficiency.
And in 1849, my great grandfather-John Kearns, (which, of course is my 92 year old dad's grandfather -which there are not many living today that can say that their grandfather was a 49er.) was from what I have read and pieced together one of about 250-49ers on your ancestors steamboat - the Consignee. These 49ers evidently had a contract with Benjamin Lockwood to take them and supplies from Pittsburgh to St. Joseph, Missouri, where they could hit the trail under Capt. Ankrim, a Mexican War Veteran. The "Wagon Train/Trail Train" evidently hit upon bickering when they got to Nevada and somewhat broke up.
Several years ago I had gone to St. Clairsville, Ohio, Cty seat of Belmont Cty to see what I could find about the Lockwoods. I did discover the Lockwoods had orchards at Dille's (sp) Bottom. And, so I drove to that area to see what I could discover. Did not see any remnants of the orchards, a power plant is in that area, and this is across the Ohio River from Moundsville, West Virginia.
Good to hear from a Minnesotoan (sp?), I had an old Air Force friend from the 10,000 Lake State -Gary Hedlund, who lives in the Richfield area.
Thanks again for your information on the Lockwoods and if I can be of any assistance with info about them or the Consignee, let me know. Grant Kearns
New favorite song at Steamboats.com
This is a beautiful song we sang on the Delta Queen Sunday, October 21, 2007, as they do every Sunday on the Delta Queen. It is a song of Anticipation, based on Bible verses, as follows:
Revelation, Chapter 22:1-2
Then the angel showed me the river of life-giving water, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of its street. On either side of the river grew the tree of life that produces fruit twelve times a year, once each month; the leaves of the trees serve as medicine for the nations.
Shall We Gather at the River?
by Robert Lowry
1. Shall we gather at the river,
Where bright angel feet have trod,
With its crystal tide forever
Flowing by the throne of God?
Yes, we'll gather at the river,
The beautiful, the beautiful river;
Gather with the saints at the river
That flows by the throne of God.
2. On the margin of the river,
Washing up its silver spray,
We will talk and worship ever,
All the happy golden day.
3. Ere we reach the shining river,
Lay we every burden down;
Grace our spirits will deliver,
And provide a robe and crown.
4. At the smiling of the river,
Mirror of the Savior's face,
Saints, whom death will never sever,
Lift their songs of saving grace.
5. Soon we'll reach the silver river,
Soon our pilgrimage will cease;
Soon our happy hearts will quiver
With the melody of peace.
hear this music
more selections and history
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