Steamboat Documents, Page 1


I reformatted this so the most interesting parts of the brochure could be showcased in one composite.


Delta Queen poster.


Sternwheel Packet

Way's Packet Directory Number 0680

Built at Stillwater, Minnesota in 1888

Owned by Captain David Swain, 1888; Captain George Prince, June 4, 1903; Captain Ben Moss and A.B. McCain, 1905; Lake Charles and Cameron Transportation Company


In 1888, Captain David Swain; Samuel C. Gulick (master) Nov. 27, 1895; Captain Charles Ebaugh; 1903, Captain George Prince
Ran on the Illinois; Mississippi; Black; Ouachita; Tensas; Little and Atchafalaya rivers

Operated around Stillwater, Minnesota until 1890 when she was brought to the Peoria-La Salle trade on the Illinois River under command of Captain Charles Ebaugh. 1903, Captain George Prince ran her out of Natchez twice weekly.

One trip to Atchafalya, the other to the Black, Ouachita, Tensas and Little rivers.

Several years later she was sent to Lake Charles, Louisiana, but a modern highway ended her trade.

Moored for a time at the foot of Pugo Street in St. Charles, Louisiana, and idled until sold for junk in 1938 for only $110.


BOREALIS REX new photo

Carrie Stier (co-owner of the TWILIGHT) kindly shared the attached image of the BOREALIS REX


Moonlight broadside W.W. 5th June 1913
I restored this flyer a lot from a thin 5.60 x 9.85 inches paper it was printed on and replaced the poor quality photo that was printed on it originally with a better one from LaCrosse.

W.W. Sternwheel Excursion boat
Way's Packet Directory Number 5666

Built in 1882 at Dubuque, Iowa
Formerly CITY OF WINONA and renamed in 1905 after being rebuilt.
Named in honor of Captain Walter Wisherd.
The W.W. and the J.S. were popular excursion boats on the upper Mississippi River.
Captain Rounds bought the W.W. in 1917 to replace the GOLDEN GIRL.
She ran excursions and in the summer of 1918 was in Nashville, Tennessee.
In 1920 owner John Klein used her to tow barges loaded with pipe from the upper Ohio to the lower Mississippi.
In 1921 she was bought by Captain Gaches who used her to tow his showboat.

The show was boycotted at one point by people of of Crown Hill, West Virginia who assumed that the name of the boat, "W.W.," stood for Woodrow Wilson.

Captain Gaches replied that the initials stood for "Western Waters" and so the show went on.

Sank and lost during a windstorm at the head of Brush Creek Island on the Ohio River in the spring of 1922.


Card announcing an excursion from Louisville, Kentucky to a picnic at Fern Grove which was located on the Ohio River at the mouth of Fourteen-Mile Creek near Charlestown, Indiana.

M.W.A. apparently stands for Modern Woodmen of America, founded in 1883 as "a fraternal benefit society that protected families from financial hardship after the death of a breadwinner."

Columbia (1892-1913)
Sidewheel Ferry/Excursion boat

Way's Packet Directory Number 1245

Built in 1892 at Jeffersonville, Indiana at Howard Ship Yard
Her engines and doctor came from the NEW SHALLCROSS.

Owned by Louisville and Jeffersonville Ferry Company

Original price, $17,750.

The fire that destroyed her Jeffersonville, Indiana on January 20, 1913 was discovered by watchman George Canary while the COLUMBIA Columbia was in her winter quarters at the foot of Watt Street in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

The loss was estimated at $30,000


Invitation date June 13, 1871 to Mr. E.L. Stevens announcing an excursion party and dinner to be given the following day for visitors to St. Louis from Iowa and Minnesota aboard the CITY OF VICKSBURG.

CITY OF VICKSBURG Sidewheel packet
Way's Packet Directory Number 1142
Built in 1881 at Jeffersonville, Indiana by Howard Ship Yards
Home port or owner's residence (Anchor Line) circa 1881, St. Louis, Missouri.
Original price: $73,350.
Bought by the Columbia Excursion Company, St. Louis (1894)
Damaged in the tornado at St. Louis on May 27, 1896
Sold 1898 to John T. Hardy Sons and Company, New Orleans and rebuilt into the CHALMETTE.



Promotional card announcing Moonlight Excursion on Sept 16th, 1919

M.W.A. apparently stands for Modern Woodmen of America, founded in 1883 as "a fraternal benefit society that protected families from financial hardship after the death of a breadwinner."

VERNE SWAIN 1913-1929

Way's Packet Directory Number 5553

Sidewheel packet, excursion boat

Built in 1913 at Stillwater, Minnesota by Captain David M. Swain built her to replace the FRED SWAIN.

Primarily an excursion boat with a full length dance floor

She ran excursions on the Illinois River until she was sold to Fred Hornbrook in the spring of 1918.

Captain David Swain died delivering this boat to Pittsburgh in July, 1918.

Captain Hornbrook ran her in the Pittsburgh-Wheeling packet trade.

In 1923 Captain J. Orville Noll ran excursions with her in the Wheeling area for the Anchor Line until March 1927.

Subsequent owners included D. B. G. Rose, Louisville, Kentucky who renamed her ROSE ISLAND and the Pittsburgh Amusement Company, Captain Griffith W. Shaw and others, who renamed her ROOSEVELET in 1929.

Circa 1932 she was called City CITY OF MEMPHIS.


Splendid printed cover for an Excursion and Banquet aboard the ROB ROY at Louisiana, Missouri on May 28, 1873
Louisiana is on the Mississippi downriver from Hannibal, Missouri (boyhood home of Sam Clemens).

Rob Roy (1866-1880)

Sidewheel Packet

Way's Packet Directory Number 4769

Built in 1866 at Madison, Indiana (hull and framing); completed at St. Louis

Built for the St. Louis-Keokuk trade with the Keokuk Northern Line Packet Company

While passing through the drawbridge at Quincy, Illinois on March 27, 1870, she hit the ice breaker and lost her port wheel, blacksmith shop, pantry, and lower guard but landed safely.

On February 28, 1871 while leaving St. Louis, the head of a mud drum blew out killing a fireman and two camels belonging to Van Amburgh's menagerie.

She snagged and sunk on June 2, 1874 near Alton, Illinois while bound down river.

On February 26, 1880 she sank after hitting an obstruction below Louisiana, Missouri.

She was raised and was to be dismantled when the GOLDEN EAGLE burned.

The ROB ROY had just been brought out of retirement in late that summer when she broke a gib on the starboard engine crosshead on the inboard stroke and knocked out the cylinder head; subsequently the ROB ROY was dismantled before the end of 1880.

On the left is a detail of the ROB ROY from an 1869 painting "Down River View of the Mississippi and Hannibal, Missouri Landing"

Oil on canvas, 30"x72"; signed and dated: Crosby 1869
Mark Twain Museum, Hannibal, Missouri

George L. Crosby, born in Massachusetts in 1833, travelled west as a young man with settlers bound for Kansas. His impressions of that expedition were recorded in two paintings, "Kansas or Bust" and "Kansas and Busted". After his return to Massachusetts he was commissioned by investors in the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad to paint views of Hannibal and the surrounding terrain. Crosby married in Hannibal, returned to Marlborough, Massachusetts, and came back to Hannibal in the 1860's where he was active as a photographer and portrait painter until he and his family were drowned in a flash flood of 1877 or 1878.

Caption about the painting is from:
"Mississippi panorama: the life and landscape of the Father of Waters and its great tributary, the Missouri" A catalogue for an exhibition at the City Art Museum of St. Louis, 1950


Riverview Steamboat Co. Trifold menu printed on "parchment" stock, = 11 1/2 by 5 1/4 inches folded

Circa 1980 from a restaurant that was located on top of the Quality Inn Riverview across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, Ohio.


666 5th Street
Covington, Kentucky

Owned and operated by Frisch's Restaurants of Cincinnati.

Some samples of offerings on the menu included:

PORTSIDE - Mates in Tow (side orders):

STARBOARD - Pilot's Steak on a Skewer - Sternwheeler's Teriyaki Steak - Boilerman's Changeable Chicken

SWEET CHANNEL (Desserts): New Orleans Crepes - River Queen's Treat of the Day "Ask your mate"

River Mist (Coconut juice and Southern Rum "sure to cut the fog")
Captain's Coffee (Italian liqueur and a hint of mint topped with whipped cream)
Gale Winds (Southern fruit juices and Northern berries)

The text on the back of the menu indicates that this was a "revolving" restaurant from which guests would be getting a 360 degree view of Kentucky, Ohio and the Ohio River:


We'll be underway the moment you step on to the outer ring of our elegant traveling restaurant. Make yourself comfortable as we transport you smoothly away from your cares and anxieties.

Drink in the panoramic sweep of hills and valleys, the teeming river, the city's skyline, the quaint red rooftops and the green hillsides of Kentucky.

Relax and allow one of our friendly mates to bring you food and drink fit for such a world traveler as you."


RIVER QUEEN in a 1964 press release

RIVER QUEEN in an 8 x 10 press release photo from 1964. Written on the back was the boat's previous name, the GORDON C. GREENE. This may have been used with a news item regarding the towing of the RIVER QUEEN from Hannibal, MO to St. Louis MO.


When Florence Ziegfeld opened Jerome Kern's musical adaptation of Edna Ferber's SHOW BOAT in December, 1927 he had a fictional broadside for the showboat COTTON BLOSSOM's production of THE PARSON's BRIDE enclosed inside each program for the production with husband and wife "stars" Julie LaVerne as "Lucy" and Steve Baker as "Parson Brown" who are scheduled to appear in a performance in Natchez, Mississippi that evening. A spurned admirer of Julie's on the showboat informs local law enforcement in Natchez that Julie's mother was African American while Steve is white and miscegenation is illegal in Mississippi (marriage between different races) so Captain Andy Hawks is obliged to dismiss Julie and Steve. Captain Andy replaces Julie with his own daughter Magnolia in the role of "Lucy" and replaces Steve with the wandering gambler Gaylord Ravenal as "Parson Brown." Andy's wife Parthy disapproves of Ravenal as a suitor for her daughter but there's a mutual attraction between him and Magnolia. Thus begins the story.


STEAMER SIDNEY and moonlight excursion ad from the Hannibal Labor Press newspaper for June 7, 1919.


Broadside style advertising card with woodcut vignette of steamboat
Photo from the LaCrosse Collection

SOUTHLAND 1922-1932
Sternwheel Packet

Way's Packet Directory Number 5159

Built as the NASHVILLE in 1910 at Jeffersonville, Indiana by Howard Ship Yard

She was rebuilt from the NASHVILLE by the Williams Brothers at Paducah, Kentucky in 1922 and renamed SOUTHLAND

She ran Louisville-Stephensport-Evansville

Burned while laid up at Spottsville, Kentucky on December 16, 1932


Ad in the Hannibal Labor Press for 2 cruises aboard the G.W. HILL on SUNDAY JUNE 15, 1919.

SternwheelPacket/Excursion boat

Way's Packet Directory Number 2188

Built in 1909 at Jeffersonville, Indiana by Howard Ship Yards for the St. Louis-Calhoun County apple trade. Named for Granderson Winfrey Hill of Alexandria, Missouri
Original price $28,850
Home port or owner's residence circa 1909, St. Louis, Missouri.
Owned by Captain D.W. Wisherd and Sam Gregory

Converted into an excursion boat in May 1912.

Captain Walter Wisherd (master, 1913)
Captain J.E. Short (pilot, 1913)
Captain Trim Wadlington (master, 1913)
Captain George L. White (master, 1914)
Edgar Wisherd (captain, 1916)
John Pierson (pilot, 1916)
Harry Wilcox (pilot, 1916)

After World War I she commenced tramping to the upper Ohio River, she also went to New Orleans, Pittsburgh, etc., until sold in 1923 after the steamboat fire at Cincinnati, Ohio (November 4, 1922) and renamed the ISLAND MAID.


With the exception of images credited to public institutions,
everything on this page is from a private collection.
Please contact for permission for commercial use.*