Steamboat Photos, Page 6


Natchez Casino "Isle of Capri" photgraph taken at dusk

Beautiful photo taken at dusk of the Isle of Capri Casino on the Mississippi River at Natchez Under-the-Hill, a floating replica of a huge sidewheel steamboat from Wikipedia's inventory of Casinos on the Mississippi River.


Isle of Capri Casino Hotel Natchez Natchez Adams County, State of Mississippi
Lower River Region
Closed 2015


TWILIGHT's last gleaming . . .

Riverboat TWILIGHT's 2019 calendar for the month of November, a beautiful photo by Gary Sterk of a 3/4 stern view of the photogenic TWILIGHT in the middle of the Mississippi River with reflection in the foreground.


NETTIE QUILL (1886 - 1915)

The NETTIE QUILL (1886 - 1915) at Mobile, Alabama circa 1906 from the glass negative is in the Library of Congress. The color version belongs to the vintage photography site SHORPY. I removed the smoke that had been air brushed coming out of the smokestacks and also removed the telegraph or telephone wires that stretched aross the sky and smoke in the upper left quadrant. Then plumbed up the photo so everything would be level, straight up and down, cropped it and reduced it for display here.

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540
"A River packet, Mobile, Alabama"
Detroit Publishing Co., publisher
Date Created/Published: [1906?]
Medium: 1 negative : glass ; 8 x 10 in.
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-det-4a13426 (digital file from original)
Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
Call Number: LC-D4-19452 [P&P]
Date based on Detroit, Catalogue P (1906).
"G 3671" and "71" on negative.
Detroit Publishing Co. no. 019452.
Gift; State Historical Society of Colorado; 1949.

illustration post card

1906 POST CARD Lee Line Steamers STACKER LEE

Lithographed post card 1906


(Published by): Van Leyen &Hensler - Detroit

Handwritten pen and ink inscription and signatures:
Mound City swells - Leora (?) Ross
Mrs. C (?) P E
"Doing every one"
"That's no joke!"
Rose Mulroney
Kathryn McNeile
Florence Sinis (?)
Minnie Boyd

Addressed to:
Mr. "Butch" Martin
c/o Murphy &Co.
Mound City, ILLINOIS

AUG 21 1906 8 PM

Osceola s one of the two county seats of Mississippi County, Arkansas. Located along the Mississippi River within the Arkansas delta, the settlement was founded in 1837 and incorporated in 1853. Occupying an important location on the river, the city's economy grew as steamboat traffic increased.


A favorite from La Crosse of the sidewheel packets MILWAUKEE and KEY CITY circa 1862The delicacy of the gingerbread on the MILWAUKEE's boiler deck is beautiful.

Sidewheel Packet
Way's Packet Directory Number 3936
Built in 1857 at Cincinnati, Ohio

Owned by the Minnesota Packet Company
Ran the Prairie du Chien-St. Paul line 1857-1859
the Dunleith-St. Paul line 1860-1861
the Dunleith trade in 1861, off the lists in 1870

Sidewheel Packet
Way's Packet Directory Number 3278
Built in Cincinnati, Ohio, 1857
First home port was Dubuque, Iowa
inspected at Galena, 5th district report, 1867
a twin to the ITASCA, their parts were interchangeable.
Owned by the Galena and Minnesota Packet Company (a.k.a. the Minnesota Packet Company, 1857
Northwestern Union Packet Company, 1864

She ran Galena-Dunleith-St. Paul and according to one source, was the first boat through Lake Pepin.

In a collision with the sternwheel packet BEN COURSIN at the mouth of the Black River, near La Crosse, Wisconsin, August 24, 1857, the COURSIN sank with the loss of seven lives.

The KEY CITY arrived at Madison, Indiana for dismantling on December 6, 1869.


Teddy stereoview 1907 Carriage St LouIS Levee




Photo I took in the 90s of one of my favorite signs (the one on the bottom that says MISSISSIPPI RIVER DOCKS & RAMP) which was on the river's edge at Canton, Missouri which is 37 miles north of Hannibal. I usually took the old 2 lane stretch of 61 so I could see the river and the small communities of La Grange and Canton during my drives north to Keokuk, Iowa where the towboat GEO. M. VERITY is on display.

Finally some years back when I made my pilgrimage the small River sign under the Phillips 66 sign had vanished, probably "harvested" by someone as a coveted piece of vintage highway and river ephemera.

Short history of Canton below from the Santa Fe Trail research site:

Here on the Mississippi River, where wooded hills rise above the plains along the river, Edward White, Robert Sinclair, and Isaac Bland founded Canton, probably named for Canton, Ohio, in February of 1830. On the pioneer Salt River Trail, the town by 1860 was a thriving river port and trade center for the upper Salt River Country. A rival town, Tully, laid out adjacent to Canton, 1834, declined after the flood of 1851 and disappeared when Federal Lock and Dam No. 20 were built in the 1930's. During the Civil War, the countryside suffered from raids and recruiting sorties by Confederate and Union troops.

In the period after the war, Canton recovered its economic standing with the coming of the St. Louis, Keokuk, and Northwestern R.R. (now Burlington) in 1871.

Culver-Stockton College, founded by the Disciples of Christ here, 1853, as Christian University, is famed for having the first college charter in Missouri to assure equal education to men and women.

The present name, adopted, 1917, honors Mary E. Culver and R.H. Stockton, school benefactors.

Canton is the first town founded in the fertile Mississippi River county organized in 1833 and named for Meriwether Lewis.

Settled by Southern pioneers as early as 1819, Lewis County lies in territory ceded the U.S. by Iowa, Sac, and Fox tribes, 1824.

Westward is Montcello, the seat of Lewis County, laid out on the North Fabius, 1833. La Grange, south on the Mississippi, early river port and meat packing town, was laid out in April, 1830, near the mouth of the Wyaconda where Godfrey Le Seur is said to have had a trading post by 1795. Baptist Hannibal-La Grange College was chartered there as La Grange College, 1859.


MISSISSIPPI RIVER DOCKS & RAMP signs at Canton, MO from 1988

Another photo I took of a pair of favorite signs (the one on the bottom says MISSISSIPPI RIVER DOCKS & RAMP) on the edge of the river at Canton, Missouri this time in October 1988 while driving north from Hannibal, MO to Keokuk, IOWA.

Savannah River Dredge MACON & the WILEY L. MOORE 55 percent

Attached was apparently taken during the 1930's sometime at Savannah or Augusta, Georgia on the Savannah River.

The dredge MACON is on left, the little sternwheeler WILEY L. MOORE, Port of Augusta is on the right.

Looks like a ceremony was about to take place on the barge attached to the front of the MACON since there are American flags displayed.

Suppose this could have been on the 4th of July or the launching of the MACON which looks just about brand new and folks are visiting on board.

Lots of gents dressed in white, must've been summer time. There are not too many ladies or children visible.

Some discoloration upper left and upper right suggests the negative suffered some chemical damage in processing before it was printed.

Perhaps some folks who live in Savannah or Augusta could shed some light on exactly where, when and what was going on in this picture.

Flying Eagle and Barge Steve Chou Collection HALF exp

Best photo ever taken of the Flying Eagle from the collection of Steve Chou who is the most successful collector of Hannibal, Missouri memorabilia.

Flying Eagle (Packet, 1888-1903)
BUILT: 1888 at Rock Island, Illinois, the Kahlke yard .
Formerly the rafter IRENE D.
Sank on June 3, 1903
Owned by Tom Adams
Officers and crew: Tom Adams (master in 1903); Frank Slater (pilot in 1903); Thomas Boland (Captain); Charles Campbell (mate in 1903)

She was operated as an excursion boat out of Quincy, Illinois with room for extra passengers in a barge named LITTLE CATE which was lashed to her port side.

The photo is from the collection of Steve Chou who has amassed the biggest private collection of Hannibal, Missouri photographs and memorabilia.

The following is from THE STORY OF HANNIBAL by Hurley and Roberta Hagood (1976):

The Flying Eagle—Hannibal's Steamboat Disaster:

The Park Methodist Church sponsored a steamboat excursion for its members and other interested persons. A Sunday School class, consisting of Sadie Conlon, Aileen Davidson, Marguerite Rightmire, Laura. Mae McClure, Rose Eichenberger,

Katie Eichenberger, Mable Orr, Adele Tucker, Theresa Zimmerman, Sylvia Collins, Lena Ober, Fanny Ober, Miriam Boulware, Lonnie B. Curts, Frances Kabler, Miss Olive Orr and Mrs. J. A. Swinney, made the arrangements and 176 tickets were sold.

The Flying Eagle, often used for such excursions, was chartered for June 3, 1903.

The Flying Eagle had a double decked barge secured to its side for expanding space, making additional room for the passengers.

The barge, enclosed at the lower level, had most of the passengers on it. Friends and spectators were at the ferry landing as the boat cast off. The river had been at flood level of 22 feet during the seasonal run-off and was still high. It was a rainy day.

The Wabash Bridge, in 1903, pivoted at a span farther out in the river than now. The current ran on the east side of the opening span. As the Flying Eagle approached the bridge, the waters tugged at it and caught it, turning it partially crosswise to the current. The captain and the pilot both strained at the pilot's wheel to turn the boat and were unsuccessful. With a crash, the stern slammed into the pier. The barge, loaded with frightened passengers, swung slowly to the opposite side of the pier, and the two hung there temporarily. The bridge operator closed the draw span against the Flying Eagle so that passengers could crawl onto it.

The cook, James Harvey, at the stern, was either stunned or killed in the first crash. His galley was demolished, his body never found.

Passengers kicked out windows and climbed to the top of the pier against which the barge was precariously caught. The shoulder of the pier was a foot and a half above the top deck of the barge and women, children, and men frantically scrambled to safety.

A group of Wabash painters working on the bridge assisted the passengers.

The Flying Eagle was pinned on the west side of the pier and the barge on the east side. Water was pouring into a large hole in the boat's hull and she began to sink. As water covered the first deck, then the second, people rushed to the top deck. In the meantime, the Hannibal Ferry had cut loose from its mooring and was rushing to the rescue. Someone with presence of mind, realizing the sinking boat would pull the barge to the bottom, chopped the ropes to free the barge. It started floating downstream with 40 passengers aboard. The ferry, circling behind the barge gradually nudged it ashore near Cave Hollow, and the passengers disembarked. The barge had lost a plank in the collision, just above the waterline. The ferry boat pilot cautioned those aboard to stand on the side opposite from the missing plank to keep the barge balanced and afloat until it could be beached.

When the Flying Eagle sank those still aboard were in the water. The swift current carried them downstream and they were rescued by small boats.

Phineas Bradshaw, a Negro musician, who lived in Soap Hollow pulled many ashore with his rowboat.

Lonnie B. Curts, a teenage girl, was left in the water when the boat sank, and Harry Eichenberger, who had reached the safety of the pier, jumped into the water in an effort to save her—both were drowned.

Martha Coppedge, another teenage girl, failed to reach the pier and was drowned.


Nice clean real photo postcard port side view of FRED SWAIN which was built in 1900 at Stillwater, Minnesota

Owned and operated by the La Salle and Peoria Packet Company on the Illinois River

Officers & Crew: Captain Percy Swain (master early 1900s); Joseph Casrider (engineer, 1909); Captain Verne Swain (1909)

Way's Packet Directory 2146:

She departed Peoria on a regular trip in August 1909, caught fire 20 minutes later, was safely landed and 25 passengers and crew came ashore safely. Captain Verne Swain was in command at the time.


Snagboat DAVID TIPSON circa 1904 - 1923

Sidewheel Snagboat

Way's Packet Directory Number 1471

Built at Jeffersonville, Indiana in 1900 by Howard Ship Yards, under the name Col. A. MACKENZIE; renamed DAVID TIPTON circa 1904

Owned by the U.S. Engineering Department

Her skipper, Captain David Tipton, died at the wheel of the MACKENZIE on Lake Pepin, near Reads Landing, Minnesota September 22, 1904 and the boat was renamed in his honor. The U.S. Engineers operated her on the upper Mississippi River until 1920. Captain Frank Martin was her last master. She was sold at public sale conducted at Rock Island, Illinois, to Meyer Katz, St. Louis, and John F. Klein, Pittsburgh. In late 1923 she was sold to two Memphis, Tennessee railroad men, named Peel and Bachelor; who renamed her URSIE BOYCE. She was converted to a packet and put in the Memphis-White River trade and later became the CITY OF CAIRO.

Percy Ruby pilot, circa 1912
Levi King, Jr. chief engineer, 1916
Charles De Lisle pilot, March 1917

recent acquisitions

The 1943 fire that consumed the CAPTAIN WEBER (which looked so splendid in the Stephen Foster "biopic" SWANEE RIVER) was captured dramatically in this news bureau photograph.

I scanned the teletype read-out off the back and put it below the picture.


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.*