Color Steamboat photos (newer), page 3

These are newer photos, so they are either newer boats, or antique boats photographed in color.


Sacto River "STANLEY STEAMER" sternwheeler belongs to John Lucas
32nd Sacramento River Delta
Steamboat Regatta
Photo by John Woodson

Sternwheel River Steamer S.L. LAUREN from Sacramento - John Lucas with crew members Jenny & Pancho

SUWANEE Greenfield Village Winter Very Cool

A note by the photographer who took this picture:

The River Paddle Steamer Suwanee - Photo taken at Henry Ford Museum's Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Michigan, 2004. It is a digital infrared photograph taken with a 720 nano-meter infrared filter, which renders a dream like quality to the image. The photograph was a 1st place winner in the Detroit News Images of Michigan Photography contest in 2007. Photographer - P. Into

Sadly, the Suwanee which was in service at the Henry Ford Museum's Greenfield Village since 1930 was dismantled and scrapped in 2011.

Prints are available from the photographer at his site:


Talisman steamboat on the Sangamon at New Salem, Illinois

Two photos I took during the 1990's of the replica riverboat TALISMAN on the Sangamon River at Lincoln's New Salem in Illinois which was a village where young Abe Lincoln lived from 1831 to 1837.

The following paragraph about the TALISMAN replica comes from the Wikipedia article on Lincoln's New Salem. Wikipedia

In the summer of 1961, after a period of design and fabrication, a 73-foot, 40-ton, upper-cabin sternwheel steamboat made its way from Dubuque, Iowa to New Salem by way of the Mississippi River, Illinois River, and the Sangamon River. The steamer, christened the Talisman, was a scaled-down recreation of the original boat that ventured from Cincinnati, Ohio, down the Ohio River, up the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, and into central Illinois on the Sangamon under the charter of Springfield businessman Vincent Bogue in 1832. The original Talisman was actually a 136-foot, 150-ton steamer, and may or may not have been a sidewheel boat. Lincoln helped clear obstructions from the riverbanks on the Talisman's trip upriver, and co-piloted the steamer with Rowan Herndon back to Beardstown. The recreation boat was given a landing next to the Rutledge Camron Saw and Grist Mill site on the riverbank, and tourists had the opportunity to take short excursions on the river. Unfortunately, just like the original Talisman, the recreated steamer was plagued by low water levels on the river which gradually diminished in the years following its arrival at New Salem, which made navigation difficult to impossible. The boat was finally grounded in the late 1990s a few miles upriver from the historical site, and now serves as a large lawn decoration about a hundred feet from the riverbank/

Further history of the original TALISMAN from Sangamon County Historical Society's site: Talisman steamboat

Posted on October 6, 2013 by editor Sangamon County Historical Society

A historical marker at an Interstate 55 rest area east of Springfield, Illinois remembers the steamboat TALISMAN's voyage.

The TALISMAN, a "splendid upper cabin steamer," left Cincinnati on Feb. 2, 1832, bound for Springfield via the Ohio, Mississippi, Illinois and—most importantly to central Illinoisans—the Sangamon rivers.

The venture raised hopes that the Sangamon could be a practical shipping route between Sangamon County and bigger markets to the south and east.

John Carroll Power explained the problem in his History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois (1876).

"To the first settlers of Illinois (transportation) was of unusual importance, on account of the vast extent of undrained soil, so rich and soft as to be almost impassible, in its natural state, for half of every year.

For the transportation of heavy articles long distances, no other mode was though of except by water. They could be conveyed three or four times the distance in that way, much cheaper than on a straight line by any known method."

The TALISMAN duly arrived at Portland Landing near Springfield in late March, prompting an outburst of optimism for the future of Sangamon River traffic.

"Springfield can no longer be considered an inland town," the Sangamo Journal gushed on March 29. ". . . The result which must follow the successful termination of this enterprise to our county, and to those counties lying in its neighborhood, it would be impossible to calculate."

The problem was that the Sangamon's water level fell after the TALISMANT arrived. As a result, even after its cargo was unloaded, the Talisman—which was 136 feet long and had a beam of 48 feet—didn't have enough room to turn around for the return trip. It had to steam backwards for much of the 100 miles downstream to Beardstown. (Abraham Lincoln, then a resident of New Salem, was hired as assistant pilot for the return trip; he was paid $40 for his efforts.)

"The only mention ever made of her afterwards," Power wrote of the steamboat, "was a newspaper report that the Talisman was burned at the wharf in St. Louis. . . . No attempt was ever made after that to bring a boat up the river.*

"Thus ended the dream of navigating the Sangamo (sic), across which a man may walk almost dry shod for nearly half of every year."

The site of Portland Landing and the story of the TALISMAN's attempt to open the Sangamon to shipping are the subjects of a historical marker at the Interstate 55 northbound rest area northeast of Springfield.

Portland Landing was three-quarters of a mile west of the rest area.

*Note: Despite Power's statement, there apparently was one more attempt to bring large-scale freight traffic to the Sangamon. The steamboat UTILITY went upstream in 1836, but it got stuck at Petersburg and ultimately was dismantled.

As it happened, work began two years later to build the Northern Cross Railroad between Springfield and the Illinois River. Once railroads reached Springfield- the first Northern Cross train arrived in 1842—there no longer was any need to open the Sangamon to steamboats.

Original content copyright Sangamon County Historical Society. You are free to republish this content as long as credit is given to the Society.


Winona Odd Couple on the Winking WILKIE

A little early morning kitsch for y'all.

A promotional photo of a Winona couple in mellerdrammer costumes posing on the fantail of the JULIUS C. WILKIE. Is that gent wearing sneakers with his costume? Former Queen and King of the Prom from a few years earlier maybe? The WILKIE was "converted" from a perfectly respectable retired towboat into a "pseudo packet boat" for the tourist trade.


The M.V. SERGEANT FLOYD at Sioux City

The M.V. (Motor Vessel) SERGEANT FLOYD was built as an inspection boat of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, in a color photograph taken by Jerry J. Pospeshil while the boat was still afloat and docked during one of the annual River-Cade Celebrations that were initiated in Sioux City, Iowa in 1964.

The FLOYD was built in 1932, is 133 feet long, displaced 306 tons, and its draft is 36 inches. It was named in honor of Sergeant Charles Floyd, the only man who died on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. After it was decommissioned it was brought to Sioux City on the Missouri River in 1983 where it is dry-docked and serves as a Welcome Center for the tri-state areas of Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. It is located at 1000 Larsen Park Road in Chris Larsen Park.

Sergeant Floyd River Museum & Welcome Center link:


Showboat Branson Belle
Table Rock Lake Branson, Missouri

Cruise on lovely Table Rock Lake on a four-deck showboat while enjoying panoramic views and breakfast, lunch or dinner accompanied by live entertainment ranging from comedy to music to acrobatics.

4800 State Highway 165
Branson, Missouri 65616-8934

Themed after the majestic showboats of the 1800s, the Showboat Branson Belle evokes the spirit of a bygone era when riverboat adventure, glamorous travel and dazzling entertainment converged into what we remember as Those Grand Old Showboatin' Days!

Showboat Branson Belle was launched from her lake side shipyard August 13, 1994, using two tons of bananas as a lubricant for the nine second slide into the water. She traveled 14 mph during the launch, faster than she'll ever travel on water.


Sternwheeler MYRA H. Rome, Georgia

Attached composite of 6 photos and Doug Walker's article relevant to the proposed restoration of the picturesque 1932 sternwheeler MYRA H. from the Rome, Georgia News Tribune from 2016.

Talks underway for restoration of Myra H. a riverboat that last cruised 70 years ago Local historian and storyteller Bob Harris is taking the lead in an effort to restore and perpetually preserve the 60-foot-long Myra H.

By Doug Walker
Feb 7, 2016


The old paddleboat is all that's left of those boats that once traveled nature's original interstate system in the Rome area. The Myra H was built by Roman Pierce Harris, no relation to Bob, in 1932. He named it for his daughter Myra Harris.

During a flood in the mid-1940s, the boat broke loose from its mooring but Pierce Harris managed to dry dock it on a farm off Collier Road near the Oostanaula River. He was a caretaker on the farm and used the boat as a retreat, a cabin-like type of getaway.

Pierce Harris's granddaughter Kyle Vasser recalls spending a lot of time playing on the boat as a child. She remembers the big pilot wheel, four bunk beds, a wood burning stove and ice box that made it a great place to play. "I would play on the back, do gymnastic-like things on the paddle wheels, it was an awesome place to hang out," Vasser said.

Linda Studard, another granddaughter, said she believes her grandfather donated the boat to the Junior Service League in 1983, which moved it to the Chieftains Museum property on Riverside Parkway. Years passed and the boat was moved to Mayo's Bar Lock & Dam on the Coosa River where it remains today.

"She is now in horrible shape. Her forward deck has got huge gaping holes in it. It's got a window knocked out, a paddle is gone again," Bob Harris said. "It was my granddaddy's heart and soul," Studard said. "I'd love to see it maintained."

Bob Harris has been knocking around the idea restoring the boat and moving it to a location adjacent to the River Education Center at Ridge Ferry Park and making part of the river-related nature center at the park. Harris said the priority is finding a place where the boat can be protected from the weather while it is restored.

His idea is to put major supports into the ground next to the deck by the River Education Center. The boat could be put on the supports and covered with a roof extended over the deck.

"That's a big wish," Harris admitted.

Ben Winkelman, who manages the center, said he has spoken with Harris but nothing has been finalized.

"We're just basically talking around over a cup of coffee about what ifs," Winkelman said

He recognizes there is considerable interest in riverboat history. Rome City Manager Sammy Rich has also talked with Harris.

"We could preserve it and use it in educational way so I think there are some neat opportunities and ideas that need to be further explored," Rich said.

"It's no great luxury ship, I just don't want to lose her," Harris said. "The Myra H used to go up and down this river and it's all that's left.

We have one last example of a riverboat that used to go up and down here all the time."

Vasser and her stepbrother, Jimmy Lovelace, are supportive of Harris's efforts to restore the boat and have it put on display in a more appropriate location.

"We have threatened to go and kidnap that thing; it's hard to watch it go down like it has," Vasser said.

"It's everybody's challenge to make this happen," Lovelace said. "Right now it's like watching history fall apart.


Beautiful photo of 3 sternwheelers at Marietta 2018 by Danny Carpenter

Of all the photos of the Ohio River Sternwheeler Festival this photo by Danny Carpenter is the most beautiful

Harmar Village - Marietta, Ohio
September 9, 2018

The Ohio River Sternwheel Festival was the brainchild of Harry Robinson and Captains Gene Fitch and Bob Limle.

The first Ohio River Sternwheel Festival took place the weekend after Labor Day 1976. This festival was held to encourage tourism to the Marietta area as well as preserve the riverboat heritage for which our area is well known.

Over the years, this festival has grown tremendously, attracting an estimated 100,000 people to the Marietta area during the weekend. In addition to the 30-35 authentic sternwheel boats that line the river bank, we offer a full weekend of free, quality, family oriented entertainment and the best fireworks anywhere. The Ohio River Sternwheel Festival is a not for profit organization operating on a budget of approximately $160,000 annually.

We operate and are funded through corporate sponsors, sales of souvenirs, private donations and fundraising events. Our committee is made up strictly of volunteers with a membership of 85 including officers, a board of trustees and committee chairmen.


An excursion on the St. Croix River in Minnesota aboard the Taylors Falls Princess

Wild Mountain : Taylors Falls Recreation - Daily Excursions

Since 1906 tourists by the thousands have enjoyed the scenic beauty of the world famous Dalles of the St. Croix River by excursion boat. Our fleet of excursion boats includes the Taylors Falls Queen and the Taylors Falls Princess.

Since 1906 tourists by the thousands have enjoyed the scenic beauty of the world famous Dalles of the St. Croix River by excursion boat. Our fleet of excursion boats includes the Taylors Falls Queen and the Taylors Falls Princess. The "Princess" can carry up to 250 passengers with The "Queen" holding up to 149. Both boats are enclosed on the lower level & the upper decks are open.

Daily Excursions are either 45 or 80 minutes. Your licensed boat pilot and tour guide will point out the unique rock formations that were left behind as the glaciers retreated thousands of years ago. Among the most outstanding formations is the huge stone cross for which the St. Croix River was named. "St. Croix" means Holy Cross.

Other sites that can be seen from the boats include the world's largest glacial kettles or "potholes", Lion's Head, Turk's Head and the highlight of the boat tour, The Old Man of the Dalles - the most outstanding natural rock face you'll ever see.

An afternoon on the St. Croix Published on Sep 16, 2015 Youtube An excursion on the St. Croix River aboard the Taylors Falls Princess - an 80 foot long authentic sternwheeler. Here, near my home, the St. Croix River is its most scenic, running through towering basaltic cliffs and ledges (known as 'the dalles") and bordered by white pines - a ghost of the plentiful logging stands of centuries past.


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.*

All captions provided by Dave Thomson, primary contributor and historian.