Memoir of a Cruise on the Delta Queen|
Cincinnati to St. Paul and Back, 1962
by Linda Dietrick
The following memoir was written by my grandfather Russell Vanderbilt (1896-1978) after a 1962 cruise on the famed paddlewheel steamer Delta Queen. The manuscript was typed by his daughter, my mother, Jane Vanderbilt Dietrick, and duplicated for sharing among the family. This is a lightly edited transcription.
As Russell explains, he had travelled once before on the Delta Queen. That was with his wife, my grandmother, Dr. Katherine Briegel Vanderbilt, in May of 1956. On that trip, they had cruised from Cincinnati to New Orleans and back. They returned with some photos and home movie footage that we still have. Sadly, my grandmother died of lymphoma at the age of 60 in June of 1961. Russell must have thought of her often during his 1962 trip.
By then, he was 68 and still employed as a procurement manager at the Frankford Arsenal in Philadelphia. The Delta Queen held a professional as well a personal interest for him. As a young man, he had trained in steam and machine design technology at the Pratt Institute (class of 1917) and served in the Navy Reserve from 1919 to 1921. Then he worked as a locomotive salesman, probably for the Baldwin company in Philadelphia, and as a machinist before joining the Frankford Arsenal in about 1949. When we grandchildren were kids, he loved taking us on every sort of train and boat ride, and the engines always drew his expert gaze.
This memoir is a detailed account of almost three weeks aboard the Delta Queen as it plied the Ohio and the Mississippi, maneuvered locks and oxbows, and stopped in the prosperous towns of the Midwest. Of course, in 1962, overnight travel by paddlewheel steamboat was already a historical novelty, but it was still available and popular as a vacation option. The famous calliope had just been added.
Showing Russell's gift for careful observation, precise description, and gentle humor, this memoir may interest those who remember the Delta Queen and hope for its resurrection.
Memoir of a Cruise on the Delta Queen
September 8-27, 1962
by Russell E. Vanderbilt
Until the spring of 1956 my acquaintance with the great rivers of our country had been limited by circumstances to such eastern streams as the Hudson, Delaware and those other charming bodies which grace the shores of Maryland and Virginia as they flow down to the great Chesapeake Bay, that is to say the Susquehanna, Patuxent, Rappahannock, York and James. The same could be said by many others dwelling on the Atlantic seaboard. Yet the Mississippi and its features had long held my interest and enthusiasm so it became an extra pleasure to see something of these important streams first in 1956, and again in 1962.
Both of these adventures were made in the river steamer DELTA QUEEN whose home port is Cincinnati. The earlier tour had New Orleans as its destination while the later took St. Paul for objective point. It is of the St. Paul journey that I hope to tell you a few things now, though my report will have to be a word picture because a defect in the camera was disastrous to my photographic efforts. My only color slides now are those which I had bought to augment my own views.
DELTA QUEEN is presently designed and equipped only for day and night passenger cruising, that is to say she carries no freight nor automobiles. Her license, I believe, permits the accommodation of 250 counting passengers, crew, and officers. Propulsion is by means of a paddle wheel which is mounted at the stern and is turned by a direct-connected steam engine of ponderous dimensions. Other details of this comfortable lady could be given, but they have a technical flavor, and I will reserve them for those who have a peculiar interest in such matters. Facilities for eating, drinking, sleeping, loafing and organized play are adequate, and the vessel is kept clean by a sufficient number of maids and men. To those who have seen the long disappeared river steamers of the Mississippi system, a pleasant reminder comes in the "stage" or gang plank, which is permanently rigged over the forward main deck. The river banks are not fitted with wharves and quays such as we find in our seaports here, but landings even at important cities are made directly on the ground. So the properly fitted passenger vessel must carry her own stage and a nimble set of deckhands to hoist it out or in as the Queen arrives or departs. The only permanent wharves used by this steamer are at her home port and at New Orleans, since the latter is a seaport for deep draft vessels. My speculation is that the ever-present prospect of high water in Ole Man River discourages large investment in docking facilities, even for the hundreds of barges and towboats hauling bulk commodities.
DELTA QUEEN has re-introduced a feature of romantic character that I must mention at this point. It is the calliope, sometimes called "steam piano" in the old days of showboats, used to advertise the presence of a showboat at some river city or town, with a repertoire of the popular songs and some religious tunes of the day. The instrument consists essentially of a set of steam whistles of a designed number and controlled from a keyboard. The Queen's calliope has 32 notes, about half as many as the standard piano. So, although its sound-producing capability is large indeed, the musical capacity has its limitations. Nevertheless, the performances by Mr. Mize, our organist and pianist, were of very creditable quality. While listening, one could easily imagine the presence of the showboat, as the strains of "Listen to the Mockingbird" reverberated along the river bluffs and the surrounding hills and woodlands.
In our thinking about rivers, there are two particular features of their physical geography which we would do well to bear in mind. The first is that the flow occurs only because the river bed declines towards the sea; secondly, there is usually a section in the greatest of them where the riverbed drops many feet in just a few miles. Such a place is called "the falls" and it is usually so rough and obstructed as to prevent navigation of all but tiny boats or canoes. The falls of the Ohio occur near Louisville, Kentucky, where the drop is 26 feet in 3 miles.
Generally, the rivers of the Mississippi system are shallow; when the white man first saw and explored them the limiting depth probably was not much over three or four feet in times of low water. On the other hand, they are broad and of great volume thus having a tremendous potential for transport when the depth is increased by man-made devices. In 1885 a vast and long range program began for river improvement to facilitate navigation, under the responsibility of the Corps of Engineers of the U.S. Army. With the passage of the years and investment of billions of dollars there is now a "guaranteed" minimum depth of 9 feet for thousands of miles in the Mississippi system. The result today is an extremely large traffic in bulk commodities carried by large, modern barges and high-powered towboats. The striking improvement has been accomplished by building dozens of dams at selected points and, of course, a like number of locks, whereby the vessels are floated around the dams. While many of the locks provide a lift of less than 10 feet, there are several which raise or lower the passing vessels nearly 40 feet.
Cincinnati, the point of departure for my cruise, is located on the Ohio River in the southwest corner of the State. My drive of about 13 hours, even though solitary, was marked by new and attractive scenery, good roads, a comfortable motel at Zanesville, and a safe arrival at the Delta Queen's landing place with two hours to spare before the leaving time. This permitted me to renew my acquaintance with the vessel; there had been no important changes, but the calliope had been installed on the uppermost, or so-called sun deck, with its electric console.
Since booking my passage, I had of course been trying to picture the man who would be my roommate, but he had not yet arrived, and as the time went by, it appeared that I would occupy the stateroom in solitary grandeur - not a bad thought since the rooms are small. Finally, it occurred to me to ask the Purser. With a smile, Mr. Hill replied, "No, you will start out alone, but if we need the space we'll move in on you." This story ended happily, but not the way you might guess. Meanwhile, I had become acquainted with Mr. Joclyn from Massachusetts who occupied the next room under arrangement like my own. He proved to be a fine gentleman and a pleasant shipmate.
Amid the usual air of expectancy and excitement of such occasions, the moments ticked away. Fifteen minutes before leaving time the great bronze ship's bell was struck three times. Following this, we heard the Purser's voice announcing, "the Delta Queen is preparing to leave Cincinnati. All ashore who are going ashore!" Thus our visitors accelerated their farewells and returned to the wharf. Not long after this, the Delta Queen sounded the official whistle - one long, one short, one long and two short blasts. This was it! Men on the wharf cast off our mooring lines, the great stern paddle wheel began to turn, and in company of a calliope concert our home for the next 19 days drew gracefully away from Cincinnati on September 8, 1962.
Although we have referred to this as a Mississippi River cruise, you will remember from your map that Cincinnati is on the Ohio River. To this we will add the fact that it is 511 miles from Cincinnati to the point where this charming river becomes the bride of the Mississippi, near
Cairo, Illinois. The three states of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, I believe, could scarcely have chosen a more noteworthy southern boundary than they acquired in the Ohio River.
During the darkness of our first night on board, we therefore pushed along between the shores of Indiana and Kentucky. By daybreak, three locks had been traversed, and we had left to their slumber several towns, such as Aurora, Indiana; Warsaw, Kentucky; and Madison, Indiana. In this section, we were also greeted by the Kentucky River which flows into the Ohio from the south. Early on Sunday morning, the Delta Queen tied up at the fuel oil depot in Louisville, Kentucky, where she gulped 500 barrels without a single burp. Captain Wagner then moved her "uptown" in order that the passengers might be able to attend Mass or Protestant worship. Many went to the shore for this purpose, while brief non-sectarian devotions were observed on board. The Captain promised a little longer stop at Louisville on the return run - and away we went!
About one mile downstream from Louisville, the river traffic enters the Louisville and Portland Canal. It is in this place we find the "falls" of the Ohio River where the river level quickly drops 37 feet and at the same time takes a very sharp bend toward the Kentucky shore. The year 1825 saw the beginning of the first L&P Canal and when it was completed in 1830 it touched off the great increase in river transport and steamboat construction of that era. There are two parallel locks at the lower end of the canal; the larger is 110 x 600 feet. This total installation, called Louisville Dam No. 41, creates a pool of minimum 9 feet depth for a distance of 70 miles upstream, which illustrates the tremendous utility of such constructive improvements. The No. 41 Dam also serves a hydro-electric plant of high capacity, on the Kentucky shore.
As the vessel continued that Sunday to splash her way down the stream, each mile and every bend of the river presented a scene of surpassing natural beauty. Both banks are characterized by rocky, heavily wooded bluffs of varying height. Not infrequently, the rocky structure is exposed to the traveler's view, not in harsh contrast to the greenery of the forest, but presenting an endless variety of sculpture in their limestone faces, after untold centuries of erosion. Never does there seem to be a straight course of more than two or three miles. In this particular section one meets the Ox Bow Bends, which are indeed well named because of their acuteness and frequency. Notwithstanding the many miles which they add to the voyage, one easily forgives them as one gazes at the ever-changing scene revealed in these "wilderness" portions between the river towns and the locks. Like most of the days on board, this one was sunny and warm enough to induce most everyone to his deck chair. Although the Ohio is not pure enough to drink, it is visibly clean and sparkles cheerfully in bright sunlight. Traffic was small this day, probably because of Sunday, for we passed several large tows tied up to trees on the bank while the barge and towboat crews appeared to be taking their day of rest.
Obviously, the task of piloting is an important and exacting one. Besides the usual Master and 1st Officer, the Delta Queen on this run to St. Paul carries two licensed pilots who relieve each other during night and day. The Coast Guard has established and maintains hundreds of navigation aids in the form of mileposts, day markers, and flashing lights. Of course, these are all identified in the pilot's guidebook, but it is the licensed pilot's business to know where the channel and the obstructions are at all times. Strandings and collisions are fortunately very few; the rules of the road are well enforced by the Coast Guard. At night aboard the Delta Queen sleep comes easily to most people. A small number of passengers will sit awhile in the bar, but most will have retired to their staterooms by 10 or 10:30, ready to call it a day. Our ponderous engine and stern paddle wheel make only about 20 turns per minute at full speed, thus there is almost a complete absence of vibration and rattling loose objects. Moreover, due to the smoothness of the river, the vessel does not roll or pitch. This all adds up to a pleasant relaxation and a refreshing night. Cool, fresh air is forced in through a controllable ventilator in most of the staterooms.
Monday, 10 September, dawned bright, clear and pleasant, developing into a very peaceful and refreshing day. River traffic was light, most of the deck chairs were in use, and the cameras clicked along at the ever-changing beauty of the wilderness type of scenery. With moonlight and starlight the evening was no less delightful than the day had been.
Very soon now we shall be making an interesting stop at Cave In Rock, which has an exciting history. Meanwhile, please forgive me as I dwell a little longer on the dams and locks, as well as the human aspects of their location and social significance.
These ambitious works were located according to the best engineering judgment of the day, and very few of them are within sight of a town or city - often they are several miles from the nearest municipality. Nevertheless, at any hour of the day or evening, we were greeted by dozens of mamas, daddies and children who had hopped into their cars and come for a look at the river traffic in the nearby lock. The St. Paul cruise of the Delta Queen had been publicized by the local newspapers and radio stations for some days. So, because of the unique position of this vessel in river life to today, I suppose she drew out an extra number of sightseers. Needless to say our passengers too always enjoyed these brief visits as we lined the life rails and shouted greetings and threw candies for the children. Our officers and crew-members never failed to meet one or more old friends at the lock. Their shouted exchange of greetings and news amid the notable holiday atmosphere, gave all of us strangers a comfortable sense of sharing the local companionship in those few moments. Most always our departure was marked by a short concert on the calliope. Every lock and dam is in charge of a trained custodian, who has an adequate crew on hand at all hours to operate the lock. He and his assistant each occupy an attractive house on the site. All equipment is of the best and everything is kept clean and orderly.
Some miles back the mouth of the Wabash River had been passed on the right. This stream forms about one-half of the border between Indiana and Illinois. It is smaller than the Ohio and less important for navigation.
Late this afternoon, Captain Wagner gave us a brief stop at Cave In Rock, a place of considerable interest mainly because of its evil history. The cave is a natural opening in the limestone bluff on the Illinois shore large enough to shelter perhaps 30 persons uncomfortably. This place, which was first mentioned in publication in 1744, has been variously the headquarters of pirates, counterfeiters, hijackers, assorted badmen and the haven of brave, decent settlers. About 1797 Samuel Mason, lately a heroic member of General Washington's Continental Army, converted the Cave to an Inn or at least it was so named by him. The location afforded a long view of the upper river so it was quite simple to prepare to waylay the New Orleans bound flat boats. The boatmen were lured to the Inn by prospects of good food, whiskey and bed. This visit to the Inn became their last act, for they were promptly murdered; their boats and valuable cargoes were taken by the badman to New Orleans and sold. We may suppose that a portion of the proceeds returned to the pockets of Host Mason at the Inn. Mason later left the Inn to take up highway robbery in the south. By about 1810 so many cargoes and crews of flat boats had disappeared that shippers in Pittsburgh sent an armed force down the river and somewhat reduced this deadly menace. Most notorious of the outlaws who used the caves were the Harpes, presumably brothers. As killers they had the reputation of committing alone 40 murders. For a period after Mason left, the cave was used by counterfeiters as evidenced by old coin molds found nearby. On the more cheerful side we hear that a large party of honest new settlers found refuge there during a particularly difficult winter. Today the cave is the center of a beautiful state park and is visited annually by thousands of tourists both from the river and the highway.
Most times the mileposts on the bank were viewed from a moving vessel but the following morning, the 11th of September, we found ourselves stopped at one of these markers with our heavy mooring lines made fast to the trees. About midnight, we were told, the fog had become quite thick, reducing visibility so much that running was deemed too hazardous; the Delta Queen does not employ Radar for piloting. Thus, during the breakfast hour we experienced a peaceful period in that rural setting until the fog was dispelled by sunshine around 8 o'clock, and our faithful sternwheel resumed its splashing motion.
Drinking water is carried in the vessel's tanks and must be replenished from safe sources. As we were now reaching Cairo, Illinois, a water stop was to be made here at noon. Taking fresh water at Cairo is not a simple task; the landing place is at the foot of a steep street on the bank and the nearest hydrant is at the top, several hundred feet uphill. Anyhow the deck hands and one of our engineers dragged our heavy hose up there and the job was accomplished. Cairo is one of the river cities which has a high concrete "sea wall" at the top of the riverbank for flood protection. There are street openings through it, but these can be closed by inserting portable wooden structures. Capt. Wagner promised a longer stop at Cairo upon return, but some of our people dashed uptown for a quick look. My own objective was the barber's shop. I politely told the barber that I was from the Delta Queen and she would leave at 2 o'clock - could he turn me out in time? It was then after 1:30. Sure, he said in a slow voice, I could give you three haircuts in that time. The haircut was first class and I reached the boat with five minutes to spare.
This was a bright, hot afternoon, with people dozing all over the vessel; as the sun settled down to his bed on the western horizon, the Delta Queen rounded the point at which the Ohio merges with the Mississippi, "the father of waters."
To be accurate in describing this mighty stream one finds oneself using statistics in the superlative degree; quoting figures, however, can become a dreary business so for the moment we shall be content with just two. Stretching 4300 miles, it is the longest of the world. It is also said to be the crookedest. The latter claim can be illustrated by the fact that in one section 1300 river miles must be traversed in order to make good a straight line distance of 625 miles.
Coming to the local scene, the traveler soon observes two contrasts between the Mississippi and the Ohio. The pale green, sometimes sparkling water is now replaced by other of a muddy brown; the gently moving to Ohio has become the swifter, turbulent Mississippi. The banks and shore line reveal more proof of the scouring action of the flow in the greater amounts of tree trash and snags. Suddenly absent are the charming little sand beaches beckoning one to a Saturday or Sunday family outing. Far up the river we were happy to see such places again. For some miles along here there were installed many "dikes" to prevent cutting of the shore line. They consist of a line of closely spaced, wooden piles running straight outward from the shore, and in some cases stacked about with large stones. Here the levees are occasionally to be seen some distance back; this is farm country, and the cornfields often are in sight. The birds seem to have gone elsewhere, but an occasional white heron is discovered in the shallows.
Breakfast was always enjoyable. There were two breakfast periods and mine was the earlier, 6:45 to 7:45. This morning, 12 September, I stood watching Capt. Wagner as he made minor repairs on one of our great searchlights. These instruments earn their pay, being in use at least half of the time during darkness as an aid to safe piloting. A light exchange of remarks took place, and when he was ready to return to the pilot house, he invited me up for a visit. Captain Underwood, the river pilot then on watch, greeted me very pleasantly and wanted to know how I enjoyed the Delta Queen.
Our distance from St. Louis had by this time narrowed down to about nine hours. Fuel and supplies were to be taken on at that port, and I became an interested listener to the arrangements made over the ship-shore telephone with the two dealers up at St. Louis. This communication system is available to all vessels needing it, on a subscription basis. Local calls among vessels moving in the river, are to be heard any hour of day or night. Long distance calls, such as our two calls to St. Louis, are made through a central operator and these incur a toll charge.
During this interlude, the excited voice of the Purser suddenly reached us by the public address system. Said he, "If you will look quickly astern of the vessel about 200 yards away, you will see a deer swimming in the river." Needless to say, everybody who could hurried out for a view of this uncommon event. Sure enough, the animal was there! As I watched, he completed his crossing, scrambled the bank and disappeared in the Missouri woodland. Rather interesting that this normally timorous creature would swim so close to a vessel almost on collision course! The sun shone bright and hot on this day with St. Louis reporting a temperature of 86.
It was about 5 o'clock when the Delta Queen made fast at the municipal landing area of St. Louis. Passengers were invited to go ashore but warned to return in time for departure at 8:00 sharp, with the promise of a longer stop on the return run. Dinner seatings were quickly adjusted to this condition. Two others and myself engaged a cab and rode uptown (about 10 blocks) for some window shopping and small purchases at the drug store. An unfamiliar feature of this drug store was the Liquor Store within, completely stocked.
All hands were careful to return on board by 8:00 as requested - but the 8:00 departure stretched out to 11:30. Our fuel delivery was made by tank truck on the landing but the equipment seemed to lack capacity and took a long time to transfer our usual 500 barrels. A much faster practice is to pump the oil directly into the customer's tanks from a visiting oil barge alongside. Some of us remained on deck until the last truck went home to bed and our weary men dragged the messy oil hoses back on board. In consideration of the sleepers on board and ashore the calliope concert was omitted as our vessel quietly backed away from the city and resumed her march upstream.
About 659 miles now separate us from St. Paul, the objective point of our cruise; within that run it is expected that 27 dams and locks will be passed. The river banks along this portion present at every turn of the channel a pleasing prospect with Missouri on our left and Illinois on the right. In a fascinating contrast one finds the Missouri shore abrupt with stratified rocky cliffs while the Illinois side is relatively low land of gently hilly nature. The constantly turning vessel reveals a succession of different and pleasing wilderness pictures to watch or to photograph according to one's desire. It was curious to me that perhaps a dozen passengers played bridge the entire day and evening while such magnificent scenes were available just outside the door. Because of the darkness at St. Louis we could not have a view of the Missouri River which joins the Mississippi near this point, contributing not only its waters but vast amounts of silt - or mud if you like that name better!
Some of the dams in the upper Mississippi are newly built and of a style I had not seen before. No. 24 is a good illustration. The dam is divided into sections of perhaps 30 feet length and hinged to an equal number of stout concrete piers. The hinge point or pivot is on the downstream side; thus the form of the dam sections is a sector and the arc surface faces the upper pool of the river. Now, a concrete bridge stretches across the river, resting upon the line of concrete piers I mentioned. On this bridge is a railway track and on the track is a locomotive type crane. The job of the crane is to locate itself directly above any of the dam sections and raise or lower it to adjust the depth of the water in the upper pool. The river then, runs under and not over the dam. Maybe the postcard I brought home will make the idea clear to you.
The afternoon of the 13th, a mail stop was made at the town of Louisiana, Missouri. Here the people have chosen to beautify their waterfront with an attractive bulkhead and some acres of public parkland. This is uncommon among the river towns generally. Louisiana is the home place since 1816 of the Stark Nurseries, a well known and important source of dwarf fruit trees, among other trees for the fruit grower.
Maybe we should pause here a moment to tell you of Bruce Edgington, a faithful employee of the Greene Line and an interesting rider in the Delta Queen. I believe he began his Greene Line job as a watchman in the Queen but now he is watchman, obliging shopper, messenger, newspaper buyer and mailman. He is a pleasant man, enjoys talking and soon becomes known as "Bruce" to all the passengers. For many years he served the Corps of Engineers as a marine fireman. This included his time in the vessel Iroquois which was prominent in rescue work during the disastrous flooding of the lower Mississippi in 1927. She picked up hundreds of distressed victims from treetops, roofs and levees. Besides being a collector of books, Bruce goes for first issues of stamps, having a notable collection of these. Often the Delta Queen passenger will see this friendly man standing on shore as the vessel leaves. But he always shows up on time at our next stop, bearing mail or newspapers, purchased articles or something that is important to somebody.
Hannibal, Missouri, will be visited on return. While passing we were invited to gaze toward the Illinois shore for here is now moored a former vessel of the Greene Line fleet. In those days the name board was lettered TOM GREENE but today it is RIVER QUEEN and this old timer is now a museum. The widow of Tom Greene is Mrs. Letha Greene, vice president of the company. Mrs. Greene was with us as we shared this moment of her life.
Evening found us at Lock No. 21 near Quincy, Illinois. Here we were favored with a tankful of drinking water and conducted some company business in a short stop. It seemed that this place had produced more sightseers than any previous stop although there had been many at Louisiana.
Friday the 14th of September proved to be another happy and restful day, marked by our arrival
at Rock Island, Illinois about 8 in the evening and departure at 10:00. Many went ashore and strolled about the city window shopping or just looking at whatever might be different from our home scenes. Rock Island is the seat of Augustana College; the name is also borne by a Government Arsenal located on an island between the cities of Rock Island, Illinois and Davenport, Iowa. Here was located old Fort Armstrong of the cannonball era and the site is today marked by an exact replica of that defense unit. Lock and Dam No. 15 at this point illustrates the largest roller type dam in the United States. It raises the level of the river 18 feet and its cost was about $6 million. Rock Island, Davenport and many other river towns along this part were settled prior to 1800, beginning as trading posts, mining centers or otherwise.
The Upper Mississippi
The upper Mississippi is slowly narrowing now. The water is less muddy and not so turbulent, with much less evidence of bank erosion than is common in the lower stretches. River traffic in towboats and barges is distinctly lighter while it is more common to see small pleasure boats scooting about or moored to the bank. There are many marinas and boat clubs, all nicely designed and well kept. A small but very attractive houseboat also appears to be popular for day and night use. Boys and young men with fast outboards appear frequently from somewhere to give us a demonstration of their "cowboy" driving. Boys here are much like those back home.
Today we passed two very large dredges of the Corps of Engineers; one was working and the other was being towed somewhere. By the mileage table St. Paul is still 350 miles up river.
At 3:00 today we shall have been underway one week, for this is Saturday the 15th; The sky is bright and cheerful. The river continues to unfold its beauty and quiet charm for us as our ponderous engine and splashing sternwheel push us ever northward. Soon we shall be passing the Illinois-Wisconsin borderline and shall then have Wisconsin on our right the rest of the way to St. Paul. My notion of Iowa, still on our left, had been that the land was all quite flat. This thought must now be abandoned as regards that portion adjacent to the Mississippi, for the Iowa shore is characterized by rocky bluffs of varying height - suggesting the Palisades of the Hudson. They frequently show outcroppings of stratified gray limestone and these with their mellowed evidences of erosion offer a most pleasing visual effect against the heavy growth of deciduous trees covering the crown and most of the precipitous sides.
Small islands are often seen today, separated by back channels and shallows. In the shallows are many decaying snags and tree stumps. Occasionally there comes a quarter mile path of broadleaf aquatic plant whose name I do not know though it resembles something I have seen in the shore meadows of New Jersey. Rafts of algae drift downstream and large patches of it lie in the shallows where an occasional white heron watches for his next meal. A number of blinds in this portion suggest that duck shooting is enjoyed by some. Freight traffic is very light.
The names of the towns up here have a European flavor - French, Dutch, German, Swedish. It will be remembered that the earliest white men on record to have entered this area were French explorers and missionary priests, finding their way in from Canada and the Great Lakes region. A French example of this is the river town of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. Here a fortification was established by the French to protect their interest in a portage between the headwaters of the Fox and the Wisconsin Rivers. This route would have given access from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi.
Tonight the Delta Queen held a masquerade party in which a good many took active part. Costumes consisted of whatever one could provide from his own wardrobe, made over, or borrowed from a collection which the hostess had accumulated. Prizes were given according to several classes and a good time was had by all, followed with the usual dance period.
La Crosse, Wisconsin, gazed at us through a lively rainstorm this Sunday morning the 16th of September, but by 8:30 the sky was again smiling. Four of us engaged a cab to drive us around the city and this proved to be a very happy idea. Mrs. Stiefel, from Pittsburgh, has a cousin living in the city so she used the time for a visit after we delivered her to the correct address. Located within the city limits but on the opposite side from the river, is the towering elevation called "Grandad's Bluff." Reaching upward 1172 feet above the surrounding area it affords a long view on all points of the compass. A well-paved, winding road leads to the summit where we enjoyed for a few minutes the nicely finished city park complete with ample picnic facilities.
La Crosse has a large Catholic population, we were told. Here is the new St. Joseph's Cathedral, a very beautiful structure including the unusual feature of a clock tower and clock. The Catholic establishment includes also a girls' college, a nunnery, parochial schools and St. Francis Hospital. The several Protestant groups have attractive church structures and some of their people came to the Delta Queen to invite and transport us to worship services.
Our cabman was well informed and enjoyed apparently our interest in the many attractive details of the city. Every view reflects careful design - in the streets, public buildings, private homes. Everything is clean, orderly and we felt that the people must also be of good conduct and charitable. As we steamed away at 10:15 the little park at the landing was resplendent in late summer flowers but from the publicity devoted to winter sports we conclude that all is not summer at La Crosse.
The Wisconsin shore continued to display more of the beautiful bluffs; one of these named Queen's Bluff and standing at a bend of the river was especially tall and majestic with its rocky face gazing across the country from the forest covering. This bright Sunday afternoon the town of Winona, Minnesota appeared on our left and a visit of two hours was made. Laundry was sent ashore for pick-up on the return.
Permanently "beached" in the pleasant little waterfront park is a living exhibit of river history which draws many visitors. I refer to the steam driven, stern-wheeled towboat Julius C. Wilkie. The hull and superstructure are built entirely of fir with white oak for the keel and other important structural units. Her birthplace had been Rock Island, Illinois and her launching there in 1898 marked the beginning of her 50 years of life on the Mississippi. All major units of the steam power plant are intact while even the fireman's shovel, hoe and "slice bar" look as though he had laid them down last month. The two-cylinder, single-expansion engine is one of the so- called California type, very similar to that of the Delta Queen, except for size and power. The upper deck which formerly served as living quarters is now rearranged for display of historic papers, old marine hardware and small articles of great interest pertaining to river transport in the 1800's and its remarkable servant, the steamboat.
St. Paul and Minnesota
St. Paul, the most northerly point of the cruise, received us graciously this Monday morning the 17th of September for it was at breakfast time that the Delta Queen made fast to the public landing place at the foot of Jackson St. This is but a few blocks from the central business area of the city. A moment ago I used the word "graciously." Indeed St. Paul gave the Delta Queen as well as her managers, crew and passengers a gracious and kindly reception. From early forenoon until 4:00 the Chamber of Commerce provided a committee of two ladies and two men on board to answer our questions and volunteer information. A city owned automobile with driver was available all day on the landing for anyone with an important errand to make. At about 9:30 the mayor came down and made a brief speech of welcome which was answered by vice president Mrs. Greene and by Captain Wagner. One of the police sergeants brought an officer and detailed him on board to afford us official protection for the day. We trust they did not consider us a menace to the city.
A bus tour had been pre-arranged and this began about 10:00 following the arrival of three large modern buses. The route was to cover portions of St. Paul and portions of Minneapolis, as the two cities are very close neighbors. We found no opportunity to see whether the cities had slums or "blighted" areas but one area of many city blocks was under demolition for purposes of re- development. Certainly, vast acreage is devoted to parkland for the people's enjoyment, while the many miles of parkways and boulevards are adorned with fine residential buildings and magnificent public structures. A remarkably pleasing feature of the parks is the large number of lakes of various sizes; these naturally afford opportunity for sailing, swimming, fishing, and of course in the winter, skating. The suburbs and outlying areas support plenty of woodland which is now beginning to dress in the gay autumn colors.
One is impressed with the fine architecture, cleanliness and, in many cases, the newness of state and city government buildings. The City Hall and the Ramsey County courthouse are prime illustrations. Though sunny, the streets are chilly today with a brisk wind and we are glad to have brought along appropriate clothing.
An important feature of St. Paul's hospitality was an invitation by the First National Bank to visit the rooftop of their fine, modern building. Here at the 38th story level one may gaze freely at all areas of the city, the local reaches of the Mississippi and of course the rural outlying scene. A token of the Bank's hospitality also was the annual competitive display of garden produce and flowers in one of their large public rooms.
While speaking of this attractive city it would seem appropriate to add a few bits of data concerning the state of Minnesota which domiciles the city within its 84,000 square miles of field, forest and inland waters.
Minnesota's Indian heritage is illustrated in its name. In the language of the Sioux Indians "Minne" means "water" and "sotah" means "clear" or "sky-tinted." Thus the most widely accepted translation is SKY BLUE WATERS. Minnesota has also been called the land of the Vikings, for according to the Kensington Runestone, the Vikings were exploring this land in 1362. However, if we stick to officially documented history, the first white persons of record to visit Minnesota were two famous French explorers, Radisson and de Groseilliers in the year 1654. In those days the area was the uneasy battleground of two Indian tribes. The Sioux and the Chippewa peoples kept up the struggle until about 1800 when the Chippewa gained full control.
In the 17th and 18th centuries there were evidently enough wealthy persons who wanted fur clothing to provide an active world market for this commodity. What better place could exist as a source for fur than the wild lands and waters of Minnesota and adjoining areas? For nearly a century the hearty bank of French fur traders added one of the most colorful chapters to local history. They became known collectively as the Voyageurs. Every springtime scores of their canoes loaded with furs traveled eastward over the border-lakes canoe routes to the annual meeting of the North West Company at Grand Portage (Minnesota or Lake Superior). These men have been celebrated in song and story for their colorful dress, their songs and their carefree but hardworking way of life. This is where they lived, worked and played.
One must also give mention to the Red River Oxcart though its use was not confined to fur transport. This unique vehicle with its two high, broad-tired wheels and single ox hitch helped to make St. Paul one of the largest fur markets in the country during the mid 19th century. For more than two decades after 1844 caravans of these wooden two-wheeled carts made the 450-mile, month-long drag from the Red River Valley to St. Paul. By 1858 the caravans had grown to include as many as 600 carts! The vigor of the pioneers has not been lost in this lively state and its progressive cities, St. Paul and Minneapolis.
A very active and valuable day in this northern metropolis finally drew to a close. Delta Queen became silent and the stateroom lights blinked out one after another.
Tuesday the 18th of September dawned clear. At 6:15 while most St. Paul residents were still resting in bed our faithful Delta Queen quietly set her great foaming wheel in motion again and withdrew from this pleasant place, to begin the homeward run to Cincinnati of 1350 river miles. This time we shall call at some places which before were skipped, and several repeat visits will be made.
In the forenoon our vessel descended to Lake Pepin. The lake occurs because here the river widens to two or three times its normal width. To traverse this broadened portion requires several hours. The shore on both sides is completely pleasing, with wooded rocky bluffs, some low and others of imposing height. Limestone outcroppings offer occasional contrasts of color while many of these elevations are wooded to their summits. The forest is sufficiently deciduous now to produce autumn coloring of high beauty and pattern though it is still too early for the full display.
Early afternoon brought us within sight of Villa Maria Academy, a school for girls, nestling among the wooded hills on the Minnesota shore. Mr. Hill, our purser, announced that the mother superior is the sister of one of our pilots. Needless to say a greeting was carried across the intervening two miles by the Queen's high-powered sweet-toned whistle. We all hoped that our pilot with his binoculars would receive a visual greeting in return.
A little later the town of Wabasha, Minnesota appeared. A visit of one hour was planned but in order to do this nearly half an hour was required to accomplish a safe landing. The best practice in ship handling calls for landing or docking against the current and/or the wind whenever possible. Our vessel is quite tall but also of shallow draft; the river has a lively current and besides all of that a strong wind was following us downstream. Several attempts were necessary before this bulky floating palace could be headed about and upstream but our skillful pilot accomplished it without a single jolt or mishap.
Wabasha is small, clean and friendly. Many of us went ashore for light shopping, coffee drinking, snacks at the bakery etc. I bought a bag of very tasty ginger cookies and found them to be a fine investment. Our one hour in Wabasha soon passed and we shoved off again leaving the notes of our calliope concert to echo among the kneeling hills. That evening our hostess showed another of the Engineers' Corps films which have recorded the work of manipulating and improving the rivers.
Now let us hasten onto Thursday the 20th of September for this was our extraordinary day at Nauvoo, Illinois. The town stands at a Great Bend in the Mississippi and almost opposite to the boundary of Iowa and Missouri. Here our Delta Queen company received not only a very kind and enthusiastic welcome from the Nauvoo people - but a splendid chance to refresh our minds with a chapter or two of U.S. history.
In some respects, Nauvoo has one of the most remarkable histories of all the cities in the U.S., although it had borne previously two other names. It was here that the Mormons were located from 1839 to 1846. It was here also that the noted French Icarians tried out their form of communistic living with unsuccessful results. Perhaps therefore we may properly devote extra space in our record to this interesting community.
The first white settler, Captain James White, had come to the area from Ohio in 1823 to reside and trade with the Sac and the Fox Indians who at that time had here a large village named Quashquema consisting of 400 to 500 lodges. In 1824 a treaty was made by the general government whereby these Indians relinquished their lands on the Illinois side of the river. Capt. White coveted the site for his own purposes and before long succeeded in making purchase of it from the Indians who then vacated it to take up residence across the river in Iowa. It had been mainly wild country lying in Hancock County, Illinois. Capt. White established a farm and engaged in keel boating on the river. His activity influenced the establishment of the first post office in Hancock County, called Venus, in 1830. Other settlers came, the community was enlarged and received the new name of Commerce which absorbed what had been Venus. This was in 1834.
Meanwhile in 1830, the religious sect of Mormons, or Latter Day Saints, had begun life at Fayette, New York under the prophetic claims and leadership of Joseph Smith, Jr. The next year having acquired several hundred adherents, the sect moved to Ohio. Here they gained further strength of numbers and wealth. This was followed by an exodus to Missouri and in 1839 the colony came to the place which later was renamed Nauvoo, Illinois. It is said to be a Hebrew name meaning "beautiful place" or "pleasant land." The town was then incorporated by the Mormons as a city and received a special charter from the Illinois legislature.
Here the Mormons began the work of building a wonderful city under the new name of Nauvoo. In a few years it had 20,000 people and was a beehive of industry and commercial activity, as might perhaps be expected from the fact that many had already been successful in business and the professions. But the thriving colony was destined for more trouble. It is reported that the years 1841 to 1845 in Hancock County, Illinois experienced a dreadful series of robberies, murders and general outlawing when it seemed just impossible to bring the culprits to trial. The rapidly growing Nauvoo unwillingly became a rendezvous for the evil characters; this together with the usual political feelings common to rapid growth, evidently put the Mormon people on the spot, for the pressure became so great as to cause their departure. Sadly, these evil days were marked by the violent death of their prophet-leader Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum. It is said that in hope of avoiding violence the governor had offered to protect the Smiths by state authority at the county seat in Carthage, Illinois, about 25 miles from Nauvoo. It did not turn out as the governor said, for a mob attacked and shot the Smith brothers there in the county jail at Carthage on the 27th of June 1844.
My studies must go deeper before I would dare to state the cause or causes of the public animosity which seemed to pursue the Mormon colony these 15 years. I suppose someone has analyzed it and published his views long ago!
During this brief but remarkably active period they erected a Mormon Temple. It was used by the summer of 1844 but the work stopped with the murder of the Smiths, and in October 1848 this grand building was destroyed by fire. Rather interesting that in September 1962 the University of Southern Illinois has an archaeological team at Nauvoo exploring the site of the temple!
Thus we find the Mormon colony leaving Nauvoo, unloved, and hoping for better things farther west. The exodus of the Mormons gave Nauvoo a vacant and deserted appearance for a short time, but opened a new chapter of its remarkable history. It was in 1849 that the notable French Icarian Communists came to Nauvoo, took over many of the unoccupied houses and here attempted to establish a communistic colony. Their leader was Etienne Cabet, a noted lawyer, a former leader of the Carbonari (Italian political group), and formerly attorney general and Deputy of France. This man wrote a substantial history of the French Revolution and later published his notable book "A Voyage into Icaria." Among the Icarians were many competent artisans and professional men who undertook to set up industries and business operations; however, after a few years the colony apparently concluded that their communistic aims were impracticable. Dissensions arose and finally the colony disbanded. Cabet and some close friends went to St. Louis where he died in 1856 at age 69. Others made a new attempt at communism near Corning, Iowa.
A remnant continued on at Nauvoo. An influx of more French and some German people to the area gave an important start to the culture of grapes and the production of high quality wine. Today it remains a very important activity and means of livelihood. An inspection visit to the largest nearby winery was a new and interesting experience for many of us during our stop at Nauvoo.
Mr. and Mrs. Delbert Lutz of Nauvoo took charge of two other Delta Queen men and myself, devoting many hours to our pleasure and interest. Many dwelling houses and a few other buildings of the Mormon era still are standing, while others have perished over the intervening century. These old homes generally have a simple, graceful design suggesting the choice Colonial homes of an earlier day, carefully proportioned both outside and inside. The carpentry and masonry both illustrate a high degree of skill with pride of workmanship.
As the hour for our departure drew near, many townspeople gathered at the landing to see us off. Among these we were happy to have 50 or 60 teen-age girls from nearby St. Mary's Academy, wearing their slacks and sweaters and accompanied by several nuns. Under such conditions our organist naturally outdid himself to produce a fine calliope concert as Delta Queen joined step with Ole Man River once again. The Lutzes and a few others from Nauvoo stayed aboard with us as far as the lock at Keokuk, Iowa, about 1-1/2 hours' run. What a day!
As though Nauvoo had not yielded enough of history and notable persons, we still look forward to Quincy, Illinois and Hannibal, Missouri. At Quincy there took place the series of historic Lincoln-Douglas debates, and the site of these is marked by a public memorial dedicated in 1936. Hannibal of course derives its fame from the American writer and humorist Mark Twain.
Friday the 21st of September found us in Hannibal, made fast to a tremendous green barge which in turn was moored to the riverbank adjacent to the towing structure of a grain elevator. This proved to be a very active spot the entire day since the farmers and truckmen were continually delivering loads of soybeans recently harvested.
At about 10:00 a number of ladies from one of the churches arrived in their cars, ready to take us on a tour of the Mark Twain exhibits. This involved a moderate fee for benefit of church activities. The major points of interest in the tour are The Cave, the Mark Twain Museum, the old-time drug store with adjoining doctor's office, the office of Mr. Clemens Sr. who had been a justice of the peace, and the childhood homes of Mark Twain and his sweetie, Becky Thatcher. The Cave is located in a parkland about two miles out of town, but the other exhibits are in the middle of the downtown area.
After traversing The Cave I am sure we all felt that we were living in the vivid tale of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. The tortuous character of the passage and the utter darkness suggest how exciting it must have been for the boy and his young playmates to explore this place and get lost in it when their candle-light failed. Our guide was well acquainted with Mark Twain's story of those wonderful days and related a number of the best scenes for our enjoyment. The Cave is located in a limestone formation and, like most caves, was formed by the action of subterranean streams; however, The Cave is dry now with only one example of stalactite and stalagmite. Passage requires about 40 minutes. The air is fresh and the temperature constant at about 60 degrees.
A Mark Twain devotee could spend weeks pleasantly, examining the papers and objects displayed in the Museum. I know of no better place to be reminded of the tremendous contribution which this man, Samuel L. Clemens, has made to American literature. It was regrettable that a river traffic situation developed about noontime which affected our mooring place, and our Hannibal visit was curtailed from its originally short-enough period to a 2:30 departure.
That evening our hostess presented a "hat show" for our entertainment in which 39 participated. Ladies predominated in this contest, producing headpieces from whatever could be found or borrowed. The results showed much skill, patience, original thinking and humor to the extent that prizes had to be awarded in six classes. In an unlucky moment the hostess appointed me to the board of judges, along with two ladies. Fortunately they knew what they were doing!
Early on Saturday morning the 22nd of September the Delta Queen tied up at St. Louis for the promised return visit. In addition to its position as an important centre of industry, commerce, finance and transportation facilities St. Louis is a leader in the matter of splendid public buildings and cultural activities. One of the most impressive stopping places in our three hours of bus tour was the Botanical Gardens. This charming spot, as we were told, ranks among the best of the botanical gardens of the world as to size and the variety of plants on display. I was especially captivated by one of the ponds of water lilies displaying the largest pads I could imagine and a great variety of colored blooms. The garden contains also a unique building named CLIMATRON. This is a glass-housed hemisphere built with the steel supporting structure outside of the glass. The steel supporting framework is made of pentagonal units which are all yoked together by heavier steel members. The inside atmosphere is kept under complete climatic control to accommodate the requirements of otherwise perishable rare plants.
Time did not permit closer study of the Climatron inside or outside; indeed our visit in the Garden seemed all too short. A few cameras were clicking here and there and some slides were bought at the office where there is on sale a great variety of botanical literature for those especially interested. Several groups of students were encountered as they listened to lectures outside.
Later our three buses paused for us to visit the tremendous and obviously prosperous brewery of Anheuser Busch, Inc. Here the management had arranged an abbreviated tour through a portion of the five-story structure which occupies several city blocks. The complete process of beer manufacture was not revealed, for the tour dealt only with bottling, labeling, pasteurizing and packing for shipment. Even these operations were so obscured in streamlined machinery that hardly any motion was visible, except in some conveyors. Opportunity to sample the product is usually provided in a very finely appointed Visitors Room containing ample number of tables and chairs.
The remainder of our bus trip gave first-class views of the many fine wide streets, residences of all degrees of affluence and the great number of splendid public buildings. The vessel was set to shove off at 4:00 which allowed some afternoon time for individual sight-seeing or special errands according to one's desire.
Cairo to Louisville
Sometime in this night our beloved Delta Queen slipped out of the Mississippi and after a short run in the Ohio had again taken her mooring place at Cairo, Illinois. This was to be the return visit which Capt. Wagner had promised on the 11th when we had paused for fresh water and my hurry-up haircut. The sky was brilliantly blue, the air pleasantly warm, while the well-cleaned Cairo streets offered peaceful vistas marked by only an occasional pedestrian at the early hour.
Before long quite a number of ladies and men came in their cars to carry us to worship or mass, and for a ride about the city. This was a happy experience and the Delta Queen was well represented. Returning to the landing we came upon a scene which must have been enacted thousands of times during the steamboat era. Several of our crew members and some small boys of Cairo had produced their fishing gear and were trying for the popular catfish which are plentiful in these waters. One boy without a rod was trying his luck with a net similar to our crab nets on the Atlantic shore. Apparently this method works, for the "cats" as they are called locally often appear close to the surface and are slow enough to get caught.
Although this little city is not ever described as a battleground, Cairo did nevertheless fill an important place in the War Between the States; that is to say, Cairo's primary war function was to remain unimpaired as a defensive bastion, on the peninsula formed by the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. At the time of the Fort Sumter crisis at Charleston, Cairo was recognized as a place which must be speedily occupied by Union forces, being strategically comparable to Washington. During the course of its war mission in 1861-65 this military installation was known as The Cairo Rendezvous, embracing a training camp for Union soldiers and a vast supply depot. Needless to say the Rendezvous and all surrounding land and waters were heavily patrolled and guarded during those anxious, troubled years. Cairo enjoyed no dramatic impetus to its wealth or influence as a result of its war service. Cairo's reward is said to consist solely of the fact that the Union was saved.
About noontime the Delta Queen cast off her mooring lines once more and shoved off hoping to reach Paducah before nightfall. The river traffic in this stretch, however, is quite heavy so that at two of the locks we had to await our turn. Although this consumed extra time I am sure most of the passengers were interested to observe the river activities of the occasion. One operation we had not previously been able to witness was the division of a 1200 ft. tow into halves so that it could be passed through a 600 ft. lock. The foremost half of the barges are lifted first to the upper level and are drawn out of the lock by powerful winches on the shore. Then the second lift is made to bring up (or down) the towboat with the other half of the barges, after which the towboat gathers up her brood and moves on her way until the next dam and lock are encountered.This illustrates the possibility of saving transit time with the modern 1200 ft. locks wherever they have been built.
The darkness had come when we reached Paducah and we paused only long enough to pick up the mail and laundry.
Evansville, Indiana, gave the visiting Queen and her people a very kindly reception on the 24th of September. Numbering about 145,000 in population, it is a smart progressive city with apparently great enthusiasm for athletic activities among the students. The city has a tremendous modern indoor stadium which includes an ice skating rink. The parklands are notable especially because of one particular area called the Plaza. This is a piece of high land located at a sharp bend in the river and commanding a magnificent view both upstream and downstream. Although there was rain we enjoyed our time at Evansville.
In the evening our hostess presented an advertising film of the Greene Line tour which is made several times in the summer to Reelfoot Lake. This is reported to be a charming spot in the northwestern corner of Tennessee, once the hunting ground of the Chickasaw Indians. The lake structure came about through a series of earthquakes in 1811 and 1812 but the scars have long been covered by the remarkable specimens of old cypress trees growing luxuriantly in the water. For this cruise the Delta Queen waits at Tiptonville in the Mississippi while the tourists drive overland to the lake. It is an eight-day vacation from Cincinnati.
The next day, the 25th of September, was one of relative inactivity for most of us as we steamed serenely up the beautiful Ohio. The sky was overcast most all day but the temperature and wind were pleasant and conducive to loafing on the weather decks. One could alternate between sprawling in one's deck chair and walking about to keep awake. In late afternoon the Queen again passed through the lock at the L&P Canal with its notable lift of 37 feet, and in just a few minutes came to rest at the landing in Louisville for the promised return visit.
As the stores of Louisville were still open at this hour, some undertook to make a quick private tour for inspection or light shopping. Mr. Joclyn and I have a weakness for bakery goods so, upon getting directions from a courteous policeman, we walked about 10 blocks to a leading bakery. Here I obtained some very tasty cookies; Mr. Joclyn had the Yankee's liking for apple pie and he victoriously carried a large one back to the vessel.
Louisville is the centre of one of our twelve Federal Reserve districts and therefore is very important financially. Needless to say its trade and industry are large. Transportation facilities by land and river are excellent. A very fine decorative appeal was accomplished by one of the large bank buildings, for all its lower floor windowsills were fitted with flower boxes containing well- tended blooms of choice colors. The evening was fine for leisurely walking about in the nearby streets; about 10:00 the vessel moved up to the oil dock and after fueling operations we backed away and resumed our splashing way upstream.
This day, the 26th of September, is the last day of our tour and we have arrived early at Madison, Indiana. It is my second visit in this charming little city of 11,000, for we stopped here during the New Orleans tour in 1956. I would be glad to go there again!
Madison has been here more than 150 years and is said to be the oldest English-speaking settlement in the state. It is located on the north bank of the Ohio in a picturesque valley, guarded by surrounding forested hills of 500 ft. elevation and limestone cliffs. The nearby rural areas abound in waterfalls, deep gulches and overhanging foliage that give every appearance of ancient forests or mountain passes.
Life appears to be well balanced in Madison. The manufacture of many different products and the interchange of goods are prosperous, but to these valuable things must be added location and the cultural aspects. Tied up astern of the Delta Queen was the showboat MAJESTIC, one of the last of her line. It is now maintained by Indiana University and used during the summer season to provide training for theatrical students and entertainment for those enjoying a good melodrama in a perfect atmosphere.
A few miles away, but bearing important influence upon Madison, is Hanover College, founded in 1827. Fully accredited, it is affiliated with the United Presbyterian Church and has above 800 students, co-educational.
One will find here some real gems of architecture and skilled craftsmanship in the building trades. Madisonians insist that nowhere in the Middle West is it possible to find architecture that compares with theirs. Here within a few blocks can be found houses which show direct descent from Bulfinch and Latrobe models; splendid examples of the Georgian period, the Federal Era, the Regency, the Classical Revival and the Americanized Italian villa which became popular in the reign of Victoria. For much of its fine architecture Madison is indebted to Francis Costigan, a Baltimore architect who came to this thriving river town in 1837. Most of the prime examples were built in the 1830s and 1840s. Just to give reality to these claims, one should mention Shrewsbury House of Regency style with a freestanding spiral stair; Judge Jeremiah Sullivan House of Federal style; the J.F.D. Lanier House of Greek Revival style which is perhaps the largest and most elegant of the residential properties; Jefferson County Courthouse; Historic Madison's Auditorium; and St. Michael's Church.
Needless to say, as we left these places one after another, we found ourselves pausing for one more look.
Return to Cincinnati
True to her promise, Delta Queen completed her 2700 miles run as she made fast in Cincinnati this morning of 27 September. Breakfast was had on board and then there was little to do but exchange farewells; some would rush to the railroads, others to bus terminals, airports or just home in Cincinnati. My car, standing on the covered wharf, was well coated with dust and the fuel had evaporated from the carburetor - but in just a few minutes I was able to start for Huntingdon Valley.