logo This page of the Online Museum includes the Delta Queen and Delta King collections, as well as dozens more exhibits. To go back to the main part of the Museum - the Dave Thomson Collection - click here.

These are private collections, so please request permission* for any commercial use of the images.

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On This Page
Steamboat Photos   |   Delta Queen, Delta King Collections
Ancestry Stories   |   Model Boats   |   Steamboat Art   |   Research Library
Steamboat Mysteries   |   Distressed or Deceased Boats   |   Various Collections

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Steamboats Photos

The Freedomland USA Sternwheelers
a 1960-1964 theme park in The Bronx had paddlewheel boats. History and photos from the collection of Michael R. Virgintino.

Centennial Festival of Steamboats 2014
A celebration of the Belle of Louisville's hundredth anniversary, in Louisville, Kentucky. Photos by Randy Davis.

GPS and the Pursuit of the Belle
Steamboat chaser John Weise used GPS to follow the Belle of Cincinnati from Tell City to Chattanooga.

Belle of Cincinnati
Photos from a dinner cruise on the Belle of Cincinnati - also a hardhat tour of the Cincinnati Museum Center June 2018 during repairs and restoration.

Prints from 1898 glass plate negatives
These photos were taken by Sandusky Williams on a trip down the Ohio River. Sent in by Ken Williams.

Prints from antique glass plate negatives
See two prints of the City of Peoria. Sent in by Keith Johnson.

Russian Paddlewheel Riverboats
Photos of cruise ships in Russia, sent in by Alexander Karpov, director of Russian steamboat crusises.

Julia Belle Swain
See a collection of photos of this authentic paddlewheel steamboat based in La Crosse, Wisconsin, sent in by Pilot Eric D. Dykman.

Turn of the Century Boats
Jerry Canavit shares black and white photos of Streckfus boats from his collection (exhibit is 13 pages long).

More Steamboat Stories by Jerry Canavit - including Fast Boats on the Mississippi, Story of the Ben Hur in Austin, and Confessions of a Steamboat Addict - the James P. Pearson, the Steamer Avalon, and the W.J. Quinlan.

Paul Urbahn Collection
Steamships Delta Queen, Belle of Louisville, Megiddo Mission Ship, Majestic, Morningstar and Tarascon. A large postcard collection, posters, stamps, steamboat tickets, and a steamboat toy. (40 pages, start clicking). From the collection of Paul Urbahn.

Contemorary Steamboats
These photos show the Delta Queen, American Queen, Julia Belle Swain, Natchez and Belle of Louisville. All are currently in service (11 pages). From the collection of Allen Dale Strange.

The Dave Thomson Collection
This is the largest exhibit in the Online Museum. Through the generosity of collector Dave Thomson, we have 150 pages containing thousands of images of steamboats in the movies, waybills, magazine covers, ads, paintings, murals, photos, post cards, and assorted other ephemera. This is a private collection, so please request permission* for any commercial use of the images.

A circa 1910 postcard of the Helen Blair, sent in by Steve Huffman.

Locate Riverboats in the 50 States
Links to a steamboat or maritime museum near you. More info. on a few of the boats listed on the 50 States page: California (Lake Arrowhead) - Florida - Idaho - Nebraska (Omaha) - Oregon (Salem) - Nevada (Laughlin) - Oregon (Newport) - Washington - West Virginia.
Find steamboat photo collections at other sites, go to the Library & Maritime Museum Link Page (at this site).

Permissions information: These images in these exhibits come from private collections, therefore we ask that you contact us* before using them for commercial purposes.

Model Boats

For everything model boats at, please go to our new model boat hobby page - click here.


Delta Queen and Delta King Collections

Delta Queen History and Corporate Timeline
This National Historic Landmark won a special exemption from the U.S. Congress, which allows her to continue to transport overnight passengers.

The Story of the Delta Queen A Legislative and Corporate History
From the Files of Bill N. Muster and Richard C. Simonton, 1958 to 1984

Delta Queen Photos by Bill Muster
See this tranche of Bill Muster's best photos of the Delta Queen Steamboat and her people in and around 1970.

Delta Queen and Delta King in 1926
Learn the story of William Simpson, the man who built the Delta Queen and King, including photos.

Garmatz Skull & Crossbones Letter
In December 1970, Rep. Edward A. Garmatz circulated an infamous letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, warning that if the Delta Queen burned, the "blood will be on the congress." The letter is from the archives of the Save the Delta Queen history.

Delta Queen Photos
Interior and exterior shots of the paddlewheel steamboat, as well as photos of shore stops in Tuscaloosa, Demopolis, and Decatur, Alabama, and Columbus, Mississippi. Also, video clips* of the paddlewheel, engineroom, and river; October 2007.

Delta Queen Log Book
A booklet that traces the boat's journey from Cincinnati to Kentucky Lake & Kentucky Lake to Chattanooga

Final Voyage
The Delta Queen stops in Louisville, Kentucky, on its final voyage after losing the exemption in 2008. The Delta Queen remained a hotel in Chattanooga, TN, for five years, before returning to the rivers. Photos by R. William Davis, October 24, 2008.

Delta King History and photos
The Delta Queen's twin was left behind in California when the Delta Queen moved to the Mississippi River. Now the Delta King has been restored as a hotel, theater, and restaurant in Old Town Sacramento. More history: 1957 photos of the Delta King from Kittimat, BC, Canada, where the boat served as a dormitory for men working at the Alcan Aluminum Plant. Photos generously provided by Thomas Mitchell.

Delta Queen Travel Souvenirs
Three paper receipts from a trip on the Delta Queen, circa 1970.

Bill Muster
Find out more about the man who helped Betty Blake and the American People save the Delta Queen.

American Queen
The surviving younger sister of the Delta Queen: the boat's return to service after dramatic journey to join the mothball fleet in Beaumont, Texas in 2008; photos and commentary by Harry Smith, former fireman; maps showing her whereabouts.

People who Saved the Delta Queen
A series of photographs discovered in an attic portray the people who helped save the Delta Queen. Photos by Bill Muster.

Greene Line Steamers Executives
A photo at the bottom of this page shows Commodore Harold DeMarrero, Gordon Greene, Patrick Fahey, Senior Vice President Delta Queen Stamboat Company, Bill Muster, Shirley Bernstein, Ben Bernstein - President, BB Enterprises, Joyce A. Early - Senior Vice President - Finance of Delta Queen Steamboat Company, Ron Marcou - Senior Vice President - Passenger Services, Delta Queen Steamboat Company. Foreground - Frank Fried, President, Delta Queen Steamboat Company.

More Delta Queen People:
Betty Blake
Mary Greene
Gabe Chengery
Congresswoman Leonore Sullivan
Delta Queen Stories Memories from Marguerite Verdino, Judy Patsch, Mel Hartsough, Jim Reising, Bob Reynolds, Kevin McCollister, Russ Ryle, Greg Menke, Ed Duemler, John Lewis, Randy Ward, and Charles Greene.
Save the Delta Queen Stories - Memories of the 1970 campaign
Save the Delta Queen 2008 - News and updates
Delta Queen blog and history Description: An online journal by Delta Queen historian Bill Wiemuth from aboard the Delta Queen chronicling life onboard, the Delta Queen's history, and her current struggle to survive.

Early Delta Queen & Delta King History
Information about the first two decades in California, when the Delta Queen and Delta King were known as the River Lines Fleet.

Peace Cruise
The Delta Queen does her part for peace.


Steamboat Art

The River - a memoir by Don Sanders about his life on the river. This story originally appeared as a weekly column in the Northern Kentucky Tribune. Archived at with permission.

American Queen painting in progress
by Marine Artist Jim Clary.

Steamboat Paintings
by Mark Rook

Murals of Kris Killman
Large murals of river scenes by Southern Illinois artist Kris Killman.

Steamboat Collages
Marcia Loudon's digital scrapbook kits allow you to use elements of the steamboat era to build pages for heritage family scrapbooks.

John Matassa at
This late Wilmington, Deleware artist did oil paintings of famous Deleware steamships.

Warren Stichtenoth at
This late Cincinnati artist designed cards, logos, and other graphics for Greene Line Steamers and the Delta Queen Steamboat Company in the 1960s and 1970s.

Steamboat Art, DVDs, and Music
Search the link page devoted to steamboat art at this site.

Steamboat Mysteries

The Scimitar II
A sternwheeler built as a private yacht for the Brewster family of St. Louis.

Steamboat Chandelier
Information needed about this ornate antique.

Mystery Boat Question
Help to answer a question about the location (Metaline Falls area of Box Canyon - border of WA and ID) and identity of the boat (Metaline) in this photo.

Mystery Boat Ring
Help identify a boat carved in a gold ring.

Mystery Boat Photos
Help identify a boat from old photos bought at an estate sale.

Mystery Toy Boat
Help identify a toy paddlewheel boat.

Mystery Boat Pendant
Help identify a boat painted in a locket.

Mystery Boat
Help identify a mystery boat from these model photos.

Mystery Boat Identified
Web master posted this postcard showing a mystery boat in 1998 and steamboat expert Nigel Clark identified the boat in 2005.

River Queen
Information Requested on this boat model. The signs on the side say "Three Rivers Transportation Company" . . .

Distressed or Deceased Boats

As it turns out, 99.99% of the original paddle wheel steamboats now reside in heaven, and are no longer visible to us here on earth. This exhibit covers fatalities that happened on my watch. For more information about deceased boats, please visit our onboard bookstore - click here.

Mississippi Queen
Remembering the Mississippi Queen, younger sister of the Delta Queen: final photos before demolition, also photos of her in better days.

Mississippi Queen Christening
The christening and information about the mystery of whether the CIA was involved in her construction.

Mississippi Queen Mermaids
Although the Mississippi Queen is dead, the calliope muses live on in their new home on the northern bank of the Ohio River.

Mississippi Queen Blueprints
Examples of the hundreds of blueprints uncovered in the Museum mishegas.

The Lizzy Campbell
A report on the live and times of the The Lizzie Campbell researched and written by a descendant of the people who loved her.

The President
See photos of the venerable, late steamboat, including what finally happened to it (tragic story).

The Goldenrod Showboat
One of America's great showboats, now lying in pieces in a yard in the St. Louis area.

Other Steamboat Exhibits

Show Boat, the musical
As performed in London, July 2015, program and photo of the stage.

Edward (Ted) Affleck, 1924-2003
Bio of the author of A Century of Paddlewheelers in the Pacific Northwest, the Yukon and Alaska.

Captain J.M. White
Photos of the historic riverboat captain, his house, and the boat named after him.

Autographed Victorian Fan
A collector found this rare Victorian fan autographed by steamboat employees in 1896.

Porcelain Cup
Hand painted to show the side-wheel packet Belfast, which ran on the lower Mississippi from 1854-1860.

Steamboat Jewerly Exhibit
See examples of collectible steamboat jewelry, including pins, charms, and commemorative gold Mississippi Queen cuff links.

A Steamer Turned House
See photos of the Nasookin Steamboat turned into a single family home with river views in Kootenays, B.C.

Belle of Louisville Accident
The Belle busted a few bucket boards in a collision Oct. 17, 2009, ending the season early. Five photos showing damage to the wheel.

A great photo of this little paddlewheeler that plys the waters of Bantam Lake, Morris, Connecticut.

Tinkerbelle Steamboat For Sale
A small steamboat for sale, check out this fine instrument of a boat.

Steamboat Arabia
Read the life story of this boat, by Margaret E. Gilbert, president and co-founder of the Missouri River Archaeological Exploration and Preservation Society.

Swain Steamboats
Documents provided by the Chillicothe Historical Society

Mark Twain House
Photos of the Twain house in Hartford, Connecticut, by Nori Muster.

Steamboat Scarf
See a beautiful 4' x 4' scarf based on a graphic the designer found at this site!

Steamboats of Nicaragua
Researcher David Dell is doing a documentary about the remains of the old boats in this country.

1883 Lithograph
The photos of an 1883 lithograph of the race between the Robert E. Lee and the Natchez were donted by Richard Sinex.

Steamboats of Idaho
Photos of these turn of the century boats donated by Jeffrey Davis (10 photos).

The Keith Norrington River Room
This was the first exhibit on in 1998, now it's back! Keith is now the curator of the Howard Steamboat Museum, so he has an even bigger wheelhouse of steamboat historic preservation now. Enjoy.

Steam Engine Exhibit
An illustrated history of steam power, written by K. Spitzner, Georgia (1999). New & improved. Much safer than those old steam engines.

Paddle Steamers of Australia
Learn more about the history of steamboats down under.

The Peerless Steamboat Wheel
First it was a pilot house wheel, then it was a chandelier; now it's a steamboat wheel again.

A Tour of Central and Northeast Florida
Pictures of steamboats and steamboat art from this region of Florida.

The William Blake
The Dubuque, Iowa County Historical Society restored this old paddlwheeler. Now it's a "Boat and Breakfast."

Steamboat Postal History Exhibit
Currently on exhibit: First day covers from the Delta Queen Post Office.

Answers to "Who built the first steamboat?"
This is a more controversial subject than you might expect. Read all these experts' opinions and make up your own mind.

Steamboat Link Page
Find more steamboats and steamboat information online.

Taste of Being
See the launch of the cute lil steamboat built by Bruce Benton - just for fun!

Museum Bookshop
Find books on the history of steamboats, Dixieland Jazz, Mark Twain, and other steamboat subjects. A new picture book for children: click here

Steamboat Products
Steamboat lollipops: Best way to eat a steamboat. Also, steamboat clocks, jewelry, and more.

eBay Museum
Find steamboat paraphernalia through eBay! This exhibit offers examples of items that were for sale, spring 2004.

Research Room
If you have ancestry questions or other steamboat-related questions, or if you want to contact to share your photos, stories, thoughts or memories please use our research room. If you are a steamboat expert, we invite you to visit the bulletin board to answer questions. Please post your answer to the guestbook so that it becomes a permanent record at this site for future researchers.