This ship log goes back in time, with newest entries at the top. We cover the Save the Delta Queen Campaign, general steamboat news and history, steamboat ancestry, paddlewheel boats wanted or for sale, and model boats; also, postings that come through and To search this section or the whole site, go to Steamboat News Archive. If you want to post to this page, click here.

New Acquisitions

Delta Queen executives

Delta Queen Steamboat Company publicity photo, circa 1984. Cutline taped to the back says:

Commodore Harold DeMarrero, Gordon Greene, Patrick Fahey, Senior Vice President Delta Queen Steamboat 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.

Photo turned up in the Muster archives 8/8/2010. We have added this to our Delta Queen People collection - click here.

Mississippi Queen Muster 220 wishes to thank Tracey Smith of New Orleans for rescuing this item from the late Mississippi Queen before she went for dismantling. We have added this item to our Mississippi Queen collection - click here to see a larger image.

Steamboat 'Round the Bend Collection

It has been said that is now the leading resource for information about the movie Steamboat 'Round the Bend staring Will Rogers. We wish to thank collector Dave Thomson, who has built an entire wing of the online museum.

Steamboat 'Round the Bend plot synopsis
large stills from the movie and set
Dave Thomson Collection

New Exhibit in the Museum

Harry Smith, former fireman on the American Queen, provided photos of the American Queen as she was put into mothball status at Beaumont Texas. Read about the journey and see photos of the Queen, now waiting for the highest bidder to put her back into service. To see the page, click here. The page also includes maps provided by long-time correspondent, John Weise.

Guestbook Posting
On Jul 22, 2010, at 9:51 AM, DR wrote:

I have been told there was steamboat that was use on the Yellowstone River to deliver military material to Custer and other commands. Apparently these boats "walked" over sand bars in the shallows. Do you know anything about them or where I might some information?

Thank you
Dan Reynolds dreynolds44[at]

"Hickory Pass Ranch" Serialized Online

Travel writer and friend of steamboats and American waterways Russ Barnes announces the publication of a new story, Hickory Pass Ranch. The story is told through a series of journal writings from 2008. Russ will publish the story in a series. Part one is now online, and installments will come out daily through Wednesday, July 28.

Contact Russ: russ[at]
Read the story, go to: Travel with a Twist (read July 15-28, 2010 entries).

Attention Past Passengers and Former Crew Members:
Summer 2010 Delta Queen Special Rates

The management of the DELTA QUEEN Hotel is having a special for the remainder of July and the whole month of August. Room rates for standard and deluxe rooms, weekends and weeknights will be $49.00 plus tax subject to availability. This does include breakfast and is not the bunk rooms. See the DELTA QUEEN Hotel website for a layout. When you call to make your reservation just tell them that you are a former crew member or past passenger and you would like their $49.00 rate.

Now is a great time to visit Chattanooga. There is so many things to see and do there and so many different things happening in Coolidge Park, the Queen's interim home.

Delta King History

A great new article by Shawn Dake in Maritime Matters tells the history of the Delta King, see: Maritime Matters, For photos of the Delta King, click here (at this site).

delta queen culinary history

Delta Queen: A Culinary History 1927-2008
A book by
Cynthia LeJeune Nobles
Foreword by Captain Clarke C. "Doc" Hawley

Hello everyone,

Well, after three years of research and writing, my book Delta Queen: A Culinary History 1927-2008 is finally coming out and will be in bookstores this fall. Right now my publisher is offering a special limited edition of 350 copies of the hardcover book that will be signed and numbered. This limited edition features gold stamping on the front cover and it is enclosed in a special slip case, and I'm sure you will all want to buy a dozen or so (just kidding).

The book's website is here:

Also, many thanks to former Delta Queen passengers and crew members who put up with my endless questioning and pestering. Without you, this project would not have been possible, and I hope you enjoy what I've written about everyone's favorite "Grand Old Lady."

Long live the Delta Queen,
Cindy Nobles

Special Limited Edition Available Now!

R. J. Berg Publisher/American Food History Press is offering a special limited edition of its new book, Delta Queen: A Culinary History 1927-2008, The History and Recipes of the Legendary Delta Queen Steamboat, by Cynthia LeJeune Nobles, (ISBN 978-0-89730-254-8).

With gold stamping on the front cover and enclosed in a special slip case, a limited edition of 350 copies of the hardcover book will be signed by the author and numbered. Advance orders are being accepted by the publisher, and numbered copies will be issued in accordance with the postmark date on the order.

Price: US $47.50 per copy plus $7.25 for shipping and handling (U.S. orders). Send check or money order for $54.75 (payable to American Food History Press) to:

R. J. Berg Publisher
P.O. Box 30225 Indianapolis, IN 46230-0225

June 16, 2010 - Lately I have been researching alternative solutions to the Gulf disaster. Today I found a great video about a product NASA developed that is one hundred percent natural, biodegradable bees wax, which eats oil. - Nori

Check it out:

Here is another one about probiotics supplements:

American Queen Steamboat, Where Are You?

On May 22, 2010, at 12:04 AM, John Weise wrote:
A friend of mine wanted to know where the AQ was located now & I had told him Beaumont, Texas. He said he searched aerial photographs & couldn't find her so I started checking & did find both the AQ & the River Barge complete with Miss Nari. Attached find the AQ with bow pointing SSW in the photo & stern NNE. The MARAD fleeting area is in the Mc Fadden Bend Cutoff SE of Beaumont.

american queen

american queen

Editor's note: The corporation could no longer pay the federal note on the American Queen, so the government repossessed the boat and is storing it in this government mothball fleet. You can find this location by going to Google Maps and searching for McFadden Bend Cutoff, Texas, or click this link: Google Maps. Here is an embedded map:

View Larger Map

Steamboats in History
On May 16, 2010, at 7:02 AM, Suzanne & Grayson Mattingly wrote:

We have just added another interesting interview to the web site [offline]. It is an interview with John B. Lowry in which he tells a story about how he was saved by the steamboat. Just click on our web site link and then click on Steamboat To The Rescue. Hope you enjoy. - Grayson

End of the Mississippi Queen

It is a march to the gallows for the Mississippi Queen amid the destruction in the Gulf of Mexico due to the oil explosion. Not a good time for America. See photos of the Mississippi Queen as she is towed to the demolition yard.

Editor's Note: Our thanks to John LaCount for sending the link to this amazing historic boat. The S.S. Badger has been added to the Steamboats of the Fifty States link page (at this site - scroll down to Michigan).

A little history, a lot of fun!

She is the largest car ferry ever to sail Lake Michigan, and has provided a safe, fun, and reliable shortcut across the huge inland sea for more than fifty years. The S.S. Badger is a national treasure, offering a cruise experience that links us to an earlier time when a sea voyage was the ultimate travel and vacation adventure.

As the only coal-fired steamship in operation in North America, the S.S. Badger operates on domestic fuel, and the company has an extraordinary commitment to maintaining a unique propulsion system that has been designated as a national mechanical engineering landmark. The S.S. Badger offers an authentic steamship experience unmatched anywhere else.

The 410' S.S. Badger entered service in 1953, designed specifically to handle the rough conditions that it would likely encounter during year 'round sailing on Lake Michigan. Built primarily to transport railroad freight cars, but with superior passenger accommodations, the Badger reigned as Queen of the Lakes during the car ferries' Golden Era in the late Fifties, with Manitowoc, Milwaukee, and Kewaunee as her Wisconsin ports of call. By the Seventies, changing railroad economics were condemning other car ferries to mothballs or the scrap yard. With little railroad freight business left, and without ever tapping into the opportunity to serve the needs of the vacation traveler, the Badger sailed from Wisconsin to Ludington and tied up for the last time in November 1990 - signaling the end of the century-old tradition of car ferry service on Lake Michigan.

The demise of the car ferries was devastating to the communities they had served and the thousands of passengers who loved them. It seemed that the magic of these wonderful ships would only live in memory, never to be experienced by future generations. However, in 1991, an entrepreneur named Charles Conrad committed his own financial resources to reinvent the S.S. Badger to carry leisure passengers and their vehicles.

Since then, this legend of the Great Lakes has delighted a whole new generation of people, allowing them to experience a bit of history that almost slipped away while cruising to fun destinations on both sides of Lake Michigan. The S.S. Badger now sails daily between Manitowoc, Wisconsin and Ludington, Michigan from mid-May through mid-October.

Blending tradition with innovation, the Badger affords a rare opportunity to take a step back into the past and take a journey that's as important as the destination.

Editor's Note: John LaCount also sent info. about the Chief Waupaca Sternwheeler of Wisconsin. He said, "During the 1960's she delivered beer up and down the rivers of Oshkosh to Omro, WI. Her name then was the Chief Oshkosh the same name of the beer she delivered." If anyone has more information about this boat, please send it in and we will post it in the online steamboat museum. Thanks.

Guestbook Posting
On Apr 16, 2010, at 4:16 AM, Maydean Tilton wrote:

I am trying to research my great grandfather, John LaRando born around 1854. There are two stories from two different families that state John LaRando came down the Missouri River on a steamboat with about 50 other children (mostly half-breed) and at every town some families would take children in. John LaRando was taken in at Rulo, Nebraska by the family of William Kissel. John first shows up on the 1870 census living with the Kissels and his name was spelled Lorondeau. I am trying to find a way to trace him back to an orphanage or a mission and possibly his parents names. He was half Sioux Indian on his mother's side. Do you know of any "orphan boats" that came down the Missouri river from Dakota Territory? Or where I might locate any ships passenger lists on the Missouri river for the years around 1860-65?

He arrived in Rulo, Nebraska when he was about 10 or 11 and lived there the rest of his life and raised his family there. Rulo was and is still a port on the Missouri river between St. Joseph Missouri and Brownville Nebraska. Any information you might have or any direction you might guide me in would be greatly appreciated.

July 6, 2010 8:02:39 AM GMT-07:00
To: Nori Muster
Subject: Steamboat Articles
Here are the articles I found. They are from the Rulo Western Guide 1858, Rulo, Ne.

Editor's note: If you have any information to add, contact Maydean Tilton email.

steamboat history in Rulo, Nebraska

steamboat history in Rulo, Nebraska

steamboat history in Rulo, Nebraska

steamboat history in Rulo, Nebraska

steamboat history in Rulo, Nebraska

Guestbook Posting
On Mar 29, 2010, at 2:34 PM, Ronald Wayne Young, OMI wrote:

name: Fr. Ronald Young, O. ME. I.
location: Ottawa, ON, Canada
message: I am trying to discover any information about a voyage from Wheeling to Louisville in early April of 1847. I am a Missionary Oblate and a famous group of pioneer Missionary Oblates traveled by stage to Wheeling from New York and, then, made their way up the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers to Louisville to begin their trek along the Oregon Trail. Was there more than one Line running between Wheeling and Louisville or was it only the Union Line and where is a good map of the voyage? Any help would be appreciated. Thanking you, Rev. Dr. Ronald Young, OMI email
email: Yes, include my email (encoded in SpamStopper software)
visits: First time
rate: Educational research project.

March 21, 2010
Robert E. Lee Riverboat Destroyed by Fire

A sweet little steamboat is dead today and your prayers for the boat and for those hurt by this tragedy are appreciated.,0,61139.story

Former Delta Queen, Mississippi Queen and American Queen crew member Captain Larry "Buford" Wilkinson passed away this morning at a hospital in Vicksburg, MS. He suffered from congestive heart failure, after his condition had been growing worse over the last couple of days.

Born on December 20, 1962, Capt. Wilkinson began work on the Delta Queen more than 20 years ago as a deck hand and worked his way up to serve as Captain. Capt. Wilkinson was one of the most noted and loved former Delta Queen Steamboat Co. crewmembers of all. He has been a very good friend to many and one of the special steamboat family members. And as Capt. Mike Williams just wrote in an e-mail, the Delta Queen is holding him close to her heart for ever.

(statement by Franz Neumeier, posted March 24, 2010,*)

Favorite exhibit at steamboat jewelry - click here.

"We envision the Delta Queen, wheel turning, traversing the rivers."

(The affirmation may not be true yet, but since we are dealing with a national historic treasure here, we must challenge ourselves to think of the highest possible destiny for the boat.)

Guestbook Posting
On Mar 19, 2010, at 11:00 PM, Brian Schmidt wrote:

We are working on a film project and we were curious if you happen to know anywhere where we can find footage of an explosion or fire on a steamboat. We have a bit in our film where a grandmother is reminisicng about the time her favorite river boat spontaneously exploded or sunk, and need to find accompanying footage. Thanks you for your help.

Brian Schmidt, TreehouseMafia Productions email

Guestbook Posting
On Mar 15, 2010, at 2:33 PM, Stanly Hutchison wrote:

name: John Stanek
location: Cleveland, Oh
message: I am looking for any information about the cincinnati marine ways. Also, any information on the general shield, raritan, bertrand and osprey owned by Hugh L Rogers who is my great great great grandfather. Hugh Rogers was also the brother of Patrick Rogers who founded cincy marine ways. Also any information on Hugh and Patrick
email: Yes, include my email (encoded in SpamStopper software) email - click here
visits: Been here a few times before
rate: Threads of our genealogy.

On Mar 7, 2010, at 8:48 PM, Arthur wrote:

Mississippi Queen / Delta Queen Reunion

Proud to announce the second annual MQ/DQ Steamboater reunion! Natchez, Mississippi - June 11 & 12 ( friday- sat ).

The 1st one was on the Natchez in New Orleans last April. A casual whim to get together with the very few fellow MQ crew mates I had when I 1st got on facebook grew through a frenzied effort culminating into the magical evening with 126! making to the Natchez. We even got to see the MQ, sad as it was. What could be better than Natchez for this one?

OK, steamboaters, here is what we have for you so far.

Natchez Eola Hotel is giving us a $70 a night hotel rate for June 11 and 12. Steamboaters must call 866-445-3652 and use rate code DELTAQ to get the rate. The rate is GOOD THRU May 16. If we get at least 50 rooms we'll get a better rate on the food for the cocktail party on June 11 which will be at the Eola Hotel.

Transportation is being arranged from New Orleans airport with a tentative departure of 3pm on Friday, June 11 and return departure to airport at 11am on June 13. Costs and reservation phone number for this to follow.

You don't want to miss it! I have 167 steamboaters on my Facebook list, but spread the word to any steamboaters. I know there are a lot more out there.

104 days and a wake-up!

Kuddos to Missy who is doing a bang-up job!


March 6, 2010 - Ohio Valley Steamboat [site offline] Captain Mike Giglio's laudable project to build a working steamboat. Join the effort - become a plank owner by contributing to the project! Plank owners will be eligible for special offers during the boat's seasonal operations.

March 3, 2010
Report on the condition of the Delta Queen from

The Delta Queen needs some maintenance, but the vessel is fit to resume traveling on the rivers. The only reason she cannot travel is because of the exemption. The company that currently owns the boat has bigger fish to fry, so to speak, and they do not care about getting the exemption. However, if they were to sell the boat for a reasonable price, and we could get Congress on board, the boat could return to the rivers for another hundred years. It is structurally and mechanically sound.

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