This log goes back in time, with newest entries at the top. Scroll down for links to news articles and inside gossip. We cover the Save the Delta Queen Campaign, general steamboat news and history, steamboat ancestry, paddlewheel boats wanted / for sale, and guestbook postings. Another site to buy and sell paddlewheel boats: eBay. More Save the Delta Queen Campaign web sites: * * * Minnesotans for the Delta Queen * DQ bumper stickers, pins To search this section or the whole site, go to Steamboat News Archive. If you want to post to this page, click here.

Guestbook Posting
On Aug 15, 2009, at 4:18 PM, Bruce MacFayden wrote:

name: bruce macfayden
location: pemberton, bc
message: looking for information re:steam paddlewheel boat built by the Joseph Supple Ship Yard and Marine Ways in approx. 1890 and used on the Columbia River
email: Yes, include my email (encoded in SpamStopper software) bruceandjanmac[at]
visits: First time

August 13, 2009

Dear MoveOn,

We are undergoing a period of strife in our country that works to tear us apart. However, there is one issue that has the potential to unite all Americans, north and south, liberal and conservative, and that is saving our beloved national landmark, the Delta Queen Steamboat.

Paddlewheel steamboats helped to build this country, and the last remaining authentic overnight paddlewheeler is in danger, grounded and tied to a dock as a boutique hotel in Chattanooga. While we applaud the people in Chattanooga for caring for the vessel during this lull in her career, the boat's real work is to ply the rivers from Cincinnati to Pittsburgh, to Minneapolis-St. Paul, and all the way down the Mississippi River to New Orleans.

This is not a political issue, but an American issue. The Delta Queen needs an exemption from the legislation that controls ocean-going vessels, namely the Safety at Sea, or Safety of Lives at Sea Law. Last year, then-Senator Barack Obama was one of the sponsors of a bill that would have granted the Delta Queen her exemption, and he made this statement along the campaign trail:

"As the last remaining authentic, operable riverboat in the world, the Delta Queen is a valuable part of our nation's heritage that we have a duty to preserve and protect for future generations. As she makes her final stops in Point Pleasant [Ohio, Oct. 7], I urge Congress to support this effort to ensure the Delta Queen may continue to serve the people of Ohio and West Virginia for years to come."
- then Senator Barack Obama, Friday October 3, 2008

We want Move On to initiate a petition to call upon President Barack Obama to grant Delta Queen Steamboat a presidential pardon, thus allowing her to traverse the Western River System as she has since 1947. The survival of the Delta Queen is as important to our national identity as the Statue of LIberty, the redwood forests, and the Grand Canyon.

Nori Muster

August 12, 2009
New Exhibits in the Steamboat Museum! now has a page dedicated to the model boat hobby. It includes links to everything about model boats on this site, plus all the model boat sites that used to be on the link pages. The model boat sites used to be mixed in with the buy or build real boat links, but now they are two separate categories. To see model boats, click here. To see the link section for buy, sell, or build a real boat, click here.

I also added several pages to Dave Thomson's wing of the museum. There are now nearly two hundred pages of historic steamboat photos and movie stills in Dave's collection. He has many hundreds of photos not yet posted, but this is a hobby, and Rome wasn't built in a day! The seven new pages begin here, click "next" at the bottom of each page to go to the next. We also added a YouTube documentary and more stills to Dave's page about the Newton, a paddlewheeler that appeared in several movies, but tragically was destroyed in a fire during its renovation.

Another bunch of pages I reorganized are the stills from Steamboat Round the Bend. To see the whole movie synopsis and all the stills, click here.

Apart from the Dave Thomson wing, I got out to see the little paddlewheel boats near here, and posted photos. See the Desert Belle on Saguaro Lake - click here and the Dolly Steamboat on Canyon Lake - click here. Both of these boats are within about forty miles of where I live, but I just went to see them in the last month or two, go figure! There may be a steamboat near you, so check the Steamboats of the Fifty States page (click here), which I recently updated because I wrote an article about it that was posted at (see article click here).

Another page I updated this week is the model boat page of Virgil Reynolds, click here to see it. Well, that's all the news that's fit to print! Bookmark and come back soon!

Steamboat Calliope videos at YouTube editorial comment: We need a vision statement for getting the Delta Queen back out on the water. Even if it takes years, and even if it is just to let her run around near Chattanooga, giving dinner cruises.

Once our vision is set, we will get ideas, and more people will come in to help. It is too sad to think of her just sitting there, docked. We must hold the vision of her getting around again. Many of us have a little candle of faith, but we have to put our heads together. What is wrong with discussing the subject, at least?

Guestbook Posting
On Aug 7, 2009, at 6:41 PM, Carlton Jackson wrote:

Hi Ms. Muster:

My name is Carlton Jackson and I am a University Professor of History, Emeritus, at Western Kentucky University. I am trying to reconstruct the Inaugural journey of President-Elect Andrew Jackson, Jan.l9-Feb.ll, l829. He left the Hermitage aboard Steamboat Fairy on the Cumberland, and took it all the way to Louisville on the Ohio, where he joined Steamboat Pennsylvania to Pittsburgh, through Cincinatti and Wheeling.

Do you have any information about this very famous trip? I would deeply appreciate any and all information you might be able to give me on this matter; I know, for example, that the Captain of the Fairy was Henry Harrison. I have reason to believe that the Captain of the Pennsylvania was Kierstedt, but I can't confirm that. I would truly appreciate hearing from you. all the best.

Carlton Jackson carlton.jackson[at]
University Distinguished Professor of History, Emeritus
Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, KY. 42101

EDITOR'S NOTE: Here is one answer to Dr. Jackson's question:
On Aug 10, 2009, at 11:54 AM, Nori wrote:
Hello Carlton, my steamboat expert Dave Thomson says:

There must be many books on Old Hickory and would think that avenue would have been explored previously. Prior to 1840 the documentation of steamboats must be pretty thin.

Alan Bates (formerly First Mate on Belle of Louisville and designer of the modern Natchez at New Orleans and the General Jackson at Nashville) took over the history column in the WJ after Jim Swift passed on and Alan or again Deborah Cribbs at the Mercantile might be good candidates if all else failed.

Contact Alan through the Waterways Journal. Contributing Editor - Old Boat Column: Alan L. Bates
info[at] 502 459-0647
2040 Sherwood Avenue
Louisville, KY 40205

The Herman T. Pott National Inland Waterways Library
Deborah Cribbs
Special Collections Curator
314 516-7280

Guestbook Posting
On Aug 5, 2009, at 6:26 PM, Marnie Burns wrote:

name: Marnie Burns
location: Australia
message: Hi, I purchased a extremely heavy large wooden trunk from a antique shop in Sydney about 15 years ago. It has a picture of a steamboat called 'Saratoga' handpainted on one side. The boat has flags saying 'Troy Saratoga and Lake George' also other american flags. It is a double trunk with 2 compartments, which i was told was the games box from the deck of the paddlesteamer. I have been trying for years to find any information/history of this boat. It is a wonderful trunk, I can send a picture if you like. Any info would be much appreciated. Thank you, Marnie Burns
email: Yes, include my email (encoded in SpamStopper software) admin[at]
visits: First time

On Jul 21, 2009, at 3:58 PM, wrote:


Photos from the reunion!

Story by John Lewis:

I felt like a ghost from the past, as I walked aboard the Delta Queen Hotel in Chattanooga on July 17th. It was the first Reunion of former Delta Queen crewmembers, which was put together by former Pursers, Tracey Smith, Sharon Hirsch and Lindy Sanders. Most of these people were on the boat in the late seventies, eighties nineties, and up to 2008. The aging 81-year-old steamers final run was to Chattanooga in February. Captain Clarke Hawley and I were two of the younger crewmembers on the Delta Queen in the early sixties, so now; we are two of the older living crewmembers. I felt a little out of place when I first walked aboard, not knowing anyone.

This changed quickly, as I immediately met new people and made new friends. We all have something in common, and it is our devoted love to a lady, a lady of elegance, grace and beauty, and the real lady of the River, the Delta Queen. She was our home for a while, and we got to know her, and all of us fell in love with her. We all came to Chattanooga to see her again, like she was our grandmother, or our great grandmother. We don't look at the Delta Queen as if she is a materialistic man made object, but we all look at her as if she is a living a breathing human being.

She is now docked in Chattanooga as a floating Hotel. When you go aboard, you still see her Grand Staircase, the thick plush wall to wall carpet, the stained glass windows, and the rooms are as elegant as any fine hotel in America. The engine room is still intact, and breaths steam as it once did. The huge steam Lukenheimer whistle and Calliope still blows and plays, reminding you the boat is still alive.

There were people from as far away as Tahoe and Las Vegas, New Orleans, Cincinnati, and St. Louis, Louisville and other parts, who came to spend a weekend on the Delta Queen. We all congregated in the Cabin deck, then to the Lounge on the Texas Deck, where we looked at picture scrapbooks from the past. We all reminisced about the good times on the boat, and told stories of our past experiences. There were three former Captains on the boat as well. Captain Paul P.T. Thoeny, Captain Mike Williams and Captain Kari Preston. The first night Harry Phillips, the owner of the boat, took us out on one of his sightseeing boats to tour the Tennessee River around downtown Chattanooga.

On Saturday, we enjoyed a wonderful Bar-B-Q dinner, hosted by former Chief Purser Sharon Hirsch and her husband Phil. They moved from New Orleans after Katrina, and chose Jasper, Tennessee as their new home. Saturday afternoon, Captain Harry Phillips took us all out on his Fat Cat party boat and River Taxi, through the Chickamauga Dam and Lake for a five-hour cruise. This gave everyone an opportunity to share tales, and get better acquainted. The Reunion was a tremendous success. Crewmembers immediately started planning the second reunion on July 16-17-18th, 2010. The Delta Queen is just a short walk from many eateries on the beautiful North Shore. We had dinner at the North Shore Bar and Grille on Friday and Saturday nights, and found the food and service to be most excellent.

The Delta Queen Hotel is a great place for a reunion, meeting, wedding or romantic getaway, it is also a great place for a business trip, or a great Hotel to stay at when in Chattanooga, and the rates are most reasonable. Whether you are in town or business, or as a tourist, it is a great place to relax, and experience the beauty and charm of the last American extended stay cruise boat, the Steamer Delta Queen. For more information you should call 423-209-2943 or visit

Captain Wagner on bones, Gabe Chengery on piano, Vic Tooker on piano, and Pop Tooker on drums. Photo sent by Ben Sandmel, photographer most probably was John K. McLaughlin, a waiter on the DQ in 1973.

On Jul 17, 2009, at 12:12 PM, David Thomson wrote:

Warner Bros. is now selling a DVD of the 1944 Frederic March "biopic" The Adventures of Mark Twain: see Warner Bros. Official Online Store put The Adventures of Mark Twain in the search window, top right.
Adventures of Mark Twain, The (EST-MOD) $19.95
Adventures of Huck Finn, The (1939)(MOD)
Shipping & Handling: $5.95

Guestbook Posting
On Jun 30, 2009, at 2:49 PM, Leisure, Marcella wrote:

Just a quick note to say I love the model of the Thomas A. Edison on your site. My great grandfather was Captain Connie Menge. Can't wait to share the photos with my boys.
Marcy Menge Leisure

Guestbook Posting
On Jun 24, 2009, at 8:00 AM, flaing53 wrote:

name: Fred Laing
location: Louisiana
message: I am looking for any information about the Jim Barkman steamboat, or any other boat that was burned on Bayou Bartholomew near Point Pleasant (Bastrop, LA) during the civil war.
email: Yes, include my email (encoded in SpamStopper software) flaing53[at]
visits: First time

06/04/2009 - The Delta Queen turned eight-two on Tuesday, congratulations. Also this week, the Delta Queen Hotel managers won their beer permit, so the little old gal can host an onboard bar. Chattanooga hotel operators Harry Phillips and Sydney Slome are still awaiting news from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding their permit to "permanently" moor the booat as a floating hotel.

Save the Delta Queen news - we are waiting to hear about the letter writing campaign and whether the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will take our thoughts into consideration. Click here to read some of the letters sent out. Meanwhile, other steamboat topics.

Delta Queen Reunion July 17 - 19, 2009
Onboard the Steamer Delta Queen in Chattanooga

Attention all former crew of the DQ, we are planning a party weekend on the good old DQ!

We are planning a variety of activities including a Friday night mixer, a picnic in the park on Saturday and plenty of reminiscing, storytelling and alcohol drinking in the Texas Lounge.

Bill Wiemuth and Laura Sable are working and will be providing the entertainment.

Sharon Hirsch (former purser) lives in Chattanooga and is negotiating the room rates and will update me as soon as possible. Until I know more, here are the current rates:
Here's what I have - and I'm including a 10% discount (these are weekend rates):
Master Cabins with a Queen or Double Bed - $161 ++
Deluxe Cabins with a Queen or Double Bed - $143 ++
Standard Cabins with two Twin Beds - $116 ++
Bunk Cabins with Bunk Beds - $89 ++
++ price not inclusive of tax and gratuity

They have also offered the option of the dinner/show on Friday night in the Orleans Room. The cost is $35.00 +tax and gratuity. It is a three course meal with a glass of wine included.

If you are interested in attending the reunion, please contact me at tsmith[at] or thsmith[at]

To date the following have confirmed attendance:

Alison Perkins
Bill Wiemuth
Laura Sable
Brian O'Brien
Dana Jones
Geoff McGregor
Jill Stember
Kevin and Vicki Ludwick
Lindy Sanders
Mandy Henriquez (Mandy le fe vre de Montigny)
Mike and Myra Williams
Missy Ellis
Paul and Tara Thoeny
Robin Stapp
Sharon Hirsch
Traci Vaughn
Tracey Smith
Larry Sanford
Kari Preston
Conde Monet
Tina Cottman
Beverly Fendley-Glass
Norman Grissom
Kris Garnjost

May attend:
Kathy Pavely
Bill Beal
Bill Engelman
Bob Schad
Tom Hook
John & Tracy Davitt
Jennie Cobb

Please pass this information on to anyone you know who worked on the DQ.

Party like a Steamboater :-) Steamboater Forever! Editor's Note: Party like the boat will be back to traveling on the river soon.

Guestbook Posting
On May 15, 2009, at 4:55 AM, Heckelsmiller, Dennis wrote:

name: Dennis Heckelsmiller
location: Dubuque Iowa
message: Hello, doing research on a riverboat named "White Swan" originating in Bellevue Iowa late 1800's to early 1900's; family ledgend has it that at some point in time the boat was transported by rail to the Red River area in North Dakota between 1900 and 1913; Any info or advice for further direction to search will be greatly appreciated! Dennis H
email: Yes, include my email (encoded in SpamStopper software) DennisHeckelsmiller [at]
visits: First time

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