Save the Delta Queen Campaign
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Save the Delta Queen Campaign News
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The Delta Queen Receives Help from Afar:
David T. Morgan, Chairman of Heritage Afloat, United Kingdom

Heritage Afloat
The Association for Ship and Boat
Preservation Organizations
12 Cheyne Gardens
London SW3 5QT

31 March 2008

The Hon Louise McIntosh Slaughter
US House of Representatives
2469 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515, USA
By Fax: 00 1 202 225 7822

Dear Madam

The Coastguard Reauthorization Bill Delta Queen

I hope you will excuse me writing to you direct, but I understand that you are the Chairwoman of the Rules Committee responsible for the approval (or presumably disapproval) of amendments to be presented to the House of Representatives. I am writing because I have been informed that congressman Steve Sheppard has drafted an amendment to the coastguard Reauthorization Bill which would allow the Delta Queen to continue her operations under her existing exemption from SOLAS. Iunderstand that there is a danger that she may lose this exemption later this year which would deprive your wonderful country of this floating icon.

I am Chairman of an organization which represents the owners and operators of traditional and historic vessels in UK waters and we take a strong interest in US maritime heritage which has so often given a lead in the past. We do of course have a very special interest in the Delta Queen since she was built on the Clyde in Scotland. I hope you will not consider it improper therefore if I write to express my support for this splendid paddle steamer in the hope that the legislation can be amended in such a way that she is allowed to continue plying her trade as she has done safely for the last 82 years.

I am particularly aware, as a retired Colonel in the British Army, of her contribution to your war effort when she served as a troop barracks and carried servicemen to San Francisco Bay. I feel so strongly about this matter that if it were to help her cause, I would be more than happy to visit you and your colleagues in Washington and/or give evidence to any committee which is considering the proposal.

I thnk you for your attention to this matter.

Yours faithfully
David T Morgan MBE TD
Heritage Afloat

CC: The Hon John L. Mica The Hon Steve Chabot, Vicki Webster

We have people asking us for bumper stickers. (our friends in not-so-far-away Germany) have several items available: - click on bumper sticker to order:

Greene Family genealogy - now online! [now offline]. The Greene family brought the Delta Queen to the Mississippi River after World War II.

The Delta Queen Needs Your Help NOW!!

On Mar 27, 2008, at 8:48 AM, Vicki Webster wrote:

Still no date for the Coast Guard bill. The hopeful news is that even if the Rules Committee does not approve our amendment, the House Leadership can over-ride Oberstar and send H.R. 3852 directly the floor as a stand-alone bill on the suspension calendar.

We all need to contact these three people NOW, while we're waiting for the CG bill to move forward, and ask them to Save the Delta Queen. We need to stress the fact that this has always been a non-partisan issue and that it needs to remain one.

In this case, two out of the three will accept email from people who are not in their districts. A fax is still the best way to reach them, but because email is easier, more of our supporters are likely to use that method.

Here's the contact info:

House Leadership
March 27, 2008

The Hon. Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
Office of the Speaker
H-232, US Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-0100
Fax: (202) 225-4188

The Hon. Steny Hoyer
House Majority Leader
H-107 Capitol Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3130
Fax: (202) 226-0663

The Hon. James E. Clyburn
House Majority Whip
United States House of Representatives
H-329, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 226-3210
Fax: (202) 225-9253

Save the Delta Queen Event

Date: Monday March 24, 2008
Place: Maysville, KY (62 miles south of Cincinnati on KY-9)
Time: Movie showing 7 p.m., arrive early
Re.: George Clooney visit to promote his new movie, "Leatherheads."

Let's have a show of support for the Queen! Get the word out! You can make a difference! Please make a large, colorful placard with a drawing of the Delta Queen, or a slogan, such as "We love the Delta Queen." Please keep it positive. "America loves the Delta Queen," "We love U.S. history - Save the Delta Queen," or my father's bumper sticker in 1976: "I'd rather be a steamboat than president." Bring your camera. I will post your jpgs here at

Vicki Webster, Delta Queen Campaign, adds: "Major movie screening at 7 p.m, with one or more earlier showings. But all day long there will be a lot of Hollywood-style hoopla, with national media present to record it all. So whenever you can show up -- DQ signs in tow -- your show of support will help The Cause enormously."

How to draw a steamboat

1. First draw a horizontal line at the waterline, just a straight line, to represent the first deck.
2. Draw a few more shorter horizontal lines above that, for the upper decks.
3. Add the wheel at the bow, with simple spokes, almost half way below the water line, and reaching to the second or third deck.
4. Draw the stage at an angle, coming off the stern
5. Add the pilot house, smoke stack, mast, and rigging.
There you have a simple steamboat. You can also add horizontal lines for the observation windows; or little squares for the stateroom windows. Here is an example, below.

Vicki Webster took this photo of Betty Blake and two of Congressman Bill McCullough's aides in McCullough's office in December 1970, just after the victorious vote. Vicki said, "We had just cracked the champagne -- that's what is in Betty's coffee cup."


Re.: Delta Queen Safety
Date: March 10, 2008
Contact: Vicki Webster
(513) 381-3571 email

* The Delta Queen undergoes thorough Coast Guard inspections on a quarterly basis, in addition to unannounced visits at the Coast Guard's discretion - resulting in inspections at least six times a year.

* In sensitive areas the wooden superstructure, including overhead beams and the boat's roof, have been replaced with fire-retardant or fire-resistant materials.

* The Delta Queen is outfitted with the latest fire detection and suppression systems, mandated by the Coast Guard after 2000, and installed in accordance with their specifications. Fire, smoke, and heat detectors and sprinklers are located in every room on the boat. The system is monitored round the clock from the pilot house.

* There are fixed CO2 fire suppression systems for the liquor locker, generator rooms, boiler room, and bowthruster room. The boat has emergency ventilation shut-offs, and there are fire extinguishers and fire stations, complete with fire hoses and nozzles, located at close intervals throughout the vessel.

* Dedicated watchmen use a key-station system and patrol the Delta Queen all hours of the day.

* The general alarm and public address system, manufactured by Hose-McCann, is the same one that is being installed on the US Navy's newest ships. It far exceeds the requirements for the Delta Queen, but its installation was part of the company's plan to bring her into the next century.

* All licensed deck and engineering officers have completed advanced fire fighting training at USCG-approved training facilities and receive periodic refresher training.

* All crew members undergo extensive fire prevention, fire safety, and fire fighting training conducted by professional, Coast Guard-approved instructors from the Washington State Fire Academy.

* All crew and passengers perform weekly fire and abandon-ship drills in accordance with federal regulations.

* Evacuation slides are located on both sides of the boat to facilitate rapid evacuation.

* The Delta Queen has an inherently safe design with almost every room opening directly onto an outside deck. The few interior rooms have exterior windows, are no farther than 20 to 30 feet from an exit, and each one opens into a broad salon, not a hallway. All exit stairways are outside.

* The Delta Queen cruises only America's rivers and is never more than a minute or two from shore. Like all steamboats, she was designed with the capability to land just about anyplace along the river. In the case of a medical emergency, the crew can quickly get the victim to safety wherever there is a nearby road to accommodate an ambulance.

Reported Safety Incidents: There has been one reported incident on the boat in recent years: In 2003 a sterno can, which heated a chafing dish on a dining table, fell over onto the table cloth. The flame was extinguished instantly, with no resulting damage. Sterno burners have been replaced with electric chafing dishes.


A quick summary of the above:

The Delta Queen is in superb condition and rarin' to keep steaming the rivers for many years to come.

Click here for more Delta Queen news.

Other Steamboat News

Letter from John R. Reusing:

Nori, I have attached a link to the Library's Wiki site on steamboat photographs. This is the collection donated by Capt Way & the Son & Daughters in the 1950's. It is a work in progress but eventually we will have digitized over 19,000 items. Since this is a Wiki, people can add their remarks or comments about any of the boats. We have about 3,000 done at this time. Click to see the collection:

Also, we have just scanned a handwritten book by steamboat pilot Noah Meeker which details steamboat landings from Cincinnati to Louisville in 1883. I have attached a link as well. The Library received a $200,000 grant to purchase a KIRTAS system that allows us to scan and digitize many rare and unique items in our collection. I have even sent some photos to Dave Thomson. Now instead of residing in file cabinets that can't be seen, these pictures can now be made available around the word. Thanks, John. Click to see the book:

John R. Reusing, Development Director
Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
(513) 369-4591

What's New at

Research Archive (click here) This archive lists all the pages in this folder, which includes all the old guestbooks and latest news pages. It's composed of this n that, but the archive puts it all in a logical order.

Mystery boat answer (click here) Another boat identified by one of our visitors.

New model boat photos (click here) by Virgil Reynolds.

New from Dave Thomson (click here) Keep clicking because he sent in lots of photos. These are larger, as well. I still have a lot more to add to his wing of the online museum.

New ancesetry stories (click here) these sent in by Pete Swanson, going back to the Civil War in Illinois.

Betty Blake photos (click here) I revised this section and added several obituaries. (Sorry to be so gloomy. She was one of my favorite people too.)

Video of the Delta Queen engineroom (click here) Scroll down to see footage of the pitman arms turning the wheel.

Dwight Hartman Models (click here) A display of the models of the late Dwight Hartman. More news soon on how his model kits will be sold now that he has gone. Stay tuned.

Who built the first steamboat? (click here) New research shows the first steamboat was built in 1543 in Spain, by Capt. Blasco de Garay.

Virtual steamboats raced on the Internet in 2007 (click here) Find out how you race steamboats online and who won last year.

Previous postings to this page have been moved to the archive - click here. Or, enter your keywords in our internal search engine:

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