This log goes back in time, with newest entries at the top and oldest entries at the bottom. Updated often.

Breaking News Click here for more information! The Steamship Historical Society of America will hold it's Fall 2002 Meeting in the Port of New Orleans, Louisiana September 27, 28 & 29, 2002. This year's convention will focus on Mississippi riverboats.

The Steamship Historical Society of America trip to St. Petersburg*
has filled up! Bon Voyage comrades!

15 July '2
Steamship Historical Society to Hold Steamboating Conference

This just in from Steve Swanson of the SSHSA:

This September the SSHSA holding our meeting in New Orleans & the theme for this meeting is Steamboating. The meeting will include a fascinating slideshow & talk by a renowned Mississippi River steamboat Captain, Doc Hawley, a narrated river tour on the Steamboat Natchez, & a tour of the currently laid up DQSC American Queen, along with a few other local events.

The Steamship Historical Society (SSHSA) is an organization dedicated to preserving artifacts and memories from the Steamship days of the past.

The event is scheduled to take place on the weekend of Sept. 27, 2002. For more information about the event go to: SSHSA; for more information about Doc Hawley go to Mississippi River Museum; for more about the American Queen, go to the DQ website; for more about the Natchez go to the Natchez website

There are nominal fees for the event, to cover related costs. Contact Steve Swanson of the SSHSA by calling 401-274-0805, Monday - Friday, 10 AM - 4 PM Eastern Time.

14 July '2
Delta King Model Wins Steamboat Race

This year's International Online Steamboat Race took place at the Los Angeles River on the Fourth of July. You can view the race by clicking here: see race.

The mighty little boats took on the big river with a vengence and all did pretty well, except for the Belle of Louisville model, which ended up in Long Beach Harbor.

After the race, the boats traveled by car to Hollywood Boulevard for an awards ceremony, then to a special after-awards party in Hollywood. All are invited to view the race. It will remain a permanent record at this website.

Special thanks to the participants, Jerry Canavit (the winning captain) of Austin, Texas, Carmen Winkler and Franz Neumeier of Munich, Germany, Nori Muster of, and our Judge, James Wong of Heritage Workshops in Hong Kong.

06 May '2
Latest News about our Queens

Frank X. Prudent sent this news:

This past Friday, May 3rd. the Delta Queen Steamboat Co. and the three steamboats DELTA QUEEN, MISSISSIPPI QUEEN and AMERICAN QUEEN were sold at auction for a reported $80,000,000.00. The winning bidder is Delaware North Corp. with headquarters in Buffalo, NY. The official announcement is expected from the U.S.Bankruptcy Court on Monday, May 6th.

This one sounds like FUN!

The Steamship Historical Society of America is sponsoring a trip to northern Russia for a three-day two-night cruise on the sidewheel steamer "N.V. Gogol," built in 1911 and one of the last surviving steamers of her type. The trip also includes a two-night cruise on the motorship "Klavdiya Yelanskaya" to the Solovetsy Islands, a fortified monastery which is a UNESCO "World Heritage Site." There will be several days touring St. Petersburg, capital of the Tsars. Dates are August 9 to August 21. For further information contact Bill Worden.

The Steamer N.V. Gogol, an American-style sidewheeler in Russia.

This just in our email box today, from David:

I just listed on ebay a 1913 catalog of Steamships mfg. by the James Rees & Sons Co. of Pittsburgh. I thought perhaps you maight have an interest in it. Here's a link to the item page on ebay. Thanks, David

24 April '2
Website Hits Sandbar

Hey, if anyone tried to log on in the last 12 hours, they may have found either a page announcing that Apache software had successfully been loaded onto this site (and nothing else) or a page from with all broken links. This is what happens in the electronic age, when anything can and will go wrong. Our domain host assures us that everything is back in ship-shape and that there should be no further problems. So, if you logged on and got these erroneous pages, please just write it off to progress.

The exact words from our domain host were:
Dear Valued Customer,
You were receiving the Apache page because apache was upgraded on the machine your account resides on. You should not receive any more problems with your account.
Global Internet Solutions

13 April '2
Good News for D.Q. Company Boats

America's fleet of overnight paddlewheel riverboats could all end up in the same family, according to this breaking news from our good friend Brian Hughes:

"The Money section in yesterday's Times-Picayune here in N'awlins said that Waveland Investments LLC, the purchaser of the DQ and MQ, has its eye on the AQ and Columbia Queen as well. Also the Capt May Light and Cape Cod Light. Looks like the most romantic bits of Delta Queen might all come together again!"

The article excerpts he sent are now posted - click here.

18 March '2
Steam Engines for Sale


More photos - click here

To all who are interested in old ship's steam engines!

A friend of mine has a small shipping line in Kisumu, Kenya, on the shores of Lake Victoria in Africa. His line runs between towns like Kisumu, Mwanza, Bukoba, Musoma.

His two ships are both old and steam-driven, One sunk at the main Kisumu jetty many years ago and is in 'unknown state'. The second one, s.s. Nyanza, dates from the twenties and is in working condition. It was converted to a fuel tanker a while ago and unfortunately had a major fire onboard recently when off-loading fuel in Mwanza. The superstructure was destroyed but the hull and the steam engines are still OK, in working condition. They are rebuilding the ship now and want to replace the steam engines with diesel engines. The boilers are also taken out of course. The company wants to sell the engines and the boilers.

The ship itself was build in Kisumu, the two steam engines date from when the ship was build. Unfortunately there is no name-plate or other identifying mark to be found. We think they originate from the UK (Scotland?) and were transported to Kisumu in pieces, first by ship to Mombasa and then over the railroad the last 900 km to Kisumu. The engines are triple expansion engines. I attached three pictures.

Would there be anyone interested in these two great engines? It seems clear that it would be a great shame if they were lost. With the Kenyan economy being what it is, the shipping company of my friend can't help with anything, but they need a good place in a museum in Europe or elsewhere.

Me? I'm a Dutchman, also living and working in Kisumu, a mechanical engineer turned IT manager. Hence the involvement in this case. These machines are too nice to be scrapped!! I sent this email to a number of links I found on the web. If you got this email and don't want to do anything with it, please disregard it. I'm sorry I wasted your bandwidth and time. On the other hand, I would be grateful if somebody can post this on one of the steam ship oriented mailing lists. Please call or mail me anytime if you want to know more.

Best regards,
Erik Schoute

P.S. This should give people a better idea of the size and shipping requirements:

Power: 450hp per engine
Egine size: L=3m W=1m H=3m
Boiler size: L=3m W=1.5m H=1.5m
Other info: triple expansion engines

c/o CDC/KEMRI, P.O.Box 1578 Kisumu, Kenya
telephone +254 35 22787 (home) / +254 72 772667 (mobile)

14 March '2
Folklore in the News

One of our steamboats correspondents, Russ Barnes, recently published an excellent profile of Ricky Shelor, a river folklore historian. Log on to read "In Our Own Voice: Bay Country Speaks Its History," in the Bay Weekly. I encourage you to

01 March 02
New exhibits at Museum

In the first two months of this year, has acquired two new exhibits for our virtual museum. We heartily thank our patrons for their generous donations.

The largest new exhibit is The Dave Thomson Collection, which includes photos of his home-based steamboat museum, postcards and other historic steamboat photos. Click here to view the collection. Dave also donated one of his own works of art to our Surrealist Art Gallery. Click here to see The Knight, Death and the Devil, by Dave Thomson.

Our other new exhibit comes from Keith Johnson, a photography teacher and collector. He sent in two photos made from antique glass plate negatives depicting the City of Peoria steamboat. Click here to see these rare items.

[Ed's note: this just in our steamboatmail basket today]:

For Sale

American design steam paddle wheeler
Rear-wheeled River Boat
Circa - 1860
Scale Model - 1/12
They ran from New Orleans to Canada carrying freight and passengers. The Michael Edward is a cargo vessel for cotton. The baled cotton was stacked clear to the third deck on the boat. Few passengers were actually carried when cotton was on board. Along the top deck are miniature buckets filled with sand. The round bottom were meant only for sand, never water, because the oily cotton, should it catch fire, could only be extinguished with sand. Water would actually cause the fire to spread. The Texas deck, the highest, narrowest deck, was home to the captain and crew. Above that is the wheelhouse. On this boat, a pair of golden antlers on that deck signifies that the boat has won some sort of race. People dressed in period attire grace the decks, including a pair watching the shore and sipping whisky. The boat had a bar room, but the glamorous image of the riverboat is misleading. The rooms were tiny with just a bed and a hook for a coat. No big salons here. The boats were meant for cargo; people were extra. Boat is located in south central Massachusetts.

It took 1200 hours to build. Materials cost approximately $6,000. Asking price: $15,000 or best offer Contact by email

Thank the Printing Gods:
Two Steamboat Classics Are Back

The University of Minnesota Press has issued handsome editions of two river history source books: Old Times on the Upper Mississippi, Recollections of a Steamboat Pilot from 1854 to 1863, by George Byron Merrick, and A-Rafting on the Mississip' by Charles Edward Russell.

An inscription in the title pages explains that the Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage Book Series "is published with the generous assistance of the John K. and Elsie Lampert Fesler Fund and David R. and Elizabeth P. Fesler. Its mission is to republish significant out-of-print books that contribute to our understanding and appreciation of Minnesota and the Upper Midwest.

Old Times on the Upper Mississippi offers a vivid picture of river culture in that area during the years leading up to the civil war (and two years into the war). The author discusses politics, river lore, gamblers and gambling, steamboat races, art and music, and details of the financial side of the steamboat business.

Click here to buy it now.

A-Rafting on the Mississip' is a book in the same tradition, by Charles Edward Russell. The author set out to document the culture and collect the stories of the times.

Click here to buy it now.

18 January 2002
Book Review: Delta Queen, A Novel

All steamboat lovers and lovers of life will enjoy this novel by Charlie Bowen. "Delta Queen" is a love story that plays out on a four day cruise aboard the romantic old boat, set in the late 1990s.

Walker Raines could never forget his first love, a young Southern Belle named Cherry Boitelle. After thirty years, they meet again on the Delta Queen, when Cherry receives free tickets in an anonymous letter saying that she has won a contest. Walker hopes the "coincidental" reunion will reignite their love.

In the course of this incredible story, we learn everything about these two people and the history of the Delta Queen, as well as the history the boat has played in their lives.

We recommend this book to anyone who is young at heart, who believes in love, and anyone who loves a good page-turner with a satisfying surprise ending.

Click here to buy it now

Book Review

Live Steam: Paddlewheel Steamboats on the Mississippi System
by Jon Kral
Price: $55 (click on title to buy it now from
Reviewer: Jerry Canavit

If you've seen the book, I needn't say more. If you have not, you should take a look. It's a hard bound, coffee table-type book that is 128 pages of photo essay on the six existing steam-powered paddlewheelers operating on the Mississippi River System. The text is brief - but the photography is absolutely first rate. Kral is a shooter of the first order. It's a magnificent presentation. With the possible exception of David Plowden's photo essay on steam, it's the best visual book on the subject I've come across. It contains some shots of the DQ that are breathtaking.

Delta Queen Models Available

Be the first on your binary block to buy one of these authentic Delta Queen models. THEY'RE HERE! - Click here for Delta Queen models

Riverboat and Tugboat Plans for Model Builders

Contact John L. Fryant to buy a catalog of model boat plans. The catalog is $6 U.S. and Canada, $8.50 outside N.America. Write to John for more info.: email

Research Library Archive