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Steamboat Blog Archive 2015-2016
(for newer posts, click here)

Delta Queen Restaurant in Kimmswick
December 23, 2016

In anticipation of the Delta Queen going back into the cruise business (once Congressional permission is obtained), the Delta Queen Steamboat Company opened a restaurant in their corporate headquarters. The Port of Call Restaurant, 6035 Second Street, Kimmswick, Missouri, is in a historic home built in 1772.

The Company announced a Christmas Eve party in the Golden Antlers Lounge from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Read more at the Delta Queen Facebook page:, or in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Save the Delta Queen act Now
December 4, 2016

On Dec 4, 2016, at 7:05 PM, Jo Ann Schoen wrote:

SAVE THE DELTA QUEEN!!! Time is ticking. Congress will be adjourning soon for their holiday at home. Let's make a joint effort to contact them before they leave and ask them to pass the exemption. It takes 3 phone calls. One to each of your two Senators and one to your Representative.. If each you will call and then ask two more family and friends to call that would be thousands of phone calls. Please take the time to do this next week. Maybe we really can make a difference. Senate Bill # S 1717.House Bill # H.R. 1248 IF YOU NEED PHONE NUMBERS, LET ME KNOW. I have them at hand! . SHARE!!! Please and thank you.

Jo Ann

Save the Delta Queen Steamboat!
November 29, 2016

Please contact your US Representative and two US Senators to urge them to support H.R. 1248 in the House and S. 1717 in the Senate. These bills will allow the Delta Queen Steamboat to go back into the overnight riverboat cruise business. The only way this National Historic Landmark can survive is to go back to work.

American Queen Steamboat Company Remodels Former Casino Boat
November 28, 2016

The American Steamboat Company will refurbish former casino boat Bettendorf Capri. When completed it will be the line's latest boat, and will be named the American Duchess. See photos and read more information at

New 2017 Sternwheel Wall Calendar Available!
November 16, 2016

Back by popular demand, the 2017 calendar features early photos of sternwheel towboats. The calendar contains 13 large photos printed on heavy card stock, suitable for framing.


This calendar is our best yet, with higher quality images, extra images, and added color throughout!

Each month features a specific boat along with its history, and a complete calendar page, with holidays marked. The boats featured for 2017 include:

BRYCE M (now LORENA, Muskingum River)

The 2017 calendar marks our 16th year of wall calendar offerings!

Calendar Price: $15.95
Plus Shipping: $4.50 for one calendar. (add $1 for each additional calendar)

Please mail check or money order to:
Draftware Inc.
41 Ems W32
North Webster, IN 46555

Online credit card ordering is available on our web site:

Below are images of the calendar's front and back covers:



Civil War Hero's Resting Place Restored
by Mike Baird - exclusive to
November 3, 2016


John S. Smock is buried in the "Smock Cemetery" on the farm that my father purchased in the mid 1940's. The farm is located in Parke County, Indiana. Mr. Smock was born and raised about a mile north of the gravesite. My father (William F. Baird) always protected the headstone and took great pride in the fact that Mr. Smock was buried there. After my father passed away a tenant farmer accidentally hit the stone with a mowing machine and completely ruined it. Out of respect for my father and Mr. Smock it was my mission to get a new headstone in place. With guidance from our local veterans office I was able to get a new stone, free of charge. I mounted it in a large granite boulder to prevent any further damage. Hopefully it will be in place for eternity.

Vintage Delta Queen Photo
November 1, 2016

This photo shows the Delta Queen approaching the old Keokuk Lock. The new lock was put in operation in 1957, and the Delta Queen's first trip on the Upper Mississippi River was 1954. Thus, the photo was taken between 1954 and 1957. Also note: monkey rudders, white splashboard, and no calliope. Thanks to friends Don Sanders, Travis Vasconcelos, and Judy Patsch for posting the photo and facts on Facebook.


2017 Delta Queen Calendar
On Oct 23, 2016, at 2:03 PM, John Weise wrote:

My new 2017 Delta Queen Calendar is now available,
This is the tenth year in a row that it has been published!
The photos were taken between 1998 & 2008.

The price of the calendar $15 remains the same & the price of mailing $3 remains the same.



You can reach me at 513-385-2381 in Cincinnati
Or by e-mail @ jrweise @
Or by snail mail - send your check for $18, along with your return address, to:
John Weise
5552 Dry Ridge Road
Cincinnati, OH 45252-1800

Delta Queen Steamboat Named to Endangered List
October 5, 2016

The Delta Queen Steamboat Company reports:
The National Trust for Historic Preservation has named the DELTA QUEEN one of America's 11-Most Endangered Historic Places! This designation highlights the importance of the DELTA QUEEN being permitted to sail again. In order to preserve her as the last authentic fully intact overnight steamboat, she MUST be able to generate adequate revenues in order to sustain herself for future generations. Doing what she was built to do, carry passengers, is the best way to achieve that sustainability and prolonged preservation. Please continue to contact your Congressmen and Senators urging them to support HR 1248 and S 1717 bills that will allow the DELTA QUEEN to sail again! #fullsteamahead #SavetheDQ #HR1248 #S1717
                        To read more, go to

Media coverage: | | | | | | |

Found Steamboat Object
August 26, 2016

August 16, 2016 phone message: Hi Nori - I found a really cool object that says, "St. Charles, Wheeling West Virginia."

Curious, I asked Karen to send photos. Here they are:



Dave Thomson supplied the entries from the Fred Way Directory on boats named St. Charles that worked in the area in the 1800s. The medallion could have come from one of these boats. It could have been part of a stateroom key, a luggage tag, or a mail bag. If you have any insights to add, please contact me! I will post your comments here. Whatever it is, it's a good find.


New Museum Exhibit
MGM and Universal Studios Replica Prop Boats

August 23, 2016

As promised in the May 6 blog post below, the Dave Thomson Collection now has a studio prop boat exhibit. Click here for the MGM Cotton Blossom * click here for the Universal Studios Enterprise. We also added about seventy new images to the Dave Thomson Collection in August. Click here for the Dave Thomson Collection index.


Seen with the prop boat Cotton Blossom, MGM's "LEO the LION," who roars at the beginning of every film.

"River People are Amazing"
August 17, 2016

The Huntington, West Virginia Herald-Dispatch published a write-up on our friend Jerry Sutphin this summer. They quoted him as saying, "River people are amazing," and he is a case in point. Read all about it: Herald-Dispatch.

Steamboat Swag
August 12, 2016

If you need more steamboat stuff for your collection, the Internet is a great place to look. Here are some recent postings. There's no guarantee these specific items are still available, but just a reminder to keep your eyes open!


From eBay! a 20"x24" Delta Queen painting on canvas, with original frame.



From Craig's List (Denver)—this one sold.

Delta Queen Legislation Passes Senate Commerce Committee
July 4, 2019

June 29, the Delta Queen legislation in the Senate moved out of committee, one step closer to becoming law. If the Delta Queen law succeeds, it will give the vessel a new life. At this point, even though elderly (built in 1926), she cannot support herself on the kind wishes of those who love her. She needs to go back to work in the cruise business, and we need her. Operating out of her new home in Kimmswick, Missouri, she will provide future generations the authentic riverboat experience. She is not meant to be a modern cruise ship, because she's the real deal. She will enrich the experience for people on the newer riverboats, passing her on the river, and hearing the music from her calliope.

This means it's time to call your two Senators and tell them how much you love the Delta Queen Steamboat, and how important it is to save this National Historic Landmark. Tell your Senators you support Senate bill 1717, and want to see the Delta Queen back on the rivers.

Articles: * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sad News Spirit of Sacramento
June 24, 2106

It's sad to see dear steamboats die, and I recently learned of the demise of the Spirit of Sacramento. She's tied up along the Garden Highway, which traces the Sacramento River.

Link to the original article: The Spirit of Sacramento: an abandoned riverboat with a fascinating tale,

Spirit of Sacramento

The Spirit of Sacramento in happier days, in Old Town Sacramento.

Update from the Delta Queen
June 24, 2016

It was good news that the Delta Queen is in good shape, awaiting permission from the U.S. House and Senate to resume work in the river cruise business. The Delta Queen was an early pioneer in the business. The Greene family of Greene Line Steamers brought the Delta Queen to the Western Rivers. The Greenes were pioneers in the pleasure cruise business, which is what they called it a hundred years ago. The cruise business repurposed old packet boats and gave them longer lives. The Delta Queen has gone through many corporate affiliations since Greene Line, and the current owners are dedicated to bringing the Delta Queen into the next phase of her life.

Link to the original article: Delta Queen Steamboat awaits permission to cruise,

Spirit of Sacramento

The Delta Queen in 2007.

Put the PA Denny Back in Service
May 16, 2016


Support the restoration and recertification of this little paddlewheel boat. The owner wants to return the PA Denny to service and use it to promote river history. You can donate at this page: The Internet makes it easy to pitch in.

Cotton Blossom Details
May 6, 2016

On Apr 12, 2016, at 5:07 AM, Norman D. wrote:

Dear Steamboats,
This is an interesting story:
My younger Sister said that she visited New Orleans in 1979 and went for a ride down the Mississippi River on the Cotton Blossom.
The Cotton Blossom is a 1928 Sternwheeler and has recently been sold. This Article tells of the latest News on the Cotton Blossom.

Editor's Note: Thank you for your letter, Norman! I checked on this cute lil paddle wheeler, and while it may be named Cotton Blossom, it is not the one in the movie. There are three Cotton Blossoms in question here: (1) the showboat, (2) the MGM prop boat, and (3) the sternwheeler in the Tuscaloosa News article. Showboats are built on barges; prop boats are built to look like real boats for the cameras, but are not real boats. Here's the full story from Dave Thomson:*
The MGM "movie prop" COTTON BLOSSOM is a sternwheeler while the real actual original show boat called COTTON BLOSSOM was built on a barge and pushed by a towboat.

The MGM prop is easy to tell from the actual show boat because it looks very much like all the other sternwheelers we are familiar with.

The original "show boats" were built on barges and pushed by towboats need their own "page" because we have quite a few images of them scattered around on separate photo pages. Those old timers stopped at many river towns and cities to play for local audiences. The first 2 movies of Edna Ferber's "SHOW BOAT" were filmed by Universal on separate "prop" boats on barges. They were called the "COTTON PALACE" because the owner of the actual show boat wanted a large fee for the use of the name "COTTON BLOSSOM." By the time MGM made their Technicolor SHOW BOAT in 1951 there was no longer any obstacle to using the name "COTTON BLOSSOM" so it was given that name although it was not "authentic" since the actual showboats were on barges, not on steamboats.

To differentiate:

The "real" showboats on barges that were pushed by sternwheel towboats can be called "FLOATING THEATRES - SHOWBOATS on the INLAND WATERWAYS" and the original, historical "Cotton Blossom" on a barge belongs with these floating theatres, not with the "movie" prop boat.

The page dedicated to the "make believe" boat should be simply called "MGM's COTTON BLOSSOM" - built for MGM's 1951 film 'SHOW BOAT'"

This boat had no engines but the paddlewheel was operable so it could be filmed to give the illusion that she was self-propelled which she actually was not self propelled.

Dutch Horton was in charge of large properties like boats and trains at MGM and he ended up working at Disney at the end of his career while I was beginning mine.

Dutch told me that the smoke from the COTTON BLOSSOM's smokestacks was produced by burning old scrapped surplus rubber tires. The "stink" of the burning tires permeated Culver City where MGM's studios were located and there were a phone calls to the studio complaining about it.

Dutch said the boat was "hauled" by crew members on shore who walked along the shore of the man-made lake in Culver City where the COTTON BLOSSOM was kept and these laborers pulled the boat along with ropes or cables.

The COTTON BLOSSOM was used in other movies by MGM and rented by other studios as well. The other "prop" boat that deserves its own page is "Universal Studio's 'ENTERPRISE' Riverboat."

We have plenty of images of that boat that was built for "MISSISSIPPI GAMBLER," and it was featured in the TV series RIVERBOAT and in movies made by other studios such as Warner Bros. who rented it for movies such as "FOUR for TEXAS" with Sinatra and Dean Martin.

For the RIVERBOAT series a large scale model of the 'ENTERPRISE' was filmed for the "long" shots of the boat chugging along in the distance on a scale model "river." We have a composite that I made of frame captures of the scale model ENTERPRISE which includes frame captures of the full scale ENTERPRISE prop boat at the "wharf" on Universal's back lot lake.

That boat in the Tuscaloosa article was probably renamed COTTON BLOSSOM after it was converted from a towboat to an excursion boat for day trips Down South. The association with the "romance" of Ferber's novel, the stage musical and the movie adaptation have made the name COTTON BLOSSOM very nostalgic world-wide. Whoever wrote the article was either misinformed by someone connected with that sternwheeler or they looked up COTTON BLOSSOM on the internet and jumped to the conclusion that this was the same boat used in the 1951 MGM musical extravaganza SHOW BOAT. The MGM BLOSSOM wasn't designed to actually run on any body of water and 11 years ago Worlds of Fun amusement park at Kansas City, Missouri, demolished the MGM BLOSSOM, a sad fate for a beautiful artifact of old Hollywood.

Attached is another example of an artist referencing the image of the MGM COTTON BLOSSOM for use in an illustration. This is from a 1956 British edition of Twain's HUCK FINN by Walter Hodges. The steamboat in the upper part of the painting has the trademark twin curved staircases on the bow. The characters on the raft in the lower part of the painting are Huck Finn, the runaway slave Jim and the two con men who call themselves "The Duke" and "The Dauphin."

HuckFinnRaftShowboatWalterHodges1955REDUCEDforEXP copy
Editor's Final Note: As you can see, the details are quite complex. However, sometime I want to gather up all the photos we have of the MGM prop boat, the showboat, and this adorable sternwheeler, and make one big, slam-bang section for the Cotton Blossom. I will announce it on this page when that section is completed, but it could be a long time. Meanwhile, use the internal search engine at the bottom of the page to search for the far-flung Cotton Blossom images in our collections.

Delta Queen Restoration Complete—Needs Our Help for Exemption
March 30, 2016

On Monday, WRCB TV of Chattanooga reported:
"The restoration is now complete, the next goal is to secure the Congressional exemption, that the Delta Queen needs to run again. In order to do that, the Delta Queen is asking for the public's support."
Support the Delta Queen today! Call up your two US Senators and ask them to vote yes on S. 1717. Call up your US Representative and ask that they support HR 1248. Be polite and concise. Do not demand to speak to the operator's superior. Talk to whomever answers and express your love and concern for this American historic treasure. It will stimulate the economy and add genuine character to the American river cruise industry. Getting the boat back into service is the only way to save it.

More links: * * * * update in the Chattanooga Free Press - April 17 - delays and competing cruise line hostile lobbying

Workboat Conference April 22-24, 2016
March 21, 2016

Next month is the annual Workboat Maintenance and Repair Conference. Get your safety training, meet vendors, find out about new products, network, gossip, and stop reinventing the wheel! The conference will take place at the Morial Convention Center, New Orleans. Go to: Workboat Conference‐ for more information, and registration.

Steamboat Museum New Additions
March 19, 2016

We've added forty more illustrations, documents, and photos to the Dave Thomson Collection at Here are the new pages:

New categories:
Vessel Book
Illustrated Postcards
Photo Postcards

To see the whole Dave Thomson Collection: click here.

The Delta Queen Steamboat's Long Lost Sister
March 12, 2016
Story sent in by Norman Dumont

On Feb 25, 2016, at 5:20 AM, Norman Dumont wrote:

The Delta Queen has a Sister Ship !!!!
She is called the PS Ryde. Both were built in the exact same Shipyard. In Scotland.

I was reading about the: Medway Queen Preservation Society. The Medway Queen is a Paddle Sidewheeler exactly like the PS Ryde. They mentioned there that the PS Ryde still exists and then I noticed that both the Delta Queen and the Delta King were also built at the very same Shipyard, in Scotland.


Editor's Note: Thank you Norman for sending this information! It's always great to welcome more boats to the extended family!

Rabbit Hash General Store GoFundMe
February 16, 2016

Take this opportunity to help rebuild the Rabbit Hash General Store that was destroyed by fire. Chip in at

February 2016: Save the Delta Queen Month!
February 7, 2016

On Feb 7, 2016, at 6:28 PM, Jo Ann Schoen wrote:

The DELTA QUEEN needs an exemption from the SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea Act) so she can cruise, again, with more than fifty overnight passengers. House Bill HR 1248, and Senate Bill S 1717, extend her previous exemption until 2028. Both bills have to be approved by Congress.

EVERYONE needs to call, fax, or email their U. S. Senators and Representatives to Support these Congressional Bills. If you're on facebook, please SHARE on your Facebook page and encourage your friends to SHARE on their pages.

Let's make a concerted, joint effort to get Congress off dead-center and get the exemption out of committee and on the floor for a vote: Let's make February the "SAVE THE DELTA QUEEN" month! WE CAN DO IT!!!!!

Contact your Members of Congress using this link:

Even if you've contacted them before, contact them again. Even if your Representative or Senator is a co-sponsor, contact them and thank them and then ask them to try to get the bills moving to the floor for a vote. And be sure to ask all your friend, family and neighbors to make contact too.

Don't Delay! Do it Today!
Thank you for your continued devoted support.
Jo Ann Schoen

Editor's Note: Jo Ann, you have me running to my phone. Common everybody! And when you call, be concise and professional. Think about how polite you would be when giving somebody a slice of butter cake. Be just that kind no matter who you talk to. It's time to save the Delta Queen now, so let's go. Let's show some strength in numbers and what nice people we are, and how much we deserve this bit of mercy for a great national historic landmark.

Jo Ann also sent links to, where you can support the Delta Queen Steamboat! Go here, vote in the upper right corner, then write something and express your support:


The Delta Queen Steamboat, photo by Bill Muster. Happy Mardi Gras to all.

Sad Legacy of the Mississippi Queen
January 17, 2016

The saga of the death of a beautiful modern steamboat continues with the latest revelation: the Mississippi Queen contained asbestos, but was dismantled without necessary protocol. How did this happen? Most of us who loved the Queen didn't want her dismantled, and knew little about what she went through after Ambassador and Majestic went into bankruptcy. We knew our beloved boat was left to rot in Louisiana, then next thing we knew Youtube featured a video of a couple of good-old-boys tearing her limb from limb, and dancing on her tragedy-drenched decks.

To read more about her fate, read this Associated Press article ran in the Lexington Herald Leader yesterday: Woman pleads guilty to concealing Mississippi Queen asbestos and another article: The Mississippi Queen went from Ambassador/Majestic to another company that wanted to renovate it, but instead took it out of service. Then in October 2010 they sold her to a California company for scrap for $800,000. The scrap company tested for asbestos, but didn't disclose the presence of asbestos to Argosy Boat, the company that did the dismantling. Further, Argosy Boat had no prior experience in asbestos abatement and was not licensed for asbestos.

Those of us who loved the Mississippi Queen knew it was a major failing to take her out of service and let her rot in New Orleans. We knew it was a tragedy to dismantle the boat. Now we also know it was a crime.

New Illustrations and Photos at
January 15, 2016

The Dave Thomson Collection at now has seventy new images. Link to the new pages here: illustrations - p. 29 * illustrations - p. 30 * illustrations - p. 31 * waybills and documents p. 14 * photos p. 18.

Letter from the Past
January 7, 2016

On Dec 26, 2015, at 7:50 PM, Julie Ruth wrote:
I have a letter written by my Great Grandfather, Frank McCoy. Frank was a preacher who rode the riverboats from Columbus OH looking for work as a preacher. The letter is on Steamer Kanawha letterhead and dated 4/30/1905.


Editor's reply: What a find! That should be in a real museum!

Latest Delta Queen News
January 4, 2016

Here's an article about the Delta Queen that came out over the holidays:

Be sure to call your U.S. Senators to tell them you support the Delta Queen Steamboat!

Steamboat Rewards
January 4, 2016

Happy new year to the steamboat community. Because we love steamboats, we have a bright future. Dave Thomson and I discussed this quite thoroughly last year. He collects steamboat photos and other artifacts and I post them at the site. In our steamboat discussion he said: "Worshiper of steamboats perhaps? I think we're onto the key to a positive afterlife where steamboats are our reward and compensation for rough times we experienced for rough times we experienced on planet earth."

I second that! Meanwhile, we have steamboats in this world (even though it's harder to keep them here). But still, the steamboats are a preview of our rewards to help get through the rough times.

Time to Support the Delta Queen Steamboat
November 26, 2015

It's time to call your two US Senators and tell them you support the Delta Queen. Call and email them today, and tell them about S. 1717. You can read the bill here: S. 1717.

Mention the Delta Queen's role in fortifying economies and hearts in all the river towns along the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, and other Western Rivers. Also, emphasize the boat's safety systems: state-of-the-art sprinklers, on-board firemen, drills, and superstructure increasingly made of nonflammable materials (as provided in S. 1717). The "safety at sea" laws are meant for ocean-going vessels that could sink or require costly evacuations. The Delta Queen is always within a few yards of the shore. The Delta Queen is among the safest boats on the American waterways.

Find your two US Senators' contact info. here:

Christmas Cards to Senators: Save the Delta Queen
November 19, 2015

Here at we want to suggest a way to celebrate the season and save a beloved paddlewheel steamboat in the process. While you're writing your Christmas cards this year, make out two extras—send a card to each of your two U.S. Senators! Tell them how much you love the Delta Queen Steamboat and ask them to support S. 1717 to save the Delta Queen.


Card by Click the card to order. Use any cards you want, but here are some other sources for steamboat holiday cards: * * * Find your two U.S. Senator's names and addresses:

Seeking Information: Byrns Landing, Kentucky River
November 9, 2015

If you have any information, photos, or anything to help in this great project, write directly to Bill!

On Oct 30, 2015, at 12:15 PM, william worrell wrote:

Hello, I am trying to get some info concerning Byrns Landing on the KY. River. We want to open up this River boat Landing listed in the National Historic Registry.

Dennis Byrns fought in the War of 1812 and moved to Monterey, KY., became the wharf master of the second largest dock in KY at that time. Where would I find Info concerning him, The river boat "Monterey", etc.?

We are planning to open up Byrns Landing next May as a "primitive" campground. That is, log cabins w/ wood stoves, no electric. Dirt floor restaurant with wood fired ovens, stone ware pottery, everything done like it was 100 years ago. No wifi, etc. We are also looking to act as an actual River 'Landing" for goods moving on the KY. River. We want industrial hemp to be picked up by wood fired boats (like the African Queen), brought to Byrns landing, stored in the old barn (just like the old days) processed and then shipped down river. This could be made sustainable and reduce shipping costs. Ky dept. of transportation is concerned about big, bulky hemp farmers clogging the roads at harvest time. So how did the old timers move stuff—the river!!!

We can see a non profit foundation being set up to repair the site and perpetuate river transport, etc.

-Thanks, Bill
email Bill

City of Cincinnati Model Restored
October 9, 2015

Yet another paddlewheel boat model is now restored for the Cincinnati Museum. The project is a collaboration between the Museum, the Muster Foundation, and John Fryant. John sent these photos and explanation:

On Nov 2, 2015, at 2:58 PM, John Fryant wrote:

Hi Nori,

Here are three photos of the model of the City of Cincinnati that I have just completed refurbing for the Cincinnati Museum Center. The model was built by the late Charles Cason of Ft. Thomas Ky. Charlie passed away in 1993, I believe and this may have been the last model he completed. It is built to 1/96th scale and is made almost entirely of balsa wood. The model by itself measures about 44 in. long and 9 in. beam over all and weighs only 2 lbs. The first photo shows the model as I picked it up from the Museum Center's storage facility. The landing stage and its rigging had been broken up and there were several other pieces of loose rigging. Otherwise the model wasn't in bad shape. I touched up the paint, repaired a few broken pieces, made new flags and a new rudder and mounted the model on a nice base. The most extensive part of the job was replacing all of the stage rigging and the derrick boom. An acrylic case cover was made for the model by a seperate contractor.


The full-size City of Cincinnati was built at the Howard yard in 1899 with hull dimensions of 300' x 38' x 6'. She was one of the best proportioned sidewheelers and Charlie Cason captured her "Just right". She was teamed with her sister City of Louisville in the run between those two cities. Both boats were lost in the ice during the winter of 1917 - 1918.

I'm now working of Cason's model of the Island Queen II.
John Fryant



New 2016 Sternwheel Wall Calendar Available!
November 5, 2015

Back by popular demand, the 2016 calendar features early photos of sternwheel towboats. The calendar contains 13 large photos printed on heavy card stock, suitable for framing.


This calendar is our best yet, with higher quality images and added color throughout!

Each month features a specific boat along with its history, and a complete calendar page, with holidays marked. The boats featured for 2016 include:


The 2016 calendar marks our 15th year of wall calendar offerings!

Calendar Price: $15.95
Plus Shipping: $4.50 for one calendar.
(add $1 for each additional calendar)

Please mail check or money order to:
Draftware Inc.
158 Ashland Cove Road
Vevay, IN 47043

Online credit card ordering is available on our web site:

Below are images of the calendar's front and back covers:



Delta Queen Model Restored
September 22, 2015

Celebrated model builder John Fryant published an article about his restoration of a Delta Queen model for the Cincinnati Museum Center. The article appeared in the "Small Stacks" column of the S&D Reflector, Vol. 52, No. 3, September 2015. The project to restore the model was a collaborative effort between the Cincinnati Museum Center and the Bill Muster Foundation.

The Delta Queen is the first of a series of paddlewheel models John Fryant will restore for the Museum. The Muster Foundation and Cincinnati Museum Center started the project in June 2014, and hosted a luncheon for Delta Queen fans, including many from the Sons and Daughters of Pioneer Rivermen.

In his article, John describes the model's "before" condition, how he investigated its origins, and explains how he restored it. He also reflects on the timing of the model restoration. A few weeks after he completed the model, the actual Delta Queen sold to good people, who are currently restoring it to go back into the cruise business.

Click here for a pdf of the S&D article, click here for a searchable pdf. More links: the S&D Reflector website * the Cincinnati Museum Center * model boats section at this website * memories from the 2014 Cincinnati Museum Center party, when this project got started.

2016 Delta Queen Calendars are Ready!



John Weise writes: My new Delta Queen Calendar has been printed & is available for immediate shipment. The photos in this year's calendar were taken between 1998 & 2008.

The price of the calendar will remain $15 & shipping will remain $3 for those calendars that need to be mailed. Reduced Shipping possible for multiple orders shipped to the same address.

Please get your orders in & checks to me as soon as possible as last year a few people were too late as I sold out & the same number of calendars were printed this year.

John (email John Weise)

Delta Queen Steamboat Company Names Kimmswick as Homeport
September 11, 2015

The Delta Queen Steamboat Company has chosen Kimmswick, Missouri, just south of St. Louis, as its corporate headquarters and home port for the Delta Queen Steamboat. Our hearty congratulations to this historic river town, and to the DQSC.

News coverage: * * Maritime Matters * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * - editorial

Updated Delta Queen History Pages
September 10, 2015

Over the weekend we here at decided it was high time we fixed some links and updated some historical data. The Delta Queen Legislative and Corporate History Timeline is one of the pages we updated. The other section we tightened up was the Legislative and Corporate History From the Files of Bill N. Muster and Richard C. Simonton. The corporate history files catalog the vital documents from the fifties, sixties, and seventies, when Richard Simonton and Bill Muster ran Greene Line Steamers. It was the first exhibit at, when the site started in 1998. It's now easier to use, and more accessible. If you have any additions, corrections, or feedback, please send it in!*

Legislative and Corporate History - click here.
Legislative and Corporate History Timeline - click here.

2001 Logos (never before seen!)






Latest on the Steamer Columbia
September 2, 2016

The Steamer Columbia Foundation, a non-profit museum organization, acquired the Steamer Columbia for excursions on the river. The Columbia, a National Historic Landmark, is the older of two Bob-Lo boats, built in Wyandotte and Detroit in 1902.

They transformed the 114 year old steamboat into a floating show palace with eight hundred guests for music and dance. The four-day celebration featured twenty-five artists. They also unveiled a series of art posters commemorating Columbia's time in Buffalo. Artists Joel Brenden, White Bicycle, Jon Mirro, and Julian Montague designed works that were inspired by Columbia as a work of art and a technological marvel, and also by the rich history and maritime heritage of Buffalo. All proceeds from sales will be split with the artists.


The poster unveiling party, including music by Hudson Valley hip-hop artist Decora, took place at Lockhouse Distillery located on Columbia Street in Buffalo.

In recent weeks, the Columbia hosted VIP visitors including the daughter of a former captain of Columbia; maritime enthusiasts who shared memories of the Canadiana, the Frank Kirby-designed steamboat the took people from Buffalo to Crystal Beach amusement park; and supporters from New York City and the Hudson Valley. More tours will be offered in Spring 2017. All tours are free and open to the public.

Check the latest news here: Steamer Columbia. Museum Image Appears on Show Boat Programme
September 2, 2015

The Dave Thomson Collection at the online steamboat museum recently provided a steamboat image for the program of a live performance of the musical Show Boat. The production was by the College Amateur Operatic Society, and took place July 16-18, 2015 in London. Click to see the program and a photo of the stage: Show Boat in London.

Concert on the American Queen

Get your tickets now to see the Platters on the Steamboat American Queen in New Orleans, Saturday, September 5, 2015! Click here for more information.

Online Museum: New Waybills and Steamboat Documents
August 8, 2015

The Dave Thomson Collection now has twelve pages of steamboat documents, which include 161 images. If you've looked through these documents before, the new ones begin at the bottom of page six. If the waybill section is new to you, we invite you to look through all twelve pages.

To see Steamboat magazine covers, book covers, paintings, ads, posters, and other ephemera, look through the illustrations. You can find illustrations, photos, and a complete index to the Dave Thomson Collection at - click here.

Steamboat document exhibit at the museum: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12

New Photos of the President Sidewheeler from Readers
August 4, 2015

Last week, two old photos of the President Sidewheeler came in through email, both from different people. Click here to see the photos and learn more about the sad history. The much-beloved vessel is now lying in pieces in a salvage yard in Effingham, Illinois.

Senate Bill Amendment would Return Delta Queen to Cincinnati
July 31, 2015

If you live in Cincinnati, and want your riverboat back, a new amendment would do that. Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman added an amendment to their Save the Delta Queen bill that would name Cincinnati as the boat's home port. Read more: WLWT TV

In Search of Ralph Law Art
July 23, 2015

On Jul 23, 2015, at 12:34 PM, Erin Law wrote:

I am in search of Ralph Law paintings and sketches. He mainly did watercolors, but, I know that there are also sketches out there. Ralph is a relative of my husband and his family. It would mean the world to us to be put in contact with these paintings and sketches. If you know of anyone who would have these for sale, please let me know. The best way to contact me is through e-mail

erinlaw1982 - at -

Thanks so much for your help with this.

Kind Regards,
Erin Law

American Queen in High Water
July 20, 2015

Over the weekend, the news came in that the American Queen cannot go any higher on the Ohio River due to flooding in Kentucky. Here's a video posted this weekend of the American Queen passing under a bridge with inches to spare.

americanqueenhighwaters - American Queen passes under a bridge during high water.

Media coverage: American Queen Cancels Upper Mississippi Cruises, Travel Pulse * Flooding Causes American Queen, Queen of Mississippi to Skip Henderson Stops, * American Queen stop in La Crosse canceled,* American Queen Cancels Trips, * American Queen stop in La Crosse canceled, * American Queen stop in La Crosse canceled, * American Queen's visit to Hannibal today cancelled, * High water takes toll on riverboat dockings, Southeast Missourian * American Queen will not make July 22 Stop in Clinton-other Clinton stops not affected, * American Queen's visit to Hannibal today cancelled, * American Queen stop cancelled Wednesday, * the AMERICAN QUEEN and high water - * American Queen deals with high river levels, docks in Scott County - * American Queen deals with high river levels, docks in Scott County—KFVS * American Queen Steamboat cancels docking in Henderson,

New Delta Queen Legislation Now in House and Senate
July 13, 2015

Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman introduced S. 1717 on July 8 to exempt the Delta Queen from certain requirements for seagoing vessels, so it can once again operate on the inland waterways. Cosponsors include Senators Claire McCaskill (MO), John Boozman and Tom Cotton (AK), and David Vitter (LA). The new Senate bill 1717 is a companion to H.R. 1248 introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in March by Congressman Steve Chabot (OH).

The Delta Queen is currently undergoing renovations in Houma, Louisiana, to get ready for the cruise business.

Delta Queen Facebook page * * * * * Columbus Dispatch * * * * * (poll) * * * * *

Boat for Sale / Boat Model Restored
June 4, 2015

Big day at the News Desk. The first breaking news story is that a genuine small steamboat named Tinkerbelle is for sale for only $25,000. Click here to see the boat. Here's one of the photos:


The other great news is that John Fryant has completed the restoration of the Delta Queen Steamboat model for the Cincinnati Museum History Library and Archives. click here to see the model and learn something of what went into restoring it. Here's one of the photos:


Latest news on the Julia Belle Swain
June 1, 2015

The Julia Belle Swain has been in dry dock in Dubuque, undergoing reapairs, and the LaCrosse Tribune published a progress report. The article, "Belle of the River: The painstaking remaking of the Julia Belle Swain," links to a photo of the boat with the wheel removed. That always makes this steamboat lover nervous, but I trust that they will put everything back together, and it will all turn out great. Prior to this renovation, the Julia Belle was out of use for some years.

Julia Belle Swain, 1997

Here's a 2007 photo of the Julia Belle Swain, by Dave Thomson, taken in her last season before going out of service.

From the Fred Way Directory: "This delightful excursion boat was planned and built by Capt. Dennis Trone [in 1971] and was christened by Julia Belle Swain Shelton [daughter of Capt. Percy Swain] for whom the original [1913] boat of the name was called . . . The grace and charm of the boat has made her familiar to TV viewers as she appears in movies and commercials."

The Painstaking Remaking -
Link here for more about the Julia Belle Swain at this site!


You can Support the Delta Queen through a Donation!
Donate now:

Watch a news spot on the Delta Queen: KATC TV, Houma, Louisiana.

Congratulations to the Belle of Louisville in the Steamboat Race
May 3, 2015

Congratulations to the Belle of Louisville for her victory in the Kentucky Derby Festival's Great Steamboat Race on April 29. The historic steamboat competed against the diesel powered Belle of Cincinnati. Our best wishes to both boats!

The Kentucky Derby website ( lists the winning boats, going back to its first race in 1963:
1963–Delta Queen
1964–Belle of Louisville
1965–Delta Queen
1966–Delta Queen
1967–No race (due to high water)
1968–Delta Queen
1969–Belle of Louisville
1970–Belle of Louisville
1971–Belle of Louisville (by default)
1972–Belle of Louisville
1973–Delta Queen
1974–Delta Queen
1975–Belle of Louisville
1976–Julia Belle Swain (from Peoria, Illinois)
1977–Delta Queen
1978–Delta Queen
1979–Belle of Louisville
1980–Belle of Louisville (by default)
1981–Belle of Louisville
1982–Natchez (from New Orleans, Louisiana)
1983–Belle of Louisville
1984–Delta Queen
1985–Delta Queen
1986–Delta Queen
1987–Belle of Louisville
1988–Belle of Louisville
1989–Delta Queen
1990–Delta Queen
1991–Belle of Louisville
1992–Delta Queen
1993–Belle of Louisville
1994–Delta Queen
1995–Belle of Louisville
1996–Belle of Louisville
1997–Delta Queen
1998–Belle of Louisville
1999–Spirit of Jefferson (racing for the side-lined Belle)
2000–Belle of Louisville
2001–Delta Queen
2002–Belle of Louisville
2003–Delta Queen
2004–Belle of Louisville
2005–Belle of Louisville
2006–Delta Queen
2007–Belle of Louisville
2008–Delta Queen
2009–Belle of Louisville
2010–Belle of Cincinnati
2011–Belle of Louisville
2012–Belle of Louisville
2013–Belle of Cincinnati
2014–Belle of Louisville
And this year's winner: the Belle of Louisville!


Newly Restored Steamboat Museum Exhibit
April 28, 2015

The Keith Norrington River Room Exhibit is back online after months in the basement workshop. The exhibit was spread out over about twelve pages, which was the style at the time when we only had dial-up. Now that everything downloads much faster on wi-fi it's all on two pages. Visit the Norrington Exhibit today! Link to it here! To get to the Howard Steamboat Museum, drive to Jeffersonville, Indiana, or click here.

Delta Queen Arrives Houma, Louisiana Today
April 7, 2015


This is a screen capture of an announcement from the official Delta Queen Steamboat Company (DQSC LLC) Facebook page, April 6. Also from DQSC FB page, April 7:

UPDATE: The captain of the JW HERRON has decided to hold up for the evening so that we can assure the safest passage for the DELTA QUEEN tomorrow through the narrow Intercoastal Waterway. This will provide the opportunity to the people along her final few miles to see her pass in daylight. She'll pass by Larose, LA midday and arrive in Houma, LA between 2:00 and 5:00 pm [April 7, 2015]. She will be docked off of Industrial Ave in Houma, LA. Please keep watching our Facebook page in the coming months as we will continue to bring you all of the action from the decks of America's favorite steamboat!

Twenty Year Anniversary of the American Queen

The amazing American Queen Steamboat celebrates twenty years this year. Festivities will take place all day June 12, in Helena, Arkansas. See:

Although American Queen was out of service for a couple years, the Coast Guard took good care of her in a mothball fleet in Texas. To learn more, link to the American Queen page at this site - click here for more photos and stories about the American Queen. More news about the American Queen: UK interest in Mississippi River Travel * UK interest. * on summer tourism * Alton Daily News on summer tourism * 5-26-2015 * 6-11-2015 * * * * * * * * - AQ in Paducah for 4th of July * * - AQ 20th anniversary * - summer travel * - AQ review


Photo by John Weise.

Delta Queen Leaves Chattanooga Today
March 22, 2015

This afternoon, the Delta Queen will leave Chattanooga, with her fans and well-wishers following after her aboard the Southern Belle. It's a new beginning for the Delta Queen, which is on the way to a ship yard on the lower Mississippi River. The Delta Queen will return to the cruise business next year.

deltaqueen southernbelle 2015-03-23 at 6.52.21 AM

The Southern Belle follows the Delta Queen as she departs Chattanooga. Screenshot from Youtube video by Jasminne. Other media coverage: DQSC, LLC Facebook: * Associated Press * Southeast Missourian * Youtube video by Nathan Chubbuck * misinformed blog post / facts thrown to the wind * Youtube video by Kyra Dobler * Chattanooga Bystander * Vimeo video montage from Chattanooga Times Free Press * Discus blog * editorial * * Associated Press * Chattanoogan * WRCB TV * forums * * Tuscaloosa News * Pintrist - a purdy picture * * Youtube - Cornel Martin interview + footage * Youtube - Channel Nine news report * Youtube - the Driving Blogger - 24 minutes * Youtube - by Beaver Vision - 24 minutes * * * * (mentions) * (mentions) * (the new official website) * * * * * * * (brief mention) * * * * * * KATC TV * *

Delta Queen Begins Her New Life on Sunday
March 18, 2015

This Sunday March 22, the Delta Queen Steamboat will leave Chattanooga, her host city since 2009. After a full renovation, she will go back to work in the riverboat cruise business. Her arrival is anticipated for 2016. Her presence on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers will bring new authenticity to the rapidly expanding river cruise business. She will be a welcomed addition to the American waterways, beloved by passengers and all who see her from the shore, or from other vessels.

Here's a news clip about the anticipated farewell to take place in Chattanooga this Sunday: Another article about the historic send-off planned for Sunday: Follow the Delta Queen down the river on the Southern Belle, departing Chattanooga at 2:30 p.m., returning at 6 p.m. The Delta Queen will continue down the Mississippi River to a boat yard in the New Orleans area.

A New Model of the Delta Queen
March 12, 2015

Here's a video with a series of still photos showing the detail and amazing accuracy of Bill Johnk's new model: Dropbox Video Enjoy.


Tracking H.R. 1248 in the House of Representatives
March 10, 2015

H.R.1248 - To amend title 46, United States Code, to exempt old vessels that only operate within inland waterways from the fire-retardant materials requirement if the owners of such vessels make annual structural alterations to at least 10 percent of the areas of the vessels that are not constructed of fire-retardant materials.
Sponsor: Rep Chabot, Steve [OH-1] (introduced 3/4/2015) Cosponsors (13)
Committees: House Transportation and Infrastructure
Latest Major Action: 3/4/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
Rep Clay, Wm. Lacy [MO-1] - 3/4/2015
Rep Cohen, Steve [TN-9] - 3/4/2015
Rep Gibbs, Bob [OH-7] - 3/4/2015
Rep Johnson, Bill [OH-6] - 3/4/2015
Rep Joyce, David P. [OH-14] - 3/4/2015
Rep Latta, Robert E. [OH-5] - 3/4/2015
Rep Massie, Thomas [KY-4] - 3/4/2015
Rep McKinley, David B. [WV-1] - 3/4/2015
Rep Renacci, James B. [OH-16] - 3/4/2015
Rep Stivers, Steve [OH-15] - 3/4/2015
Rep Tiberi, Patrick J. [OH-12] - 3/4/2015
Rep Wenstrup, Brad R. [OH-2] - 3/4/2015
Rep Whitfield, Ed [KY-1] - 3/4/2015


The Delta Queen in Chattanooga, after a February snowfall. Photo by Mark A Herndon - Lasting Vision Studio - Chattanooga. Visit the Delta Queen Steamboat Company online: Delta Queen Steamboat at

Exhibits Updated at the Dave Thomson Collection
March 9, 2015

The main wing of the online Museum, the Dave Thomson Collection, now has an additional ninety images. New parts of the collection include a special exhibit on the Becky Thatcher and steamboat illustrator Deal Cornwell. We invite you to visit the Dave Thomson Collection and look for the new jpgs. Click here to go to the Dave Thomson Collection at

Model Looking for New Owner
March 5, 2015

On Mar 5, 2015, at 5:44 AM, Ty B wrote:

Hello, I have a question. I have acquired a model that I have questions about. 1st its made of matchsticks. And a whole lot of them. Also a letter typed "with a typewriter" confirms model built 1970's around fort madison, ia. I believe he built it while in prison. Any helpful thoughts as too what it replicated, approx value, good place to try and find a good owner.

Its over 3ft tall and 40" long. With the original letter from the builder and the story behind it. Each room has furniture light etc. in it. You can see by looking in each window. The captains area has handcarved furniture ect.



Editor's note: William is looking for a selling price in the hundreds. If you are interested in this unique steamboat model, contact We will put you in contact with William.

Save the Delta Queen Bill: H.R. 1248
Bill introduced: March 4, 2015

Statement by the Delta Queen Steamboat Company (DQSC LLC):

We are thrilled to announce that long time advocate of the DELTA QUEEN, Congressman Steve Chabot of Cincinnati, OH, has introduced new legislation in support of getting the historic vessel back on the rivers where she belongs! Please contact your Congressional Representatives urging them to co-sponsor House Bill H.R. 1248! Thanks for your support, and LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!

Editor's note: For the latest news on the Delta Queen go to the official Delta Queen Facebook page - click here and "like" this page.
Media coverage: * * (opinion) *


dqsc logo 2015-02-18 at 11.58.19 AM

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Feb. 16, 2015)—DQSC, LLC (dba The Delta Queen Steamboat Company) a Delaware limited liability company, Tuesday completed the purchase of the Legendary Steamboat Delta Queen from TAC Cruise, LLC (aka Xanterra Cruise, LLC) a Delaware limited liability company.

The legendary Delta Queen began service as an overnight passenger vessel in 1927, carrying passengers, cargo and automobiles between Sacramento, Calif. and San Francisco, Calif. After a brief period of service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, the vessel was sold as war surplus to Captain Tom Greene, owner of the Greene Line Steamers of Cincinnati, Ohio. From 1946 to 2008, the Delta Queen operated as an overnight cruise vessel along many of the prominent river and waterways running through America's heartland, including the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland and Arkansas Rivers. Later on, the vessel operated as a dockside hotel in Chattanooga, Tenn. from 2009 until 2014.

"My partners and I are thrilled to be taking this critical first step toward the preservation and restoration of this important piece of American and river history," said Cornel Martin, President and CEO of Delta Queen Steamboat Company. "We look forward to the day when the Delta Queen will once again be able to ply America's waterways and allow passengers to relive the experiences of Mark Twain and his unique cast of river characters from the decks of a true 1927 steamboat."

The Delta Queen is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is classified as a National Historic Landmark. The steamboat has also recently been designated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as a National Treasure.

"Our goal is to have the Delta Queen return to cruising America's waterways in 2016 following extensive mechanical and hotel renovations," said Martin.

For more information, visit the Delta Queen on Facebook.

# # #

About Delta Queen Steamboat Company

The Delta Queen Steamboat Company was founded in 1890 and originally known as The Greene Line. The company's name changed in 1974. The company is made up of several long-time supporters of the Delta Queen steamboat. The mission of the company is to preserve, restore and return the legendary Delta Queen to overnight cruise service through the inland rivers of America's heartland.

Editor's note: we support DQSC, LLC, and their stewardship and ownership of the historic Delta Queen Steamboat. Following is a collection of media reports: * * * * Railway Preservation News * * * * * * * * Twitter page * Mississippi Delta Grassroots Caucus * The Rural Blog * * * * * * John G. Whitacre * (editorial) * * * *

Looking for Information on the Neosho

On Feb 19, 2015, at 8:34 AM, TKN Tony wrote:

I found this tag 2 days ago in Needles Calif with a metal detector. Needles is located next to the Colorado River which had steamboats traveling up and down in the 1800s and early 1900s. I've been searching for a steamboat by the name "NEOSHO" and have been unable to find any information. Wickipedia definition of "NEOSHO" is "clear water".. I would appreciate any info you could give me or guidance to this information.

So far the only results i've come up with is a military vessel of civil war era—that i believe went up and down the Mississipi river-but could easily be a later vessel of the same name. I have found other relics in this same area that do date to the 1860s.. Attached is a photo of the tag i found—tag measures 1.75 in across. —Tony Grazul


Editor's Note: if you have any info., please send it in, and I will forward it to Tony.

Steamboat River Queen, by Kinkade Studios


This beautiful Kinkade steamboat sailed in and landed in my inbox today. It's painted by Thomas Kinkade Studios, featuring Zac Kinkade (nephew of Thomas Kinkade). For more information about this painting, and how to buy a print, link to the brochure—click here.

Many thanks to Tommy & Tammy Ashker, owners of the Thomas Kinkade Inspiration Art Gallery, Memphis, for sending in this magnificent new painting.

Seeking Historic Information on Steamship Elizabeth Fedora

Editor's Note: Mr. C.B. Lewis contacted me in 2003 and 2005 to find information about his steamboat ancestor. He is now seeking information about the Steamship Elizabeth Fedora. If anyone has something to share, please send it in! I will forward it to him!

On Feb 1, 2015, at 10:03 AM, c.b.lewis wrote:

My great-grandfather was a riverboat captain named David E. Brown. His brother owned a steamship co. out of Bayou Sara, La. (his name was John Jackson Brown). David's steamship sunk near Cleveland, N.C. about 1876. He swam to shore but died of Pneumonia. I had seen an article somewhere of the Steamship Elizabeth Fedora going to Alaska. David Brown's wife was Elizabeth Fedora Horner. Any info. would be greatly appreciated.

As a teenager, I worked at a gas station in Baton Rouge, La. for Mr. Orie D. Stallions. He was a steamboat captain and his chief engineer worked with us also. Mr. Stallions was the youngest captain on the river. He had captained the Sprague. Heard many stories about Paducah and Cairo..etc........C.B. Lewis

Bayou Belle Sternwheeler Photos Wanted
On Jan 15, 2015, at 9:14 PM, M.W. wrote:

Hi I am looking for any information on the Bayou Belle Sternwheeler restaurant that was dock on St. Charles Rock Road in St. Louis or Bridgeton Mo. It burned down in the late 70's or early 80's.

Editor's Note: If you have a photo of the boat, please send it in! I will make sure it gets to Melissa. Following are the only two photos she has:



Delta Queen Life Preserver
January 7, 2015


Here at, we are just sitting around, waiting to hear the good news that Congress has a new bill to save the Delta Queen on the docket. Meanwhile, reader Carla A. sends in this photo. This item is currently available at an antique shop in Northern California, so if you want it, contact us immediately. Carla said she doesn't have anywhere to put it, but maybe you do!! Please join us in waiting with optimistic expectation to hear any good news on a new save the Delta Queen bill.

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