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Old 12-03-2007, 11:09 AM
Keith Norrington Keith Norrington is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: On the "Beautiful Ohio" at New Albany, Indiana, opposite Louisville, Kentucky
Posts: 2,078

For years I've heard ABOUT the late Benton Roblee Duhme's tape recounting his "salvaging safari" by boat to rescue relics from the RIVER QUEEN, but I've never heard the actual tape. One of the artifacts Benton liberated was the engineroom telegraph. The tall pilot's chair, a fixture on the boat since her days as the CAPE GIRARDEAU, fell through the pilothouse door as the boat listed and floated downstream to the BECKY THATCHER, where it was fished out of the river to become an exhibit in Ruth Ferris' Midship Museum. Benton rescued the large cushion and later presented it to Ruth. The dilapidated chair was last seen aboard the GOLDENROD SHOWBOAT in the 1970's.

Attached is another dramatic and sad photo of the RQ, showing the collapsing stacks. The building (with three contiguous windows) seen over the roof of the pilothouse is the old Eagle Boat Store building, which was converted into a bar called "The Old St. Louis Levee House", owned by Frank C. Pierson, who also operated the GOLDENROD SHOWBOAT and Str. BECKY THATCHER. The St. Louis Ragtimers often performed there, as did pianist/singer Jean Kittrell and other entertainers. The building burned in March, 1972 and was razed. The color picture was taken when the RIVER QUEEN was at Hannibal. A portion of the pilot's chair is visible. The elderly gentleman is Mr. Ernest Reynolds Warren, who was curator/guide on the boat for many years at her various locations and who built a number of steamboat models for the museum on board.
Attached Thumbnails
40 Years Ago - River Queen Sinking at St. Louis-river-queen-b-w-4.jpg   40 Years Ago - River Queen Sinking at St. Louis-river-queen-pilothouse-ernest-reynolds-warren.jpg  

Last edited by Keith Norrington; 12-04-2007 at 10:21 AM.
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