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Lots of photos from the 1920's

Posted 03-28-2012 at 10:08 PM by Lance King
I have recently acquired a photo album that belonged to my great grandmother of Natchez, MS. I come from a long line of riverboat captains and it appears they liked taking lots of pictures of riverboats. There are also pictures of the 1927 flood, I think mostly on the Yazoo River. Most of the photos are in really good shape. Anyway, I am planning on scanning them and was wondering if there is an ideal place for me to post them. Should I just add them here to my blog section? Perhaps many of you can even identify the boats. There is a great one with 5 boats in the shot. It is very clear, but the writing is so small. One boat has "US Lily", one has "Leader", one has "Grey ...something", one has "East St. Louis something Cape something" and one facing the photographer.

My great grandfather purchased "Lil Rufus" and ferried people between Natchez and Vidalia. Is anyone familiar with that boat? I've got pics of it and "Sheldon" on the Yazoo. And quite a few shots of docks.

Thanks for your time,
Total Comments 10



Looking forward to seeing your photos. You probably are aware of the book, done by Tom and Joan Gandy, of wonderful images made from glass plate negatives featuring Natchez and regional scenes. The softcover book, entitled The Mississippi Steamboat Era in Historic Photographs - Natchez to New Orleans 1870-1920, was published by Dover in 1987. It is a BIG seller in our gift shop here at the Howard Steamboat Museum and is also available from Amazon and on Ebay. The LITTLE RUFUS is pictured on the cover. There are many other superb pictures, including the GREY EAGLE, CAPE GIRARDEAU, J.M. WHITE, etc. Also included are numerous scenes taken on board steamboats, people, plantation homes, Natchez Under-the-Hill, etc.

Keith Norrington, Curator
Howard Steamboat Museum
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Posted 03-29-2012 at 09:34 AM by Keith Norrington Keith Norrington is offline
I don't know the technicalities of posting pictures on the blog, but on the board you can post 3 per message. Franz has an album setup somewhere... that might be the best place to post multiple pictures. But if you do go that route, announce it on the .org board itself so we'll know to look for it.
Posted 03-29-2012 at 04:08 PM by Judy Patsch Judy Patsch is offline
I am not familiar with that book, but I think I have the original photo that is used for the cover. And from what I saw on Amazon, I may have more originals that were used in that book. After you responded with those boat names, I got my magnifying glass out and sure enough, the boats in the photo match the names you mentioned. I'll try to get some photos uploaded this weekend. And I'll purchase the book. The author's may have visited my grandmother to get those photos. My grandmother (Louise McNeely Burns) was the curator of Longwood in Natchez for 29 years and I spent all my summers and Christmases there.

Thanks for the reco. I'll find somewhere to get them uploaded.
Posted 03-30-2012 at 12:50 PM by Lance King Lance King is offline
Lance: Dr. Gandy purchased many boxes of glass plates and celluloid negatives from the widow of Mr. Norman, who was a longtime photographer in Natchez. I think the entire collection is now housed at the Louisiana State Archives. Interesting that your grandmother was curator of Longwood, which has long been one of my favorite Natchez houses. I absolutely love Natchez and visit frequently. Did someone in your family write a book entitled "Papa, The River and Me", about the ferry at Natchez? So glad you are posting on this forum! Thanks!
Posted 03-30-2012 at 01:53 PM by Keith Norrington Keith Norrington is offline
Yes, my great grand uncle, Blake McNeely, wrote that book. I thought I had a copy, but cannot find it now. I know my mom has one.

Perhaps I saw that cover photo somewhere else, because I certainly don't see the picture for it. But I have plenty more that I'll try to get uploaded over time.

So I found that I can create an album and I posted 2 pictures. But this site is not easy to navigate and I'm not sure if they are available to the public. Can you let me know if you can see my album?
Posted 03-31-2012 at 03:56 PM by Lance King Lance King is offline
So I bought the book that you mentioned above. I was very surprised to see that one of the photos is exactly one that I posted in my online album. You can see that my photo is wider than the one in the book and includes another tiny boat whose name I just can't quite make out. My other boat picture must be from the same day and shows the Oleander docked behind the Lily.

Then even more surprises. As you mentioned, the photos came from negatives provided by the widow of Mr. Norman. Well I believe my great grandfather was friends of Mr. Norman. I just uploaded another group photo that seems to be from a wedding (it is with a group of other photos that make me think that). In that photo, in the center, it is labeled as Carl Norman. My great grandfather, Robert Hall McNeely is the man on the left. There are lots of photos that I'll get uploaded eventually, I've just got a big project deadline I'm working on so it is slowing me down. I also have a photo album from the 1880's that has some photos taken at a Norman Photography Shop in Natchez. That album is all people and unfortunately, most do not have a name.

I got started on all this because I got hooked on So I've been sharing photos there as well and it has helped me to identify some of the people.

Oh, and another thing. In that book I saw a picture of the Betsy Ann. My great grandfather built a model of it and a model of the Sprague. He did this in the 1950's. I have the Sprague, but the Betsy Ann was sold at an auction. My plan is to donate the Sprague to a photo museum in Natchez once I get a case built for it.

Thanks again for the information you have provided.
Posted 04-12-2012 at 08:43 PM by Lance King Lance King is offline
I just noticed that on page 106 of that book it mentions the Senator Cordill. I happen to have 2 photos of that boat next to a sunken boat that says "Concordia" on the back. It appears to be rescuing people from the Concordia. I uploaded them to my photo album.
Posted 04-12-2012 at 09:44 PM by Lance King Lance King is offline


Hi Lance! Glad you now have the Gandy book and found some of your photos within! Also interesting to note your great grandfather built models of the BETSY ANN and SPRAGUE. As you well know, the BETSY was built for the Learned family at Natchez and her roof bell now reposes in the courtyard of Stanton Hall. I'm sure that a Natchez museum will be pleased to receive the SPRAGUE model. I've always thought that there needed to be a riverboat museum at Natchez or St. Francsville and have considered moving there and starting one. We have three models of her at the Howard Steamboat Museum!

Great photos! The SENATOR CORDILL was a Howard built boat. In my personal collection I have a stateroom key and a cabin arch finial from her.

Thanks and keep in touch!
Posted 04-12-2012 at 10:03 PM by Keith Norrington Keith Norrington is offline
Lance, I'm new to this group, have you posted the photos you talk about? I wonder if there would be anything on the "New Lotus" It worked the Mississippi from Baton Rouge to Plaqumine then into the Atchafalaya River.
Posted 07-23-2012 at 08:21 PM by john love john love is offline
So, I'm looking for the photos! :) I love 20s, what an amazing period! Can't wait to see them


play scrabble
Posted 08-17-2012 at 03:26 AM by Waters Brittney Waters Brittney is offline
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