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Alter Barge Line

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Old 07-16-2008, 04:59 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Rock Island, Illinois mile 480 UMR
Posts: 3,865
Default Alter Barge Line

This company was brought up in another thread so I thought I'd give a little more information about it. Alter Co. started out as a scrap metal business in the Iowa QuadCities. After using other towing companies to haul their scrap for a while, they decided to start their own towing business in 1960. Their first boat was the former MV KEYSTONE, built in 1945 by Dravo. It was renamed the FRANK R. ALTER and given the now well-known yellow trim used on all the Alter boats. Through the years they have kept the tradition of naming boats after family members. After a few years of hauling coal upriver and scrap metal down, they expanded into taking grain down to New Orleans. In 1991, Steamboat Development Company began operating the gambling boats DIAMOND LADY and EMERALD LADY in Iowa. Steamboat was headed by Bernie Goldstein, longtime head of Alter Companies. That business has expanded into the Isle of Capri and Lady Luck gambling boat brands. So Alter's presence on the waterways is still strong: in scrap metal, in the Barge Line, and in the casino business. Alter has always been a good corporate citizen in the Quad Cities and has donated towboat trips for fundraisers for many years. Back in the 1980s, a trip for four went to a $600 bid at a St. Ambrose University silent auction. Most of this info comes from a very interesting book written by Bernie Goldstein, NAVIGATING THE CENTURY: A personal account of Alter Company's first hundred years. Copyright 1998
ISBN 1-882771-02-8
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