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wedjones 02-12-2009 12:59 AM

The Queen Takes Residence in Chattanooga
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Chattanooga, Feb. 11, 2009 - The Delta Queen steamed up the Tennessee River arriving in Chattanooga at 12:30 p.m. today to what could only be described as an unexpectedly small crowd. I was surprised that there weren’t any banners or other signs of welcome from the city. The Delta Queen’s own calliope provided the only fanfare for her arrival. A crowd of approximately 175 well wishers, city, county and state dignitaries and many members were greeted by Harry Phillips as they crossed the stage onto the boat. The Queen was open to all for approximately one half hour after her arrival with access to the staterooms, cabins, lounges, pilot house and engine room.

Co-owner Sidney Sloane also greeted the group as did Bill Wiemuth and Toots Maloy, well- known Riverlorians. Bill also played the calliope to the delight of everyone on board. A few of the guests took a turn including one duet. Inside, the great lady was in very good condition and showed the care of many loving hands of the volunteers who rode her in from New Orleans, getting her ready for this next phase in her long life. Everyone was entertained with live banjo music and light refreshments.

The 100 invited guests and press members cruised for 45 minutes downstream and back. As the boat turned back for Ross Landing, the wind kicked up along with a rain storm, keeping the roof Captain John Dugger and deckhands quite busy.

After the cruise, I had lunch with the daughters, Sally Muse and Carolyn May, and grandchildren, Lisa and Bill Holmes, of Fred Barrows, who served as Chief Engineer of the Avalon and the Delta Queen. They reminisced about their dad and the Delta Queen, and stories of riverboat experiences and river people past were told with great relish. One story was of particular interest regarding the recent visits by Ma Greene to the Delta Queen, removing light bulbs from their sockets soon after they are replaced.

As no one wore name tags, it was difficult to spot members of SBDO but I did meet Suzanne Martinez and one or two others who said they visit on occaision. The charm of the Delta Queen and the river lifestyle have this wonderful ability to bring so many diverse people together and have in large part motivated the success and camaraderie of

Around 3:30 pm, the Delta Queen began her trip across the river to her new berth. She is moored in a beautiful park surrounded by an upscale shopping district with many foot and bike paths. Possibly due to the very high winds, her final docking appeared difficult and took a couple of hours to complete. It was reported that in mid-April, the Delta Queen will begin her service as a boutique hotel to the visitors of Chattanooga.

As I departed the levee, the sun came out and bathed the Queen in a beautiful afternoon glow. I spotted Sally Muse, sobbing openly. We discussed how much better off the Queen is in caring hands than tied to a wharf, unsupervised and uncared for. She would not be dissuaded from her melancholy farewell.

Long Live the Queen.

I have posted 90 pictures of the day's activities at:

[url=]Delta Queen, Constellation Photo Services[/url]

Or paste this address into your browser:

Thanks to Andrea Adkins for assistance with the pictures and article.

Attached pictures: 1) Arrival 2) Docking Downtown to Board Guests 3) In Her New Berth

Judy Patsch 02-12-2009 09:46 AM

Timely and thorough levee report
Thanks Ed for your very timely report on the DQ's arrival, and especially for all the pictures. I had noticed in the newspaper's online picture last night that there wasn't much of a crowd there. I assume the bad weather and the fact that it was a weekday afternoon had something to do with that.
Today's Chattanooga newspaper has a video and audios by Bill Wiemuth and Toots Maloy.. of course with this dialup I haven't had a chance to view/listen yet.
[url=]Chattanooga Times Free Press | Home Page[/url]

wedjones 02-12-2009 11:13 AM

The weather was not a factor at the time of arrival, although it was reported to rain in the afternoon.

There was good media coverage. Here is a great slide show from the local newspaper.

[url=]Chattanooga Times Free Press | Delta Queen[/url]

David Dewey 02-12-2009 12:14 PM

I notice no "Save the DQ" banners on the railings. Guess I'm not surprised. Many newspapers have reported this as the "last cruise" which does not help our cause at all!
David-not throwing the towel in yet-Dewey

Lexie Palmore 02-12-2009 04:27 PM

Boutique?! What is a "boutique hotel"? That's a new one on me. Does that mean it has cutsey little tiny rooms which are ever so chic. Oh, how I wish I was headed in that direction. Lexie - also not throwing in the towel yet.

Bruno Krause 02-12-2009 07:48 PM

Picture #72 of the below?

[url=]Constellation Photo Services : photos : The Delta Queen Takes Residence in Chattanooga- powered by SmugMug[/url]

Hot Dam... to see all the steam gauges back in place, so shiny, and my friend so very happy. God speed to both my animate and inanimate friends in this picture...

Bruno Krause 02-12-2009 07:57 PM

Okay...the Legendary One is now mored semi-permanently bow toward downstream???


Paul Penta 02-13-2009 05:15 AM

[QUOTE=Bruno Krause;15734]Okay...the Legendary One is now mored semi-permanently bow toward downstream???


Brings a question to my non-technical, banjo player mind.....

Would there be any need at all to turn her around occasionally to weather evenly? I know the USS Constitution gets turned once a year in Boston Harbor for that reason.


Pat Traynor 02-13-2009 07:44 AM

That's a very valid point, Paul. So is Bruno's mention of how she is tied up. Captain Mike expressed his concern to me about this, but felt it was not his place to give advice. Isn't that why the GORDON C GREENE sank - because she was tied up wrong?

Keith Norrington 02-13-2009 08:11 AM

3 Attachment(s)
Pat: The RIVER QUEEN (GORDON C. GREENE) sank in 1967 because her hull was in deplorable condition and received no attention. As has been discussed on this forum in recent years, TOO MANY old steamboats used as restaurants and museums have met their demise because of owners who paid no heed to maintenance BELOW the waterline!

Despite protests by professional river people, a St. Louis city ordinance decrees that all permanently moored vessels at the levee must be moored with head downstream. Ruth Ferris told me that, on the Str. BECKY THATCHER, the fire marshall also ordered another stairway be built down through the engine room for an emergency exit from the restaurant on the boiler deck. Ruth never liked the BECKY being turned downstream and said she noticed the boat having much more motion than when she was moored facing upstream towards the Eads Bridge.

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