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Bill Judd 03-23-2009 12:46 PM

Dubuque Boats
Back on 2-18-09 Travis started a thread on Dubuque built boats with pitman drive. Some discussion was had on the COPY CAT which was bigger than the usual Dubuque boat. I've been "stewing" on that subject for a month and now remember there was a sister ship to COPY CAT called the GOLDEN ARROW. Anybody have info on that boat and where it might be now?

Keith Norrington 03-23-2009 01:23 PM

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If you're referring to the little split wheel GOLDEN ARROW, she was built at Dubuque in 1964, 87' x 24', very plush and owned by a group of St. Louis businessmen (as a bicentennial gesture to the city), one of whom was the late Chapin S. Newhard. Her landing was near the south leg of the Gateway Arch. Ruth Ferris once told me about being invited for a harbor cruise, by Mr. Newhard, one day while she was curator of the riverboat museum aboard the Str. BECKY THATCHER at the St. Louis levee. She said the boat was immaculate, comfortably air conditioned, furnished with beautiful antiques and that "stiff" drinks were served (by a white coated bartender) followed by an elegant, catered luncheon. Ruth thought it unusual that a typewriter was kept in the pilothouse upon which the uniformed captain, who was employed full time at the beck and call of the owners, typed the log.

The GOLDEN ARROW must have been purchased by Streckfus, for she was tied up behind the wharfboat next to the ADMIRAL for some time. In the summer of 1976, I saw the GOLDEN ARROW at St. Petersburg, Florida, serving as the ticket office and wharfboat for the TOM SAWYER, which was running excursions there. Later, the little boat was back at St. Louis, but I have no idea what became of her after that. Attached is a snapshot of her, taken in 1968 at St. Louis by the late Capt. Roy L. Barkhau, who was on the staff of[I] The Waterways Journal[/I]. Also, a 1965 view of her in front of the newly completed Gateway Arch with the now gone steam sternwheel Army Corps of Engineers dredge SAINTE GENEVIEVE in the background. I'll see what else I can find in the way of photos to share.

Keith Norrington 03-24-2009 06:45 AM

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Herewith are some photos from my archives of the GOLDEN ARROW.

(1.) A 1964 artist's rendering of the boat at the Eads Bridge. (2.) At the St. Louis Levee in 1968. (3.) At West Alton, Missouri (Upper Mississippi River Mile 204.3) on September 21, 1969, "racing" the COPY CAT for a film crew at the Harbor Point Marina. Photo by William V. Torner. The old boat which shows at the left is the former Str. MAMIE S. BARRETT / PENNIMAN, which was part of the marina for many years (renamed PIASA) and is now high and dry in a cutoff at Deer Park, Louisiana.

Keith Norrington 03-24-2009 06:54 AM

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MORE images of the GOLDEN ARROW.

(1.) At her St. Louis landing in June, 1969 with the minesweeper USS INAUGURAL in the background. The minesweeper was long a tourist attraction on the waterfront and sank during the big flood of 1993. (2.) At the stern of the Streckfus wharfboat in 1978. (3.) A model of the GOLDEN ARROW on display in the Midship Museum aboard the Str. BECKY THATCHER in 1973.

Steve Huffman 03-24-2009 09:55 AM

Thanks for sharing these photos. The Golden Arrow seemed to have under-sized wheels, compared to Copy Cat.

Keith Norrington 03-24-2009 10:43 AM

Yes, those twin paddlewheels were rather small. According to the Inland River Record she had Allis Chalmers D-262 diesels, total 120 hp, at 2000 rpm. Capitol and chain reduction.

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