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Lt. Robert E. Lee Restaurant Boat For Sale

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Old 09-07-2006, 07:21 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: On the "Beautiful Ohio" at New Albany, Indiana, opposite Louisville, Kentucky
Posts: 2,078
Default Lt. Robert E. Lee Restaurant Boat For Sale

The September 4th issue of The Waterways Journal carries a photo and sale ad for the Lt. Robert E. Lee restaurant boat, long a fixture on the St. Louis waterfront and currently located at Kimmswick, Missouri. The boat is built on the hull of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sternwheel snagboat Charles H. West. The Lee was first owned and operated by the late Fred H. Leyhe, son of the famous Capt. Buck Leyhe of Eagle Packet Company and Boat Store fame. Christened in 1970 and long a favorite restaurant of locals and tourists, the boat was sold in the early 1990's and has had several owners since, one of which renovated the sternwheeler in 2001 after it became very shabby looking with peeling paint and rotten gingerbread trim, etc. My favorite dish was always the trout rolled in almonds and a chocolate cake that was to die for! Ragtime pianist/singer Jean Kittrell and "The St. Louis Levee Band" provided some great shows on the boat too!

For more information contact Waterways Equipment Exchange, Inc., at 888-416-9303 or visit their website at and click on Passenger Vessels. Quite an array of boats available, including the BELLE ANGELINE, another former St. Louis restaurant boat from the 1970's.

And, lest we forget that two other former St. Louis levee neighbors of these vessels, the BECKY THATCHER and GOLDENROD SHOWBOAT have now been dark and idle for some time. The BECKY remains for sale on EBAY, but with a $550,000 price tag there have been no takers. With the new multi-million dollar Lower Mississippi River Interpretive Center and Museum soon to be constructed at Vicksburg, perhaps the Corps might be interested in purchasing the BECKY and returning their former flagship (Str. MISSISSIPPI) to her old home territory where she served faithfully from 1926 until 1961 ferrying the Mississippi River Commission on river inspection tours, as well as serving as a towboat for river improvement projects. Since they are going to display her successor, the M/V MISSISSIPPI IV, as part of the complex why not preserve the steamboat too and show the evolution of river transportation!

Last edited by Keith Norrington; 09-07-2006 at 12:54 PM.
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