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Bill Wiemuth 06-23-2009 01:03 PM

Delta Queen bell
We do daily guided historical tours of the Delta Queen and we love showing off the DQ bell, but I'm stalled in my research. Any leads on tracking down who Capt. Tom Greene got the bell from or ideas on tracing its history?

Bruce MacCullagh 06-23-2009 02:01 PM

[QUOTE=Bill Wiemuth;17430]We do daily guided historical tours of the Delta Queen and we love showing off the DQ bell, but I'm stalled in my research. Any leads on tracking down who Capt. Tom Greene got the bell from or ideas on tracing its history?[/QUOTE]

According to [url=]a post on steamboats org,[/url] the Delta Queen's Bell comes from the "Queen City" (1897 - 1940).

It doesn't say how it managed to get to the Delta Queen.

Phillip Johnson 06-23-2009 02:15 PM

Story I heard, and I bet Judy or someone could clarify, was that Tom Greene went to someone who had a collection of bells for sale on a trailer. In St. Louis maybe? They had them all lined up on the trailer and told Greene to pick one, and he chose the biggest. Then they responded by..."pick any bell but that one, its not for sale." So set on this particular bell, a trade agreement was made for some stuff the Greene's had in exchange for the bell, which today is still on the Delta Queen. As to what was actually traded, I'm not sure if anyone knows. Got that from a certain Riverlorian long time ago.

Keith Norrington 06-23-2009 02:21 PM

3 Attachment(s)
According to Capt. Fred Way, the roof bell on the DQ originally was on the Anchor Line sidewheeler CITY OF ST. LOUIS, built by the Howard Shipyard at Jeffersonville, Indiana in 1883. The boat burned in 1903 while laid up, but the bell survived and was sold to Capt. J. Frank Ellison who placed it on the Str. QUEEN CITY, remaining on that boat for her entire career which spanned 1897-1940. Later, the bell served briefly on the towboat MILDRED, the packet OUACHITA, and the towboat JOHN W. HUBBARD. The bell was placed aboard the DQ in 1947.

(1) City of St. Louis under construction at Howard's - 1883.
(2) City of St. Louis at a landing.
(3) Roof bell in place on DQ

Bob Reynolds 06-23-2009 02:23 PM

The bell is reputed to contain one hundred Mexican silver dollars in the alloy, for a "sweet" tone.

Bill Judd 06-23-2009 02:36 PM

Keith has the correct story as usual. One small exception is that it was on the towboat TOM COOK after the Hubbard. That Riverlorian with the St. Louis tale must have lingered to long at the local pub.

Judy Patsch 06-23-2009 02:46 PM

DQ bell's acquisition
1 Attachment(s)
I doubted that story about the St. Louis bell auction, so I consulted Capt. Fred Way (via the packet directory) and Capt. Doc Hawley by phone. My suspicions were confirmed. The DQ bell was originally on the Anchor Line's CITY OF ST. LOUIS, made by the Kaye Co. which company has been previously discussed on this board. The bell then went to the QUEEN CITY, MILDRED, OUACHITA, and the towboat JOHN W. HUBBARD (now the MIKE FINK restaurant). Tom Greene simply bought the whistle off the HUBBARD, not at any souped up auction. Ever since the days of Don Deming, things have tended to be 'embellished' for the entertainment of the passengers, and usually there's a much less interesting factual story.

Judy Patsch 06-23-2009 02:51 PM

Quick to the trigger!!!
While the Don Deming ilk might have embellished, you can't say the speed of those who prefer facts has diminished. WOW! While I was finding and scanning my DQ bell pix, both Keith and Bill got postings on before me. And I too missed the COOK, as Doc didn't mention it. By the way, the pix I posted was taken on my very first DQ trip Aug. 21, 1973. The bell has always been a great place to pose for pictures - but don't sit on its frame if a contrary ornery stinker like Rip Ware is between the sticks - voice of experience!

Keith Tinnin 06-23-2009 03:01 PM

I believe Doc Hawley mentions, during his DQ lecture, that Mark Twain was known to have ridden on the City of St. Lious, so we can say we're the only extant steamboat whose whistle Mark Twain heard. Bill, you might want to call Buford, I seem to remember that one day while Mate he got tired of the dull condition of the bell and shined it beautifully using KETCHUP and a buffing wheel. That might just be a sea story or maybe I'd been at UTH all day, but I think I watched him doing it.

inactive user 01 06-23-2009 03:29 PM

Cap'n Bill,

TOM COOK, or JOE COOK? This is fascinating for me to hear because several years ago I restored the whistle that the JWH finished with which was a triple lunkenheimer, a dead ringer for the whistle on the NATCHEZ. This whistle was reportedly on the JOE COOK before it blew it's boilers and then came to the HUBBARD. There's also a connection between these two boats in regards to wearing the famous QUEEN CITY'S whistle at various times during their careers. The HUBBARD wore atleast 3 different whistles during her career, a two barrel (which I have a copy of), The QUEEN CITY's whistle and finally the 3 chime lunk now in the collection of ED Bosworth who's Dad may have sold Tom Greene that bell? Ah how these boat parts we so interchangeable.

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