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Thread: Greene Line wharf boat

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Rock Island, Illinois mile 480 UMR
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    Default Greene Line wharf boat

    There has been a great discussion going on about the old Greene Line wharf boat, but it is hidden in my Laissez les bon temps rouler title. So check out the great wharfboat info under that title, and maybe we can put additional comments under this title.

  2. #2

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    Good move Judy, it was getting lost with King cake and southern foods. Now the facts and just the facts. The wharfboat was built in 1936 by the DRAVO not Midland Barge Co.. Its overall dimensions were 360' long X 76' wide. It was built on 6 flat deck barges set up 3 long by 2 wide, not on the old standards. Hull dimensions were 350' long x 54'. The wharfboat had an 11' overhang on both sides. The building was framed at Dravo, however the steel sheet roof and sides were put on after arrival at Cincinnati. It was towed from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati by the small diesel sternwheeler the COAL CITY.

    I was on this earth when it arrived, being 1 year old knew little of the above but Capt Fred supplied all the above info. I was however involved on October 26, 1968 when the old girl committed suicide just below old lock #37 at Fernbank.

    Let's hear more on this.

  3. #3
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    *Those wharfboat dimensons*
    Hi, Bill:
    Tom Schiffer [AKA Capn' Walnut] and I wondered if there possibly could have been six barges for the wharfboat with me opining no less than six. Bill, you no doubt could tell the story of how the old wharfboat "committed suicide" just below old lock #37 at Fernbank better than anybody I know. Not all was removed when they started to tow her down and I know for sure there was a big oak frame casing with brand new boiler tubes intended for the DELTA QUEEN aboard that went KERPLASH in the river.

    Now the next question in the little brown box if you please: Was the GREENE LINE wharfboat in Louisville of similar dimensions and would somebody--Keith?--have any photos? Alan Bates told of watching GL freight being unloaded in Louisville seeing "...the rousters handling a bunch of bath tubs." I recently mailed David Tschiggfrie a photo taken in Lousiville showing autos being unloaded from the CHRIS GREENE down that precarious ramp affair. No possible way that would pass OHSA or the insurance underwriters today. That's the way it was then.

    R. Dale Flick at you know where.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2006
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    Ohio River Mile 545.9
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    Fernbank, 1968.. I'm guessing Capt. John Beatty was involved in this in some way?

  5. #5
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    *Good point about the thread*
    Hi, Judy and Bill,
    Good point made about dropping discussions in the right thread and I agree. Who would have thought the initial posting on Mardi Gras etc. would flow on and on. Hope all postings get things rolling here again. It has been a long, cold winter. Cheers!

    R. Dale Flick
    In dismal, dark, cold old Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Ohio River MM 600
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    62

    Default Greene Line Wharfboat

    This is a great thread and I would love to hear the story about the suicide, pictures, etc.

    Was it raised? What became of what all was on board? Were the DQ boiler tubes recovered?

  7. #7
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    *The rest of the story?*
    Hi, George. Glad you've found some interest and merit in what evolved into a much longer discussion on the big GREENE LINE wharfboat than ever imagined. Often "takes a village to tell a story"--at least a good steamboat story. Capt. Bill Judd no doubt the best one to give us the whole story and the final 'funeral rights' for that monstrous wharfboat. Another with minute details of its history would be Capt. Doc Hawley from his position in the 'front office' with the GREENE LINE. I can assure you that big oak casing with those new, unused DQ boiler tubes was never recovered. Yet, I could be wrong until we hear further from Bill Judd.

    The late Betty Blake was running the show with the company at that time. Before her untimely death she gave one fascinating speech at an S&D meeting from the sublime to the hilarious. Her involvement in dealing with that wharfboat when the City of Cincinnati took over the Public Landing here for development had all of us suffering from belly laughs. Cheers!

    R. Dale Flick at old Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati

  8. #8
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    Apr 2006
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    On Flintlock Farm on Gunpowder Road in Boone County, Kentucky
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    Question: I remember a stairway down into a barge on the lower end of the wharfboat. Was there one for each of the six barges? WHAT was down there? Cap'n Walnut.

  9. #9
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    *Access to the GL barges?*
    Steamboating colleagues:
    Tom, [Capn' Walnut] I'm sure both Capt. Bill Judd, Jim Reising and others could 'confirm' for me that there were a number of access hatches of steel down the length of the GL wharboat. And I also recall once seeing a rubber suction hose with a 'handy Billy' pump and a hatch open. If ever they had to open the access to 'air out,' I can't recall. The stairs you saw I 'think' went down to a storage area where there were more steamboat 'treasures.' Some of this included panels, arches, doors etc. from the CHRIS GREENE. But that's another story with Keith knowing a great deal of it.

    Not to repeat, but it was both Capt. Tom Greene's and Capt. Fred Way's desire that some day the cabin of the CHRIS could have been totally or partially assembled for a display at the Ohio River Museum in Marietta. It would have required a building with even the sloping cabin deck recreated. I have a few Fred Way period letters here mentioning this. Well, time and tide, along with money and the untimely death of Capt. Tom in 1950, pretty much put this on hold with it never happening. Again a case of those 'ifs'...maybes...possible.' I'm only one with my dismal memories here and hope Bill and others confirm the above. As mentioned, I still kick myself pouting and whining I didn't get permission to take more photos of the GL offices on a working day. Again, with me, 'a day late and a dollar short.'

    Now another question from the little brown box: Capt. Judd may know if the GL wharfboat came under the eyes of the Coast Guard? If it did, then why? I know that my late father included the GL wharfboat with his dealings with the City of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Fire Department for the Public Landing. Dad met with Capt. Paul Underwood--and others--offering what assistance they would ever need. Dad was warmly welcomed with a 'walk' of the DQ and the wharfboat, cup of coffee. Another time I went with him being offered a nice ham sandwitch back in the 'cook house' behind the dining room not yet named the 'Orleans Room.' And was it ever yummy. Again, that was a LONG time ago. Well, what do I know?

    R. Dale Flick
    Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati.

  10. #10
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    Dale, the GL wharfboat likely did not come under the jurisdiction of the Coast Guard, as it was not an inspected vessel and it was a non self propelled barge.

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