Steamboating colleagues:
'Today in Steamboat History' Re: 'last trip of Str. CITY OF LOUISVILLE is not only interesting but raises some questions. Way's PACKET DIRECTORY No. 1095 mentions this date, "May 16, 1917 - Left Louisville on her last trip to Cincinnati...laid up across the river at Covington..." No reasons given other than she was possibly too expensive for the tight pockets of old 'Commodore' Fred Laidley and his L&C LINE. She remained in Covington for months until "early 1918 when she was returned to Cincinnati because of heavy ice." The rest is history when she and her sister CITY OF CINCINNATI, among others, were ground under by the legendary ice. The HERCULES CARREL towed her back to the Cincinnati side. She had steam up and went down with wheels turning in the ice.

Michael Blaser's incredible painting 'Steamer CITY OF LOUISVILLE being broken out of the ice by HERCULES CARREL' is a masterpiece of this event. Question is: What was the financial situation of the L&C LINE at that time and why was she taken out of service so many months before? Costs? Changing needs? Loss of freight/passenger business?

R. Dale Flick