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Bruce MacCullagh 04-05-2007 10:57 AM

Wheelhouse on the Delta King
When I looked at the current pictures of the Delta King, there isn't a wheelhouse. From what history I know, the Delta Queen's Wheelhouse was removed when she came to the Mississippi River system.

Does anyone know when the wheelhouse on the Delta King was removed?

Bill Judd 04-05-2007 04:48 PM

Delta King Wheelhouse
The Delta Kings wheelhouse, paddle wheel and engines were removed in 1952 at the Fulton ( CA) shipyard by Kitimat Construction for Aluminuim Company of Canada. Her boilers were left intact for heating. All removed items were stored at Fulton for years.

R. Dale Flick 04-06-2007 09:51 AM

Hi, Bruce, Pete & Cap'n Bill:
I was in a 'fog' when I read the initial posting on the DELTA KING's "wheelhouse" wrongly thinking of the pilothouse on a deep sea vessel and not the wood/copper sheathed covers over the wheels. Stan Garvey's definitive volume 'KING & QUEEN of the River,' River Heritage Press, describes the DELTA KING in Chapter 11 'The Landlocking of a King,' Pgs. 127-137 for Kitmat Constructors' in British Columbia. The QUEEN & KING were so fitted with the massive covers over their wheels to dampen the sound for those sleeping in the stern areas for the night run on the Sacramento. The covers also held in check the spray blown from the wheels on the wide expanses of San Francisco Bay. A few surviving photos show the KING/QUEEN steaming in high winds and rolling seas in the big bay and it is awesome. Period 1947 photos show the DELTA QUEEN steaming up the Mississipp/Ohio to Dravo near Pittsburgh for refurbishing. Fred Way later mentioned later in conversations that, "There was a fortune in solid copper sheating in that wheel cover." I can only wonder if that copper was ever salvaged for later sale at bulk rate or simply disposed of? Anybody know? Copper prices at salvage now in 2007 are through the ceiling.

Cheers and thanks,
R. Dale Flick

R. Dale Flick 04-06-2007 02:19 PM

Hi, Pete & gang:
I wish I could post some of those 'high waves' in San Francisco Bay with the DELTA QUEEN, but here I'm suffering learning the ins/outs of the new HP photo program. It's not as easy as the earlier version when I could scan, edit, save and post. At times newer isn't better. For starters you can pull down Fred Way's 'SAGA of the DELTA QUEEN,' turn to Pg. 16 and you'll see a photo giving a hint of the waves on the bay with the boat's flags whipping in the wind, froth and mist swirling from the wheel and the big wood/copper cover. Stan Garvey writes, and surviving passengers living today, comment on what it was like on the two QUEENS until they cleared the upper end of the bay and entered the Sacramento River.

Yes, copper/bronze/wrought iron/tile theft is rife around here with jerks pulling up to churches, schools, vacant homes in the night to pull down valuable metals. Now some are even stealing lovely stained glass, Rookwood pottery garden fixtures, gates, fences, fountains etc. Our big Guardian Angels cemetery around the corner lost two beautiful bronze angels from the gate posts right on a major highway at a big intersection.

During World War II, and the metal shortages, a number of fine steamboat engines went under the torch for the war effort.

R. Dale Flick

Bob Reynolds 04-06-2007 06:58 PM

Not steamboats, but the new thing in both Memphis and St.Louis is to pull up to not only businesses, but people's homes, and take apart their air conditioners for the copper coils inside!

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