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excursion steamer COLUMBIA

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Old 01-15-2009, 12:35 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Rock Island, Illinois mile 480 UMR
Posts: 3,865
Default excursion steamer COLUMBIA

In looking through my photos for an answer to Jim Reising's picture riddle, I came across several interesting unrelated photos. Here are a couple of the COLUMBIA. You'll notice she also has the tubular railing extensions, as did the boat in Jim's picture, added on from her packet days' really low railing. Somehow I don't think the CG would approve of even this height today. Note the flaglike shield painted on the stairway cover, similar to the Streckfus flag insignia on their boats. That would be the G W HILL along side her - instead of the name on the engineroom bulkhead, they had WISHERD LINE painted there. The second picture shows the COLUMBIA's sad fate. WELL, FOR SOME REASON, THE PIXS POSTED IN REVERSE!!!

According to Way, the COLUMBIA was 166x33x5 and built as a packet in Clinton Iowa in 1897. She ran out of St. Louis. In 1905 the famous UMR pilot Capt. Walter Blair bought her, tore out 10 staterooms, and converted her to an excursion boat. Capt. H.F. Mehl bought her in 1912 for $14,500($303,600
in today's money). He ran her on the Illinois River out of Peoria. She sank on July 5, 1918 with a loss of 89 lives. She snagged in the fog.
I have newspaper articles on this event, but don't recall the reason why so many lives were lost, probably not enough lifeboats?
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