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Keith Norrington 04-02-2009 07:31 AM

3 Attachment(s)
Courtesy of Dan Owen, here are several more images of the towboat MARTHA E. GREENE in her earlier days as the J.B. BATTLE and J. L. BEATTY.

(1) At Louisville, August 4, 1939. (2) At Owensboro, KY, October 24, 1944 (3) At Pittsburgh with wreckage of Str. ISLAND QUEEN, 1947.

Keith Norrington 04-02-2009 07:32 AM

3 Attachment(s)
And several more photos,,,

(1) J.L. BEATTY (2) MARTHA E. GREENE at Louisville, November 12, 1961. (3) Towboat Race between the HARVEY and MARTHA E. GREENE in 1952 for bicentennial celebration of Jeffersonville, Indiana. The race course was from the Louisville Water Company's pumping station to the Big Four Bridge. The MARTHA won by a barge length and it was estimated that some 45,000 spectators lined the banks.

Again, many thanks to Dan Owen, for permission to post photos from his vast collection.

Ted Guillaum 04-02-2009 09:04 AM

Idea for Punching Up The Steamboat Race
Keith, thanks for posting the photos. I especially liked the towboat race for Jeffersonville’s Bicentennial Celebration and 45,000 people watching. Who says a boat race cannot be entertaining and draw people? Maybe the answer to why the interest in the Derby Steamboat Race has waned over the years can be found in the photo. Notice all the pleasure boats that are allowed to follow the race, thus participating in the race. The Derby Steamboat Race does not allow any participation of pleasure boaters during the race. I could cast some blame to the Derby Committee or the Coast Guard for this but won't since I don't know who is responsible. Society today is so concerned with protecting us from ourselves that the fun and excitement gets sucked out of trying to participate in life. Here is what I propose for the Derby Steamboat race. Allow pleasure boaters to follow the boats back to the finish after the turn around is completed and make it clear to everyone that they stay behind the Judge’s Boat that is following behind the steamboats. Sounds like an opportunity for the Coast Guard Auxiliary to do something useful to help maintain a little order.....just remember a little chaos is what people are looking for anyway. Thanks for listening to my morning musings.

Bob Reynolds 04-02-2009 09:57 AM

Ted, you are right that it would increase interest, but from a boatman's point of view, it would be a nightmare. Pleasure boats are every pilot's nightmare, and when you factor in alcohol in varying levels and general lack of knowledge of seamanship, it would be a recipe for disaster. Admonitions to stay in a certain area would no doubt go unheeded. The real problem would be when it came time to turn the big boats around -- when they have to start that maneuver, the pleasure boats would not be aware of what was taking place and what needed to take place, and any "race" aspect would be lost at that time.

Sorry to throw cold water on your idea. While it would be fun for those with some common sense, it would take only one yahoo to do something stupid, get someone hurt or drowned, and the whole thing would turn into a fiasco.

Ted Guillaum 04-02-2009 12:10 PM

No Illusions
Bob, you are quite right that it would be a serious problem at the turn around. But my proposal would keep them back until after the turn around. The boats would follow behind the Judges Boat to the finish line. That would keep them out of the hair of the boats involved in the race or celebration or whatever it is called. It evidently worked for Jeffersonville and they were not even kept behind the towboats.
I have no illusions that this will ever happen in today's society. This is just dreaming of a perfect world. We are all just too hung up today on what coulda, shoulda, or might happen and how we need to be protected from ourselves.

Dave Rush 04-07-2009 12:23 AM

Thank you for more photos and information on the MARTHA, very interesting! I love the race photo! Great stuff!

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