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Keith Norrington 04-09-2009 02:24 PM

Goldenrod Showboat Centennial
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2009 marks 100 years since the building of the GOLDENROD SHOWBOAT at Pope's Dock Company in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Although in decrepit condition, the old showboat survives, tied up near Kampsville on the Illinois River. She operated as a traveling showboat until 1937, when she was permanently moored on the St. Louis waterfront by Capt. J.W. Menke, her longtime owner, who placed her on a steel DPC barge in 1947. A fire on June 2, 1962 proved too much for Capt. Menke and he sold the boat to Frank C. Pierson (who also owned the BECKY THATCHER) and several investors who restored the showboat, reopening in 1965. After Frank Pierson's death in 1988 she was again sold in 1990 and moved to St. Charles, MO, but there were many problems and the boat was closed after the Coast Guard deemed the boat structurally unsafe. She was towed back to St. Louis in June, 2003, but later moved to the Illinois River mooring.

Phil Kiely, an attorney, ragtime/jazz musician and steamboat buff at Evansville, Indiana, built a fine model of the GOLDENROD, images of which are presented herewith in celebration of the old showboat's centennial year and as a tribute to Phil, who passed on some months ago.

Keith Norrington 04-10-2009 02:18 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Two images of the GOLDENROD SHOWBOAT, before and after the steel hull was added. (1) In August, 1947 with the towboat WENONAH, which became so dilapidated that she was stripped, towed across the river to East St. Louis and burned to scrap in 1951. (2) At the St. Louis levee in 1971 with the excursion boat MISSISSIPPI BELLE alongside and the BECKY THATCHER visible at the stern.

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