Steamboats.org Homepage  
  not logged in.
           forgot password?

Goldenrod Showboat Fire Anniversary

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Prev Previous Post   Next Post Next
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-03-2009, 08:21 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: On the "Beautiful Ohio" at New Albany, Indiana, opposite Louisville, Kentucky
Posts: 2,078
Default Goldenrod Showboat Fire Anniversary

June 1st marked the 47th anniversary of the 1962 fire that broke out aboard the GOLDENROD SHOWBOAT at the St. Louis levee. The fire is said to have started about 3:00 AM in Capt. Bill Menke's office on the main deck near the entrance and quickly spread through the 1909 built showboat, which had been placed on a steel DPC barge in 1947. Capt. Bill, his brother, Capt. Charley Menke, and Mrs. Blanche Forbes, an actress and musician, who had been with the showboat since 1937, and a deckhand named "Memphis" all fled from the burning boat. The flames illuminated the riverfront and cars stopped on the Eads Bridge to watch the spectacular conflagration. Capt. Menke's cat, Pinkie, was thought to have perished in the blaze, but several days after the fire she came trotting up the gangplank and lived into the early 1970's.

Most of the damage to the showboat was in the theatre area. The pilothouse fell down through the boat and a large section of the charred pilotwheel was found in the hull.

The GOLDENROD was purchased in 1963 by Frank C. Pierson, Don Franz (St. Louis Ragtimers) and a small group of investors who restored the boat and reopened it on May 22, 1965. The pilothouse from the first BECKY THATCHER (which sank in 1965) was later placed atop the GOLDENROD to replace the one lost in the fire. The reproduction pilothouse was built from measurements taken from the actual pilothouse of the Str. GOLDEN EAGLE, then on display in the River Room of the Missouri Historical Society in Forest Park.

After being permanently moored at the St. Louis waterfront since 1937, the GOLDENROD was sold in 1990 and moved to St. Charles, Missouri. This operation was fraught with many problems and the boat was closed due to structural problems and taken back to St. Louis in 2003 for a short time, although never reopened. At this writing, the century old showboat remains tied up and idle along the Illinois River near Kampsville.

Photos herewith:
(1) Goldenrod's upper deck engulfed in flames.
(2) Firemen in showboat auditorium - note pressed tin ceiling & box seating.
(3) After the blaze was extinguished.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Fire Goldenrod Showboat  1962  Flames.jpg
Views:	1290
Size:	38.6 KB
ID:	3624   Click image for larger version

Name:	Fire  Goldenrod Showboat Auditorium  1962.jpg
Views:	648
Size:	54.6 KB
ID:	3625   Click image for larger version

Name:	Goldenrod Showboat fire 1962.jpg
Views:	486
Size:	37.9 KB
ID:	3626  

Reply With Quote
 

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Historic Goldenrod Showboat Nancee Harrison Steamboats & History 3 06-15-2009 11:38 AM
Goldenrod Showboat Centennial Keith Norrington Steamboats & History 1 04-10-2009 02:18 PM
GoldenRod ShowBoat moved Wayne White Steamboats & History 2 05-14-2008 10:15 AM
Showboat GoldenRod Wayne White River Talk & Cruises 6 06-26-2007 12:17 PM
Goldenrod Showboat @ Kampsville, IL Pete Sisak Steamboats & History 9 06-05-2007 07:25 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:59 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
All content on this site is copyright protected and may not be re-used without written permission.
Bookmark and Share