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-   -   Seeking information on Mamie S. Barrett (http://www.steamboats.org/forum/steamboats-history/3211-seeking-information-mamie-s-barrett.html)

Joshua Allen 09-22-2009 07:31 AM

Seeking information on Mamie S. Barrett
 
Greetings,

I am new to this board and I'm seeking information on the vessel Mamie S. Barrett. I contacted the Howard Steamboat Museum after seeing some pictures of the Mamie S. Barrett on some website devoted to forgotten riverboats where it made mention of the vessel in it's poor condition back in mid to late 90's when the photos were taken. I have always looked for a stern-wheeler in hopes of finding one that was relatively intact for restoration to working vessel. When Yvonne Knight from the Howard Steamboat Museum replied back he directed me here to find all the answers I was seeking on the Mamie S. Barrett. I had originally asked who was the current owner and what the vessel's current condition was in regards to towing her and if she would hold up to a tow to get her to dry-dock. I also asked the condition of her steam engine and if it would be salvageable back to working order or if vandals and scrap hounds had carted off all of her engine parts. I know she sits on a steel hull but from what I can tell from photos the rest of her was wood and will need extensive repair and replacement. Her interior is most likely striped to the bone and from what I have read here on the forums she is full of snakes. Anyone know if her hull will still pass USCG specs or would it most likely need replating? I have one small salvage towboat at standby should the current owner give permission to take her but I would like to know where to charter one or two additional towboats for safety and a more controlled tow as the Mamie S. Barrett is almost twice the size of the vessel on hand to move her. There is the concern she won't be able to make the trip from the Mississippi river delta to Choctawhatchee Bay in Florida.

I thank you for your time along with any and all answers.

J.L.Allen

Keith Norrington 09-22-2009 08:10 AM

3 Attachment(s)
Mr. Allen,

I last saw the MAMIE this past May and she continues to rapidly deteriorate, with decks collapsing, etc. Capt. Norman Antrainer, of Antrainer Marine Services, did a survey of her hull several years ago and said that it has NO integrity. Norman's grandfather, Capt. Peter Antrainer, had been master of the boat when she was named PENNIMAN. The hull had been foamed at one time, but much of that has been removed during the years she's been high and dry at Deer Park, LA, since the early 1990's. Previous owners offered her to the Howard Steamboat Museum (she was built at the Howard yards in 1921) but we had no funding for transportation, restoration and maintenance.

Contact Maria Greer at the Deer Park Lake Campground for information. She can be reached at [url=http://www.deerparkla.com]Deer Park Lake Campground[/url] and can tell you more about who owns the boat, etc.

You undoubtedly have viewed images of the MAMIE in previous postings. Those attached herewith were taken at various times, beginning in July, 1988 at Vicksburg when the boat was owned by Capt. John and Mary Hoseman, now deceased. The boat has rapidly declined in appearance since these photographs were made.

Keith Norrington, Curator
Howard Steamboat Museum

Joshua Allen 09-22-2009 12:20 PM

Greetings,

Thank you for the reply Mr. Norrington. I will contact Ms. Greer at the Deer Park Lake Campground and see if she has any contact info for the vessel owner. I will also see if she can send some photos of it's current condition that can be posted here on this site. If the vessel it too far gone to even be moved without catastrophic destruction of her remains we will leave her be. It would be easier to clean her up on land than to try and fish the bits and pieces from the river. I had (and still do) hope of trying to breath life back into her but the more I dig into the information I can find on her the more bleak her chance of 'life' is slipping farther away. The salvage Towboat owner has expressed that he wants to know the exact condition of the vessel before he risks trying to move it. If there is a chance it could just fall apart and take his vessel down with it he won't go near it.

Thank you for your time and I hope to have some up to date photos for the board on the Mamie S. Barrett.

J.L.Allen

Mathew Stage 09-22-2009 12:40 PM

[QUOTE=Keith Norrington;18493]Mr. Allen,

I last saw the MAMIE this past May and she continues to rapidly deteriorate, with decks collapsing, etc. Capt. Norman Antrainer, of Antrainer Marine Services, did a survey of her hull several years ago and said that it has NO integrity. Norman's grandfather, Capt. Peter Antrainer, had been master of the boat when she was named PENNIMAN. The hull had been foamed at one time, but much of that has been removed during the years she's been high and dry at Deer Park, LA, since the early 1990's. Previous owners offered her to the Howard Steamboat Museum (she was built at the Howard yards in 1921) but we had no means for transportation, restoration and maintenance.

Contact Maria Greer at the Deer Park Lake Campground for information. She can be reached at [url=http://www.deerparkla.com]Deer Park Lake Campground[/url] and can tell you more about who owns the boat, etc.

You undoubtedly have viewed images of the MAMIE in previous postings. Those attached herwith were taken at various times, beginning in July, 1988 at Vicksburg when the boat was owned by Capt. John and Mary Hoseman, now deceased. The boat has rapidly declined in appearance since these photographs were made.

Keith Norrington, Curator
Howard Steamboat Museum[/QUOTE]

Does she still have any original equipment onboard her, gingerbread, telegraph, bells, gauges, lighting, engines, pumps, nameplates, signs, etc? I can think of a prime location to showcase her equipment and give it merit in a working field for thousands to see in full operation each year.

Phillip Johnson 09-22-2009 01:07 PM

What about the Becky?
 
Keith, what about the Becky Thatcher? Might she be the better candidate? The BT is actually intact, actually floats, actually for sale, and actually needs a buyer! Plus wasn't her engines removed and put in storage somewhere? With the amount of money it would take to restore the Mamie S Barrett, you could probably get the Becky Thatcher running again with her original engines cheaper! Others?

Matthew Dow 09-22-2009 01:18 PM

As per the question about the engines, my family acquired them in 1973 along with the engines of the GEN. JOHN NEWTON. I'm pretty sure that they are still sitting in the warehouse in New Orleans, though I myself have never seen them in person. I have heard stories that all the brass is gone, victims of looting over the years. Be interesting to see how much is still there, but I assume they can be brought back to operating condition, right?

Keith Norrington 09-22-2009 01:24 PM

The engines, boilers and other sundry equipment were removed from the MAMIE in the 1940's when she was retired and became a boat harbor at West Alton, Missouri for the Harbor Point Yacht Club, owned by Spence and Lela Merrell, now long deceased. The marina still exists and one of the boat's boilers is/was still there in recent times as the upright base for a light house. The MAMIE S. BARRETT / PENNIMAN was renamed PIASA during her days at Harbor Point. When I first saw her in the 1970's, the whistle, roof bell, acorns, engine room telegraph and other equipment was still extant. The next time I was aboard, at Vicksburg in '88, most all of those items were gone. The pilotwheel is still in the pilothouse, along with the lazy bench. At the Howard Museum, we had hopes of obtaining the pilothouse and having it brought to Jeffersonville, on a flatbed truck, to be restored and open to visitors on the grounds.

From what I could see (from a safe distance!) this past May, only the steel frame work of the MAMIE is holding the pilothouse aloft, as her decks are collapsing. Lots of trees and other vegetation are rampantly growing all over the boat and some of the locals tell me the old boat is a real "condo" for snakes!

Keith Norrington 09-22-2009 03:07 PM

Phillip: As Bubba responded, the Gillette and Eaton steam engines from the Str. MISSISSIPPI (now the BECKY THATCHER) were purchased in 1973 by the New Orleans Steamboat Company, removed from the boat at St. Louis by Capt. John Beatty and taken to New Orleans. They have been moved several times, but Judy Patsch and I visited them in a warehouse in 1983 and took pictures, along with the engines of the Army Corps of Engineer's sternwheeler, GEN. JOHN NEWTON, which long was the University of Minnesota's CENTENNIAL SHOWBOAT, until destroyed by fire several years ago.

To my knowledge, the BECKY is still for sale. She is shorn of all equipment, as the boilers were removed in 1969 to make space for "The Boiler Room Bar" at St. Louis and the pilotwheel is now displayed at the Point Pleasant River Museum. The only original "relic" on the boat is the pilothouse lazy bench, which was moved down to the main deck and many thought it to be a shoe shine chair! There have been recent stories in The Marietta Times that the city was going to "evict" the boat, but I think she's still at her Muskingum River landing, where she's been moored since moving to Marietta in 1975. As to her hull condition, etc., that's a question for a marine surveyor. Following the 1984 sinking, a thin steel overlay was placed over the existing hull plates. I am not aware of any hull work being done since this time.

Mathew Stage 09-22-2009 03:25 PM

[QUOTE=Keith Norrington;18508] locals tell me the old boat is a real "condo" for snakes![/QUOTE]

Being from Western New York where we have 295 inches of snow fall (no exaggeration October 08 to April 09 in Chautauqua County) instead of snakes I'm not as accustomed to the danger of snakes other then what I see on the discovery channel... how big of a problem would they be to a recovery program?

Keith Norrington 09-22-2009 03:46 PM

From what I've been told by those who have ventured aboard the MAMIE, most of the snakes are of the harmless variety (although ALL snakes scare the hell out of me!) and one person told me that he encountered a poisonous cottonmouth curled up in a corner of the former engine room. I have no idea what "snake abatement" entails and, as much as I love messing around old steamboats, I wouldn't want to be anywhere close while the boat was being "de-snaked"!!! I'll be happy to scrape and paint that old pilothouse and help repair it if we could get it up here, but as long as snakes are involved, NO WAY!


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