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Kahlke Boatyard - Rock Island Illinos - 1954

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Old 02-16-2010, 09:25 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: On the "Beautiful Ohio" at New Albany, Indiana, opposite Louisville, Kentucky
Posts: 2,078
Default Kahlke Boatyard - Rock Island Illinois - 1954

The Fall, 2009 issue of the S&D REFLECTOR arrived in my mailbox last week and contains Jerry Canavit's wonderful chronicle of the Kahlke Boatyard at Rock Island, Illinois. Jerry compiled this about a decade or so ago and made available bound copies that have quite a number of fascinating photos which limited space did not permit using in the REFLECTOR.

Jerry lives in San Antonio, but grew up at Rock Island and, as a youngster, was lucky to sneak aboard and explore the derelict ferry W.J. QUINLAN, which had been high and dry in the Kahlke yard since 1945. Fred Kahlke always maintained that the ferry would run again, but this never came to pass and the old boat was the victim of arsonists in 1967. Judy Patsch has some dramatic, color images of the venerable sternwheeler engufled in flames.

The publication of Jerry's most interesting essay in the REFLECTOR reminded me that, when the DELTA QUEEN made her first Upper Mississippi foray in 1954, bound for St. Paul, she "ran through herself" at Rock Island, the end of the line for that cruise. Many have heard the saga many times and it's well documented in Mrs. Letha Greene's great book, Long Live the Delta Queen. Capt. C.W. and Marijane Stoll were on that trip and amongst C.W.'s vast slide collection were these two views taken in the Kahlke boatyard when DQ passengers were permitted to visit. Look closely in the view of the QUINLAN and you'll see people in view, one of whom might be old Fred Kahlke, standing at far right, next to the man dressed in white. The other view shows the horsedrawn windlasses used on the marine ways, as well as some other deteriorating boats and equipment.

Also, herewith is a view of an envelope from my collection for the Eagle Boat Store at St. Louis, long operated by Capt. W.H. "Buck" Leyhe and his brother Capt. Henry Leyhe. The recipient was the Kahlke boatyard in 1903.

Many thanks to Jerry for his well written and fascinating article!
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