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inactive user 02 02-21-2010 10:25 PM

I just hate to open this thread. However I have just become aware of some sad news that has happened today, we have lost a wonderful old riverboat.

[url=]The Marietta Register Online - Web Extra: Becky Thatcher Sinks[/url]

The pictures and sparse newsposting n the Marietta Register website tell the gory details better than I can.


Carmen 02-22-2010 01:59 AM


Ive just opened my email and found these sad pix attached sent by a friend.

What a sad look!


Mary Sward Charlton 02-22-2010 07:20 AM

My email this morning revealed the same. I remember pointing out her new location in Pittsburgh last fall as the Belle of Cincinnati cruised past. I did not know that would be the last time I saw her afloat. What a crime! She joins so many others, lost to what seems to be deliberate carelessness. It makes me thankful even more to see the Delta Queen in Chattanooga.

Ted Guillaum 02-22-2010 08:02 AM

Tragic news. Too sad for words.

Keith Norrington 02-22-2010 09:50 AM

3 Attachment(s)
Sad, but not surprising news, considering that the BECKY has been in peril for some years now. Yet another fine old riverboat gone. Once the Str. MISSISSIPPI (No, 3) and the proud flagship of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, she had become but a shell, her engines, boilers, and other steamboat haberdashery gone, save for the capstan and the lazy bench from the pilothouse being about the only original items remaining on board. Her pilotwheel now resides at the River Museum in Point Pleasant, WV. The steel hull of the BECKY was a product of the Howard Shipyard at Jeffersonville, built in 1926 and taken to Paducah, where the upper works of the second Str. MISSISSIPPI were "scooted" over onto the new hull, an amazing operation with the only casualty being one broken pane of door glass! The MISSISSIPPI operated until decommissioned on April 19, 1961 and later was a tourist attraction at Hannibal MO, before being sold to the late Frank C. Pierson, moved to St. Louis in March, 1966 and renamed BECKY THATCHER, where she remained until sold and moved to Marietta in August, 1975.

As many know from previous discussions on this forum, I have a special place in my heart for the BECKY, owing to my longtime friendship with the late Miss Ruth Ferris, my mentor and patron saint of steamboating, who was designer and curator of the [I]Midship Museum [/I]aboard the BECKY at St. Louis. Besides numerous visits at St. Louis (my first one in 1968 when I was 14 years old) I, and many other steamboat fanatics, have enjoyed festive dinner parties in the cabin of the BECKY, during S&D meeting weekends at Marietta, with dear friends, many of whom have since departed from us. Thank goodness for our memories and memorabilia!

The Marietta Times reports today that the boat is a total loss and slated for demolition as quickly as possible. Access the article by clicking on [url=]R.I.P Becky Thatcher - | News, Sports, Jobs, Ohio, Community Information - The Marietta Times[/url]

As it states in [I]Ecclesiastes [/I]3: 1-15, [I]To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven[/I]. This applies to old steamboats and the BECKY has earned her rest. A long and loud whistle salute to her memory and in tribute to all the fine people who served as her officers and crew throughout her decades of dedicated service, especially the late Capt. David M. Cook, her longtime master, who always saw to it that she was kept in pristine condition, befitting a fine southern lady.

Herewith are a few images of the MISSISSIPPI in her operating days. Farewell to a [I]Grande Dame [/I]of the Great River.

Lexie Palmore 02-22-2010 12:38 PM

And is it not true that the superstructure was the last surviving part of a Mississippi style riverboat built in the 1800's? The BT was not the first and hopefully not the last old riverboat that some of us have "trespassed". Said transgression was made in order to visit the pilot house, which prompted someone to post a "Reward" in order to capture and punish the perps. Repeat offenders that they were, no old boat was safe. It would be nice if someone could rescue that pilot house, at the very least.

Keith Norrington 02-22-2010 12:51 PM

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Lex, I've been sitting here in my office thinking that very thing. Inasmuch as the hull of the MISSISSIPPI came from the Howard Shipyard, it surely would be appropriate to have that pilothouse for the museum yard!

By the way -- I believe this is one of the photos I took when a couple of miscreants, later dudded "Pilothouse Palmore" & "Callyope Keith", trespassed and ascended to the pilothouse of the BECKY way back in 1977.

Ted Guillaum 02-22-2010 01:30 PM

Smokestack Display
What about displaying the smokestacks at the Howard Museum? Seems like it would be cheaper than most things to display and would be appropriate.

Steve Huffman 02-22-2010 01:31 PM

I just read the news about the Becky in another email group I belong to. Very sad. I wonder if she had some leaks that required automatic bilge pumps when she was still at Marietta(?). At Neville Island it would be easy for someone to forget to check those. Just a guess.. I hate to removed another boat from my short list of remaining Howard boats, but I guess that's the way it is...

inactive user 02 02-22-2010 01:46 PM

There has to be a way to get something off of her for the Howard Museum. Perhaps the paddlewheel shaft, stacks, or Pilothouse? All seem to be available. Time is of the essence...the river is on the rise up there and the owner seems in a hurry to get rid of her. The newspaper article mentions he is willing to sell parts of her...perhaps he needs to be reminded the tax write-off for a museum could be MUCH more valuable? Wish I had a crane, I'd head up there towards her now! Who do we know up there with a crane?

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