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Lance Larsen 04-13-2010 12:09 PM

Steamer Patrick J. Hurley
Noticed on a You Tube video, a shot of the Patrick J. Hurley. It comes up early in this 1942 10 minute film about Minnesota. It also shows the new lock and dam at Winona. I might have missed it on a previous thread. What ever became of this boat. [url=]YouTube - Traveltalks - 1942 Minnesota: Land Of Plenty[/url]

Keith Norrington 04-13-2010 12:47 PM

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The steam towboat PATRICK J. HURLEY was built by Dubuque Boat & Boiler in 1930 and was owned by the Federal Barge Lines. She later ran under charter to Mississippi Valley Barge Line, operating on the Upper Mississippi and on the Ohio. The HURLEY was dismantled in 1951. Her engine room telegraph (pilothouse end) was donated to the Missouri Historical Society and for many years was displayed in the River Room at the Jefferson Memorial in Forest Park, St. Louis. Sadly, all of that wonderful collection, including the pilothouse from the Str. GOLDEN EAGLE, is now in storage.

Alan Bates 04-14-2010 05:25 AM

Form follows function: ugly from any angle!

Lance Larsen 04-14-2010 11:37 PM

The paddlewheel looks nice.

David Tschiggfrie 04-16-2010 11:30 PM

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The HURLEY was the first of two identical sternwheel towboats built at Dubuque Boat and Boiler in 1930-31, the other being the JAMES W. GOOD. A third boat, the MARK TWAIN, followed in 1932 from the Howard Shipyard in Jeffersonville. All three were built from the same set of plans, provided by the Inland Waterways Corporation, later known as Federal Barge Line. Their hulls were 160 x 42. These three towboats were built to facilitate moving the increased barge traffic on the Upper Mississippi River following the introduction of four smaller, pioneering sternwheelers built for IWC at the Dubuque yards in 1927-1928: the C. C. WEBBER, S. S. THORPE, JOHN W. WEEKS, and GENERAL ASHBURN (hull size 130 x 35). When the S. S. THORPE sank under the Washington Street Bridge in Minneapolis on May 9, 1938, it was the HURLEY who towed her back to Dubuque for repairs. My two uncles got their first river jobs decking on the HURLEY during the Depression years. One of them went on to get his Mate's license; and the other a Master/Pilot license. He worked for Federal Barge Line and then Twin City Barge Line on the Upper Mississippi until his death in the 70s.

All of these Federal Barge Line sternwheelers wintered in the Ice Harbor at Dubuque. It was quite an impressive line-up to see them all laid up for the winter, side-by-side, as shown in the thumbnail photo below. In that photo you see (from L to R) the HURLEY, GOOD, WEBBER, THORPE, and WEEKS. The location you're looking at was just below the site of the marine ways where they were all built, and where the Iowa Iron Works launched the hull of the giant steamer SPRAGUE in 1902. Today, this site is part of the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium campus. If you would like more information on these steamers, I would suggest two books. Unfortunately, the first one, From Canoe to Steel Barge on the Upper Mississippi by Mildred Hartsough is long, long out of print. The other may be somewhat easier to find: it is called the Geo. M. Verity Story and used to be sold on that boat which now serves as a museum in Keokuk. Your correspondent for this posting was the author of that little booklet. Hope this provides you with some background on these pioneering sternwheelers. Interestingly enough, the year after the HURLEY and GOOD were launched, the Dubuque yards also launched the largest Diesel screw wheel boat of her day, the HERBERT HOOVER. Alan's comment is right on target -- they possessed no grace and charm of any kind, but they did get the job of shoving barges on this shallow, twisting river done well. If you want to see a more classic design for a sternwheel towboat used up here in that period, take a look at the ALEXANDER MACKENZIE.

Lance Larsen 04-17-2010 09:42 AM

David, Thanks for all the info on this group of sternwheel towboats. It sounds like they were real workhorses of the river in their day.

Alan Bates 04-17-2010 11:02 AM

Government-designed river vessels seldom looked good. The architects and engineers belonged to the Hellferstrong School and the Formfollowsfunction design discipline. As a result they lacked grace of line. Many had absolutely no sheer and lacked composition and rhythm of masses. Those fiddleys over the boilers are a good example. When they bought shipyard design services the results were much prettier and just as efficient. Alexander Mackenzie was designed by the Marietta Manufacturing Company.

David Tschiggfrie 04-23-2010 07:28 PM

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When I posted information about the PATRICK J. HURLEY the other day, I was looking for a photo of the boat with tow locking up at Lock 11 here in Dubuque, so I could include it with that message. After a bit of rummaging in my file cabinet, I finally located the shot. Thumbnail 1 shows the HURLEY, probably in 1937 or 38, right after the lock was opened for traffic, pushing out of the chamber prior to making up her tow again before heading on upriver. Take a good look at the pool above the dam, and especially note the short outside guide wall on the riverward side of the main lock chamber. Compare that with thumbnail 2, taken about 25 years later (1962 or 63) with the DELTA QUEEN southbound on her St. Paul cruise in September. Notice the extension of the guidewall that is in place by this time, added to help pilots get their tows in shape for the lockage. And finally, thumbnail 3 shows the AMERICAN QUEEN locking up in July 2007, 45 years after the DQ picture was snapped. All three of these views were snapped from the blufftop viewing area in Eagle Point Park above L&D 11. A great place to snap pictures or record videos of river traffic. I have photos and videos of all three DQ steamboats and the JULIA BELLE SWAIN shot from up there. Unfortunately, I can't say the same about the AVALON back in the late 50s and early 60s. Anyway, wanted to share this photo of the HURLEY when she was a regular fixture up in this neck of the woods.

Judy Hawley 11-12-2010 03:55 PM

Jim Hawley- pilot or worker?
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I believe my father-in-law, Jim Hawley was a pilot or worker on the Patrick J Hurley. See attached photo we found in his records. How would I verify this information?

Neal Kapp 01-17-2017 08:17 PM

James W Good
What became of the James W Good?

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