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Judy Patsch 05-14-2006 07:01 PM

WJ QUINLAN pix of week
I don't know if this is the right category, or if it should be river talk. The QUINLAN was built in 1904 as the DAVENPORT. She operated in tandem with a smaller ferry, the ROCK ISLAND. In 1924, W.J. Quinlan bought her, had her extensively remodeled in the Kahlke Boatyard in RI, which is where this pix was taken. When she was condemned by the Coast Guard after her 1945 season, money was still owed to Kahlke for her conversion, so Fred Kahlke took possession of her and put her up on the shore at his yard. He vowed she would run again. She burned April 8, 1967. She was about the size of the JULIA BELLE SWAIN: 112.5 x 36.5 x 3.5. She was unique in that she was a working car/pedestrian ferry but was also an excursion boat. She carried a 4 piece band, had a dance floor on the second deck along with a bar and a few slots. Both my parents rode her frequently. The fare was always 5 cents, and you could ride all day for a nickel. Jerry Canavit, now of San Antonio, is THE QUINLAN/Kahlke expert. He lurks on here sometimes...

Wayne White 05-14-2006 10:10 PM

Thanks for all the info Judy very interesting the history of the QUINLAN.Shame she burnt sounds like it was a very unique boat!

Alan Bates 05-21-2006 08:50 AM

Was the Quinlan ever in Louisville, Kentucky, or Jeffersonville, Indiana? I have a small picture of a completely enclosed sternwheeler with one stack passing the Big Four Bridge and it resembles her.

Judy Patsch 05-22-2006 01:36 AM

No, she was built at Kahlkes and ran between RI and Davenport, upstream about a mile from the boatyard, and she never strayed from there. The one stack in front of the pilothouse was sure strange, but she never went straight ahead. The pilot needed to see out the sides instead. As the Davenport, she had two stacks. What would they have had to do boilerwise to change that?

R. Dale Flick 05-22-2006 09:35 AM

Hi, Judy & steamboat colleagues:
I like the 'action' photo of the QUINLAN and you posted in the right category. She's one interesting boat. Found old 1867 diary reference here mentioning also the cost of the ferry boats out your way being 5 cents.

R. Dale Flick

Alan Bates 05-23-2006 09:19 AM

I shall have to get out the picture and look again.

Shipyard Sam 05-24-2006 02:10 PM

That was when 5-Cents was FIVE CENTS! Wages in 1865 were from one to three dollars a day for the average working stiff, I'd guess. So if the same guy could teleport himself into 2006 and make $10 hour, and work eight hours a day; he'd make ten times per hour than he did per day in 1867 making a buck-a-day. In a working day, today, he would earn 80X's more $$ per day that he did back 139 years before, but of course, laboring less at fewer hours, but that won't factor in here. Let's then assume that the 80-1 ratio holds true for the cost of the ferryboat ride-- our misplaced time traveler would have to fork over $4.00 fare. That's in the ballpark for what it would cost to ride a river ferry today. Anderson's ferry, on the Ohio River below Cincinnati, costs around $3 - $3.50 per car, and I'm assuming our 1860's dude, somehow, is crossing in an automobile.

R. Dale Flick 05-24-2006 03:47 PM

Hi, Shipyard:
You're on..ahem...the money Re: value then compared to today. Food for thought. The other diary I have here was penned in 1867 by a young Pennsylvania woman named Laura Johnson. Here trip out west by train and steamboat on the Mississippi extended from September well into November as she mentions the early cold spell with ice in the Mississippi. In the back of her diary she lists her expenses mentioning the 5 cent ferry boat ride along with another 25 cents to transport luggage. She must have traveled with a lot of baggage. Some months back .org poster Sharon Cunningham posted a web link to a site for money conversion then and today. You typed in the date back then and the prevailing cost of this and that and it converted--within reason--to present value. I wish I'd saved it. Sharon, are you reading this?

R. Dale Flick

Judy Patsch 05-24-2006 04:48 PM

money conversion site
I don't know what Sharon posted, but here's the site I've posted several times and used in discussions - hope I typed it right as this new board won't let me copy and paste. [url][/url]

John Mullen 05-24-2006 08:35 PM

You got it right Judy. It shows just how much the gasoline companies are gouging us. In 1950 I paid $.20 a gal for gasoline. By those CPI figures the price today should be $1.68. Go figure.

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