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Date: January 16, 2003 at 07:13:15
From: Keith Norrington - AGAIN!, [66.83.131.6.nw.nuvox.net]
Subject: Re: The steamer GOLDEN EAGLE - continued


Oops! I see that I left the "s" off of boats in referring to the Eagle Packet Company losing steamboats in the disastrous ice gorge of 1918. Their big steamers ALTON, PEORIA, etc. had been taken to Paducah to winter at what they thought to be safe quarters in what was called the "Duck's Nest" in the Tennessee River. One story of the gorge that makes my hair stand on end is of the PEORIA. They kept steam up on the big sternwheeler and the engineer was slowly rolling her wheel in an attempt to keep the ice away from her. In the middle of the night, the ice gorge came roaring down the river, the crew jumped ashore and the PEORIA went down the river, with her lights aglow, the wheel turning and not a soul on board. Her wreckage was later found at points downstream. The big sidewheeler ALTON was also lost. The Eagle Packet Company then purchased the WM. GARIG, renamed her GOLDEN EAGLE and pretty much started over. For years the Leyhe family also operated the Eagle Boat Store on the riverfront just above Eads Bridge. All of this evolved into Eagle Marine Industries, still in operation today with towboats, fleeting services, etc. Capt. Buck Leyhe's rolltop desk from the boat store, a portion of the boat store counter, and other Eagle Packet Company artifacts are on display at the Golden Eagle River Museum in St. Louis.


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