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Tearing down the Julius C. Wilkie

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    Tearing down the Julius C. Wilkie

    The Winona City Council has decided to tear down the JULIUS C. WILKIE paddelwheel steamboat replica and steamboat museum at the Winona riverfront. The boat obviously needs extensive repair and the council doesn't belief that the owner, the Julius C. Wilkie Paddleboat Inc., is able to fix it.

    See a detailed report at the Post-Bulletin newspaper's website and an editorial comment at the Winona Daily News.

    #2
    Thanks Franz. What sad news, even if the WILKIE Steamboat Center/Museum is really a "building", featuring salvaged parts of the real steamboat, formerly the towboat JAMES P. PEARSON, built in 1898 at the Kahlke yard in Rock Island. The WILKIE, which was altered to be a museum, was a fixture on the Winona waterfront from 1956 until it was destroyed by fire in March, 1981. The replica opened in 1983.

    The WILKIE is a "steamboaty" presence on the Winona waterfront and has a nice "cabin", replete with arches, that is used for receptions and dinners. And, as I recall, the museum on the main deck contains a number of very good steamboat models and other artifacts, including relics from the steamboat WAR EAGLE. A stop at Winona was always a highlight of Upper Mississippi trips and it would be a shame to lose the WILKIE. Anything that preserves and promotes our river heritage is worth keeping! Here's hoping the city council members change their minds! Save the WILKIE!!!

    The first two attached photos are of the replica, while the third image is of the "oldl" WILKIE which burned.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Keith Norrington; 06-08-2007, 02:58 PM.

    Comment


      #3
      Yeah Keith, you are right. I miss our old boat in a moat Kingfish down on the river in Louisville. It was steamboaty enough to pretend and I loved the pictures they had hanging in there and the names of old boats above each colored window across the west side that really lite up in the late evening when the sun went down. The new and improved building sure doesn't have the atmosphere - even though you and I know it has been known to host some real river rat gatherings and more to be hosted in the future (August)!

      Comment


        #4
        Does the "WILKIE" still have its engines?
        Last edited by Shipyard Sam; 06-07-2007, 08:22 PM. Reason: yadda yadda

        Comment


          #5
          Surely the engines survived the fire, but I've never heard if they are part of the replica. Although I visited the "old" Wilkie a number of times, I have never been to the replica. Anybody out there know about the engines????
          Attached Files
          Last edited by Keith Norrington; 06-08-2007, 02:34 PM.

          Comment


            #6
            So, is the replica built on the old hull? Would there be enough machinery to be saved for possible future acutal use?? (I know, I'm a dreamer)
            S'
            David D.
            PS another wild idea, is it solid enough to be picked up, floated and sent to another town that might appreciate her? Now you're gonna accuse me of drinkin' too early in the morning!

            Comment


              #7
              More News! I went to the website of The Winona Daily News and typed in WILKIE for a search. It brought up MANY articles, going back several years, concerning the WILKIE, the river museum on the main deck, etc. The web address is www.winonadailynews.com if anybody wishes to take a look!
              Attached Files
              Last edited by Keith Norrington; 06-08-2007, 02:20 PM.

              Comment


                #8
                Ah, the rest of the story, ignore my previous pipe dreams!
                The original boat was wooden-hulled, rather significant boat too.
                Currently resting on a concrete hull-shaped foundation.
                No idea how much original machinery was kept, probably not much, as it takes up "valuable" room! (ie, space to use for rentals or other stuff).
                Would be interesting to find out if the engines survive, and if so, can they be kept from the scrappers?
                S'
                David D.

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                  #9
                  Yes, Jo Ann, the old KINGFISH steamboat replica on the Louisville waterfront was a favorite gathering place for river fans and it's too bad we had to lose it. I think my last meal there was on the Sunday that the BELLE sank in 1997! The new KINGFISH in Jeffersonville has a splendid river view and good food, but the steamboaty atmosphere we enjoyed at the old location just ain't there!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    julius c. wilkie engines

                    I'm answering an old post from 2007. I'm sure somewhere it is already answered, but I can't find it. The engines and boiler tender pump were in the replica. They put O rings to close off the the water returns and ran the engines and paddlewheel on compressed air. I have not seen the engines yet, but the pictures on the auction site show all the machinery to be in good shape, as well as the Pittman arms. The rudders and paddlewheel will need some attention but that's no problem, in fact we will have to tear the wheel down to transport it.
                    (too wide for the road and would need overwidth permits.Too costly) If anyone is interested, I could post the pictures from the auction site if someone could tell me how to do it. I'm not a real computer person.

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