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    More on the LONE STAR (part two)

    From 1902 to 1905 she carried a license as a passenger carrier (probably for occasional excursion business) and from 1906 – 1921 she was licensed for "Inland Towing." In 1922 she was again enlarged and rebuilt at the Kahlke Yard. New measurements: 90' x 24.5' x 4.1.' Crew quarters consisting of four cabins were also added behind the pilot house. The 340 hp steam engines (12's x 5') were probably transferred from the old vessel. She was again re-enrolled, given a new number and continued her towing duties for BS & G until about 1957 when her hull began leaking badly. She was again taken to the Kahlkes and was extensively reconditioned and had her hull re-planked (see Judy's photo).

    The LONE STAR continued her towing duties until she failed a USCG inspection in 1967. The end of the LONE STAR's working life came on August 28, 1967 when she was cooled down for the last time. The crew on her last trip was: Glenn Johnson (master and pilot), William Horlas (engineer), Mrs. Eleanor Johnson (cook), Louis Chapman and Dick Schmidt (firemen and deckhands).

    The LONE STAR had an interesting and varied career for a common work boat. She began in 1868 as a small sidewheel wood-burner in the packet trade, then used as a raftboat and towboat. She was converted into a towboat in 1876, then rebuilt and enlarged in 1890 into a sand-sucker/towboat and re-configured as a sternwheeler. In 1900 she was modified and changed to coal-burning, rebuilt and enlarged again in 1922, then reconditioned again in 1957.

    For 99 continuous working years she carried the name LONE STAR and outlasted all of her contemporaries. She currently resides out of the water at the Buffalo Bill Museum in Le Claire, IA. I was up there about ten years ago and took a few pictures. I fear that she is now in worse shape than when the pictures were taken.
    Attached Files


      Thanks for the LONE STAR info. Jerry. There are a number of very good pics of her working in David Plowden's book "Farewell to Steam".

      If you go to see the LONE STAR, I recommend eating at Sneaky Pete's Cowboy Steaks, just up the hill. Men, don't wear a tie if you go in. Just trust me....don't!


        Judy: I think that the square plate fastened to the hull was/is , as you say, a "zinc". But it is there to combat corrosion. I don't know but what it might have some effect on marine growth, but I believe that its primary purpose is to be a "sacrificial lamb" in the electrolytic corrosion cycle (two dissimilar metals connected by an electrolyte...the river) Heavy metals are often put into underwater (bottom) paint to inhibit marine growth because it is toxic to it. Wood ships were often sheeted with copper for that purpose. I SEE AFTER I WROTE THIS THAT BRUNO COVERED THIS SUBJECT QUITE WELL...