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River Ramblings Program at Howard Museum

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    River Ramblings Program at Howard Museum

    It's summertime on the river and the calliope is calling! Just a friendly reminder that the fourth offering in my "River Ramblings" program series at the Howard Steamboat Museum will be on Saturday, June 28th when Rock Island steamboat buffette extraordinaire Judy Patsch will be presenting Rise and Shine for the Streckfus Line - A Journey on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers with an Excursion Steamboating Dynasty. The program begins at 3:00 PM (EDT) in the carriage house behind the mansion. Although we have hopes and dreams for the 1880's building, it is NOT yet restored or air conditioned, so please dress comfortably. Admission is a donation of $5 per person and all proceeds benefit the museum's operating fund.

    I schedule these programs at 3:00 for the benefit of those who wish to ride the Str. BELLE OF LOUISVILLE on her afternoon cruise (12-2) and have plenty of time to drive over to the museum. For BELLE boarding time and fare information go to Steamboat Belle of Louisville - Excursions, Dance Cruises, Dinner Cruises, Charters, Weddings on the Ohio River or call 502-574-2992.

    For further information, including driving directions, etc., visit the museum website at Howard Steamboat Museum - Home Page or call 812-283-3728. The toll free number is 888-472-0606. Y'all come!

    "Curator Keith"

    Photos herewith are the Streckfus Str. WASHINGTON (note the calliope being played to summon excursionists) on the Ohio River, Judy at the pilotwheel of the Str. CAPITOL (her favorite) at the Museum of Transport (St. Louis) in 1995, and the Str. CAPITOL at New Orleans.
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    That pilotwheel was firmly affixed to the wall... now that I'm back from New Orleans, I'm beginning to gather up the show and tell items for next week. If you are planning to attend, please allot some time to view the displays, both mine and Keith's....



      the "Streckfustravaganza," as my son calls it, is certain to be the highlight of the year for river fans! The two of us are looking forward to being there for your program, as we are certain that anyone who has an interest in this legendary steamboat dynasty could not find a better place to get the true story from someone who has devoted a lot of hard work and research into this Rock Island family over the years. What a fantastic choice for Keith's next program in his River Rambling series . . . each year gets better and better!

      I smile as I think what the reaction would be of Capt. John and his sons to the news of transporting the PRESIDENT via land to a permanent resting site ashore. As other posters have observed, I, too, will believe it when I see it.

      In the meantime, a great weekend is ahead on the BELLE and at Howard Museum for all river buffs and buffettes. Thanks and a harbor salute to Judy and Keith for putting this all together. See 'yall there.


        Thanks. With Streckfus, its hard to know where to begin. I suspect the temperature will dictate when we'll end though! The forecast is showing 89 degrees, which would be at least 10 cooler than the last two years, I think. We'll just have to pretend we're out on deck of the CAPITOL enjoying the refreshing cooling summer breeze they always advertised!


          The forecast, which undoubtedly will change 40 times between now and Saturday, is for 90 degrees and chance of thunderstorms. As I advised earlier, dress COMFORTABLY! We'll have plenty of ice water and lemonade on hand too!

          Hope to see y'all for the Streckfustravaganza on Saturday!
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            Thanks to ALL who attended the fourth "River Ramblings" program at the museum on Saturday afternoon. An enthusiastic group of 50+ enjoyed Judy's "Streckfustravaganza", as Jon Tschiggfrie dubbed it, and after her great slide/talk presentation many were delighted to peruse Judy's albums of photos, postcards, posters, brochures, souvenirs and other items from her vast collection of ephemera relating to the famous steamboat company. I set up a display in the carriage house entrance, utilizing artifacts from my collection which included a small section of jigsaw railing from the Str. CAPITOL, an acorn from the J.S. DeLUXE and Streckfus gingerbread trim, all long ago gifts from Miss Ruth Ferris, who once told me that the St. Louis levee was piled high with such treasure when the Streckus boats were dismantled in the 1940's. She was permitted to take whatever she wanted as it was all later set ablaze.

            All of our guests are special to us, but it's always especially pleasing to have "river people" on deck and this year we had Capts. Bill and Darlene Judd, Tom Dunn, Capt. Jim and Annie Blum, Capt. Alan and Rita Bates, Chief Dennis Shenk, Capt. Charlie Lehman, John and Sharon Fryant, David and Jonathan Tschiggfrie, Pat Traynor, Jo Ann Schoen, Bruno and Deb Krause, Pat Carr, Travis Vasconcelos, James Hall, Barb Hameister, Gayle Hindman, Danny Back, John and Carol Mullen, Keith Baylor, Mary Bill Bauer, Jim Reising and Kenny Howe. Mr. John Neff, with the American Public Transportation Association, drove over from Washington, DC for the program. He grew up in St. Louis and often rode the ADMIRAL, later being a deck inspector in the St. Louis Marine Inspection Office of the Coast Guard in 1969-70. We appreciate the support of everyone and are grateful for the generous donations which benefit the continued operation of the museum. And a long and two shorts of the whistle in appreciation to Judy for doing the program -- and for hauling "steamboat stuff" and a cargo of chocolate chip cookies 400 miles!

            Many gathered for a fun time of food and fellowship at the Kingfish Restaurant overlooking the Ohio on Saturday evening and some of us enjoyed a leisurely Sunday afternoon cruise on the BELLE OF LOUISVILLE, with Capt. Pete O'Connell as master and Capt. Eddie Mattingly in the pilothouse. A telephone call from Capt. Charles Henry Stone in Point Pleasant last evening was "the icing on the cake" for the weekend, as we had a lengthy chat with lots of laughter.

            Again, THANKS and KEEP UP STEAM!

            Curator Keith


              Oh man, what a crowd, I really wish we could have been there too. We are looking forward to our stop on Aug 24! Another invasion of FRNs!
              Linda & David D.


                Here's a word of thanks to Judy for a very fine program, and to Keith for putting together the River Ramblings series!


                  Hear hear! An excellent presentation by all accounts. Can't wait for the next series.

                  Franz sent me a message that made me say to myself, "Why didn't we think of this before?" If there's no issue with the Howard Museum or the presenters of these programs, they ought to be recorded on video and/or audio for those unable to attend, if not for posterity and *ahem* distribution.



                    I far Keith's programs have been excellent and I not only salute Judy for her fine and well researched presentation (Wow...what a collection she has!!!!!!)..but, all who have been part of the River Ramblin' series of presentations. Anyone who has missed any of them has missed out on some great river history and the chance to talk with people who know it well! These presentations have all featured the creme of the crop! I can't imagine what is next...but, I am waiting patiently to hear who is next!

                    So Keith...please tell us what the next rabbit out of your hat of talents will be!



                      I have suggested a kind of 'fundraiser' for the Howard for the next one - it would be entitled: "IF BULKHEADS COULD TALK" For $100 you could assure that YOUR river secret(s) wouldn't be revealed! Think there would be a few donors???? I'm sure Keith will come up with something more ethical. I personally would like to hear from Keith - I'd do the setup and cleanup so he could do the program. I'd like to thank you for your kind comments about my talk. It was fun to put together and amazing what new stuff you find out. Tom Dunn pointed out that the picture of the 5 Streckfus Captains was taken on the occasion of Theresa's funeral, Jan. 5, 1920. It was such a rare occasion to have them all in one spot they figured a picture was in order.


                        You heard from ME when I gave the address for the dedication of the Capt. C.W. Stoll Memorial Bookcase and Exhibit in 2005. At the reception following the program C.W's sister said that I told enlightening things in my talk that even she had NEVER heard about her colorful brother!

                        I have a growing list of possibilities for prospective programs, so stay tuned!


                          River Ramblings Reprise: Herewith are several pictures from the June 28th weekend of river activities: (1) Judy & Keith with Streckfus steamboat artifacts on display in the carriage house. (2) Sunday afternoon aboard the BELLE OF LOUISVILLE with Jo Ann, Deb, Pat and Bruno on the Texas deck. That "windblown look" is due to the fact the photo was taken just after the turnaround at Six Mile Island and the "cool river breezes" were BRISK, to say the least! (3) Dubuque's father/son dynamic duo of steamboat buffs David and Jonathan Tschiggfrie and yours truly aboard the BELLE. Needless to say, a good time was had by ALL!
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