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A couple DQ Tidbits Part 2

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    A couple DQ Tidbits Part 2

    Thanks to Philip Johnson for starting this thread. It was getting pretty long so I didn't want things to get lost, as I'm sure we'll come up with many more items, so here's a Part 2 to that thread.
    Sam just posted about how he had to hook the stack extension to remove it. Here are some pictures from a July 1978 UMR trip in fairly high water. We stopped below the I 280 bridge at the bottom of the Quad Cities harbor, where Sam did his 'fishing' expedition.
    3) That's the bottom of the wing bridge on the top of the pix. This is after almost 3 hours of fishing.
    2) There's Shipyard himself supervising.
    1) Finally down

    pix posted in reverse order!!!
    Attached Files

    More stack extension pix

    1) from the shore at ?Dubuque?
    2) Those people traversing the deck are, horrors!, local people touring the boat.
    3) This was in July 1978. 2 things which date pix well: the Voyages to America banner on the Sundeck stern. This was up from 1973-78. The red lettered Delta Queen on the engineroom bulkhead was painted on by Lexie in 1975.
    In those days we didn't dock by the Ice Harbor, but rather upstream above mile 580. Dave can tell us the name of the spot, but it was just down from the bowling alley, and just below L&D 11.
    Attached Files


      The landing shown in Judy's photos was on the north end of town at "The Point." It was adjacent to the old Eagle Point Light, Mile 582.4, which sat atop a steel pier on shore on the right descending bank. That light has since been discontinued, but the abandoned steel pier is still there by the new A. Y. MacDonald Riverside Park. The bowling alley Judy mentions was a popular spot for crew (and for some passengers as well) whenever the boat arrived in the afternoon or early evening (and on a few rare occasions while she lay there overnight). It was one of two locations of a public telephone in the area, (the other, as I recall, was near a utility pole) and typically there would be a long line of crew when the boat landed, waiting to make calls before the days of cell phones. That landing at the Point was really quite remote from downtown or any of the tourist attractions in the city. But it was only a few hundred yards right below Lock 11, and an ideal spot for Rip Ware to keep an eye out for anyone who might try to get to the lock before the DQ! The different landings the boat has used at Dubuque is a story in itself.

      The original municipal landing was just below the mouth of the Ice Harbor and immediately above the Julien Dubuque Bridge. That's where all the Streckfus boats landed in the 20s, 30s, and 40s, and also the AVALON, GORDON C. GREENE, and DQ when she first starting running on the UMR. It was just across from the offices of Molo Oil Company, who provided number 6 fuel for the AVALON and DQ in the 50s and 60s. The last time the DQ landed there was in Sept. 1968. The following year, the city started construction on the floodwall, and the old landing was torn out, including the big iron rings embedded in the concrete. In Sept. 1969, Doc Hawley was master on the DQ's St. Paul trip, and he wanted to land at Dubuque when the boat was downbound on a Sunday morning to kill some time. But by then there was no place to get in and nothing to tie to. In the early 70s, the boat moved to that landing up at the Point. The city put in three huge concrete deadmen on shore and cleared brush and weeds from the stone riprap so the boat could get in there. On a couple occasions in the mid-70s (including the August 1979 trip with President Carter), the boat landed a few hundred yards south of there out of the main channel on the public boat ramp at the upper end of Lake Peosta Channel by the Dubuque Marina. Unfortunately, there wasn't very much to tie off to, and so they usually stayed out by the main channel. In 1994, the city acquired the land adjacent to the Ice Harbor for development of the America's River Project. Molo Sand and Gravel had a huge clamshell powered by steam for loading and unloading sand and gravel barges at the northeast entrance to the harbor. That was removed, and for several years the DQ landed there (immediately south of the current landing). But those four huge concrete footings for that clamshell remained there for some time before the area was completed in July 2002 with the River's Edge Plaza. Now, the landing has a pavilion, benches, lighting, decorative concrete sidewalks, a nearby hook-up for potable drinking water, and three huge steel and concrete pilings. Of course, it is immediately adjacent to all the activities and attractions in the Ice Harbor area and close to the hsitoric shopping and tourist spots on Lower Main Street. So in the years since the DQ has landed at Dubuque, she has used four different sites! And that's probably more than you care to know . . .


        ...and some more...

        Great idea Judy, thanks for keeping it going! So in spirit I'm going to pose a couple more Q's!

        1. When and why did the calliope get rearranged so that the larger whistles were on the inside and the smaller ones on the ends, which is kinda backwards from the shape of the red backboard behind it.

        2. When and why did the aft stairs on the port side get turned around and now face forward, even though the ones on the starboard side never did get this change, as they still face aft as they did originally.

        3. A King question, but still applicable if I do say so myself....does anyone know if the "ironbark" deck survived the sinkings and is still on the King today? If so its under all that carpet :(.

        As to the response to the first thread...THANKS! I have enjoyed reading everyone's responses so much and learned so much. Having met some of you and many of your friends along the Ohio in the past year, all i can say is I have had a ball. Steamboatin people are a fun group! Can't wait until Louisville Aug 24th!



          The King's deck was covered over with concrete sometime back in the 50s or 60s. That concrete has been removed, and I think much of the deck still is in place. I do know someone who worked on the restoration, and I'll try to contact him this week and ask if he knows.
          David D.
          PS We can't wait until Aug24 either!! Although I hate for any day on the DQ to go by quickly!
          Last edited by David Dewey; 07-27-2008, 09:47 PM. Reason: Add PS


            One thing all the Dubuque landings have in common: the Mayflies/24 hr. bugs/whateveryouwanttocallthem...Start up the bowthruster and the swarm arises and hitches a ride on the DQ! I remember landing at the Public Boat ramp once, probably 1975. We were late departing, as we were waiting for Betty Blake to arrive. Some passengers were getting annoyed at having to wait, and someone asked: Just who does she think she is, to hold up the boat? When told she was the President of the Company, the person stopped his bellyaching. As I recall, Betty's flight into the Dubuque International Airport had been delayed a bit. As to that bowling alley, yes, it had the pay phone. I kept a log of my trips, including where the pay phones in towns were, and often I could beat the crew to one to use briefly before they arrived. As Dave said, the other phone was on a telephone pole by the landing. But why stand out in the hot sun when you could be sitting in an airconditioned building? One 'attraction' which was a good hike, but doable, was a Dairy Queen just off the point on a mainland street...



              The calliope question has a rather long I will do my best to keep it short.

              The Manifold of the calliope was reconstructed in the winter of 1999-2000 by Mike Neidorf, one of the Engineers aboard the vessel. He addressed several of the problems of the calliope from the original redesign by Cmdr. Quinby. The middle of the manifold is higher than the ends, so the condensate will run to the ends where traps are placed to assist in the removal of it. The main problem with the original Quinby arraingement was the condensate would be trapped at either end of the manifold. When Quinby first put the instrument together on the DELTA QUEEN with the used whistles he purchased from Ellsworth W. "Slim" Sommers, he had the whistles going from the lowest note on the port side to the highest note on the starboard side.

              The whistles were rearrainged so the smaller (higher pitched) whistles were in the middle because they are the loudest in 1976. This was done because it was assumed they overpower the lower notes. some have said it is a flow problem. However attempting to correct it as such just destroys the playability of the instrument (case and point, the calliope on the AMERICAN QUEEN with larger valves on the low notes and smaller valves on the high notes....the low notes are slower to speak because of the flow differential...thus the whole instrument suffers under the hands of a qualified performance artist).

              Today the higher whistles are at the ends. Although, they do have the ability to overpower the bigger whistles...the bigger whistles are getting a dryer steam and thus are stronger than they were in the past. This appears to have balanced them greatly. The unfortunate downside is the smaller whistles if left unplayed for several minutes can choke on condensation. The reality is the bass portion of the instrument plays much better and is much more reliable than it had been in the past.

              If you have ever heard the MISSISSIPPI QUEEN or AMERICAN QUEEN with their diatonic (or in the case of the MQ double diatonic) whistle arraingements you will notice there is a louder side to the instrument. Looks be doesn't work when you are on the bank! The result is the side of the instrument closest to you over powers the side away from you.

              Dr. Don Elbers who maintains the calliopes of Majestic America Line and the former Delta Queen Steamboat Company wanted to remove the Magnatrol valves from the DELTA QUEEN calliope when he came to "tune" the instrument in the spring of 2000 and replace them with the same different sized ASCO valves (big valves on the big whistles and small valves on the smaller whistles) he put on the AMERICAN QUEEN and MISSISSIPPI QUEEN. Mike put a stop to it, realizing the boat would have to stock 2 different valve sizes and the assumed volume correction would not be realized. To save cost and to simplify things, the DELTA QUEEN has the same valves as the NATCHEZ, PA DENNY, and BELLE OF LOUISVILLE, Magnatrol brand selonoid valves. Yes, they are expensive...but they have fewer moving parts, are much easier to maintain, repair, and replace...and they lock closed if they fail (so no sticking notes). I have personally thanked Mike several times for mandating they keep the Magnatrols.

              I will say this, in the 14 years I worked on the BELLE OF LOUISVILLE and the 5 aboard the DELTA QUEEN, we NEVER replaced a single Magnatrol valve...on the other boats where the ASCO valves were on the instrument, we replaced several. The Magnatrol valves are simply the best suited for repeated use, as on a calliope.

              Dr. Elbers did succeed in putting completly unnecessary modern pipe organ electronics on the calliope of the DELTA QUEEN. When you depress a key on the calliope an electric signal is sent from a pipe organ styled feather switch mounted on the back of the key (at 24VAC) to a solid state relay which raises the voltage to the 120VAC the Magnatrol valves require. Occasionally, a relay will fail and you will either lose the note entirely, or the voltage will be lowered to the valve causing it to speak very slowly, if at all.

              On the BELLE OF LOUISVILLE, NATCHEZ, and PA DENNY we use gounded microswitches mounted on the interior end of the key inside the console. There is no need in this type of application for a relay and again in all the years I was aboard the BELLE OF LOUISVILLE we had no failure of any microswitch OR any associated electronics. As with anything mechanical, simplicity is the key to easy maintenance and reliable performance.

              I will attach a few pics showing the calliope in the 1970's and today for comparison and you can see the changes.

              Okay...that went much longer than I wanted and everyone knows my opinion of calliope electronics and whistle arraingement issues! Hope that answered your question successfully!

              Last edited by inactive user 02; 07-27-2008, 11:52 PM. Reason: Wrote something backwards


                Aerial(ARCH) DQ 1970s

                Looking for those stack extension pix yesterday, I went through a couple of my old DQ albums, which brought back the memories. I'd like to share a few more pix. These are aerial shots of the Lady in the late 1970s.
                1) taken from the Muscatine Iowa bridge after she left L&D 16. Note the table/chair arrangements: this was pre-rocking chair/swing days. On the Cabin Deck bow are green metal chairs in 2 rows. On the Texas Bow are 5 very heavy round iron tables and chairs. Against the bulkhead is a row of chaise lounges. Behind the funnels are 3 tables each side. There were NO tables on the Sundeck. Its hard to see, but there are some chairs on the Sundeck. One year they removed the loungers and had only directors chairs up there, which caused me to bring my own lounger and store it behind the stack in the officers' quarters when I wasn't riding(probably '77 when I rode 37 days). The flag on the jackstaff is the yellow pennant with the red DQ on it. There is a nameboard and small golden eagle below it on the front of the pilothouse. The roof was beginning to house ac equipment.
                2) taken from the Gateway Arch probably 1977 or 78. Note the truck on the levee by the gangplank, delivering supplies. There are the 5 round tables on the Texas Bow. Two Streckfus excursion boats are directly upriver.
                3) June 1979 from the Arch. If you compare this to the previous one, you notice the levee has disappeared...the stage is on the street and the water is just to the street, so the river stage was right at flood 30 ft. You can see the stack extension sitting on the roof behind the stack. One of the iron tables is missing from the Texas Bow. The stern flagpole is bent down for the highwater trip.
                Attached Files


                  Just a note on that second calliope photo. The file name suggests it was taken in 1978. Actually it was shot by myself in the early 2000s at the newly-constructed River's Edge Plaza in Dubuque. Just in case people were wondering about the date. Travis, I'm finally planning on getting aboard the AQ tomorrow morning at 9 to measure and tootle Dave M's instrument. Will report!



                    Wow, see how we lose touch with where our photos come from? I am quite embarassed by that one!

                    As many of you also have, I have about 30,000 photos on my hard least 2/4 of them are mine and once in a while I make a mistake...I am truly sorry, Jon!



                      Oh, not to worry. I have a BIG folder of photos on my computer (downloaded in large part from this message board) with the cautionary title, "WARNING NOT MINE." Thank God there's no photo police on! Could you imagine what the RIAA would say if they found out how many audio files have been swapped between river folks?


                        Judy, as always, incredible stuff...Love all the window shakers (HVAC-eze for window A/C units) in the old officer's quarters. Still a few around today but most are gone...In your second post, the first and second pictures, I take it that is the doorway to officer's country and to the pilothouse? Was there a similar door on the starboard side?

                        Never realized that the stack extension itself was also oval...and I love the offset DQ initials on the stack, I know they are offset now, but these look cool, may be the different background stack accent colors...

                        And Travis, in the picture that Jon took, the whistles look great, did it used to be that somebody regularly shined 'em up, no longer a thing to do today?
                        Last edited by Bruno Krause; 07-29-2008, 05:56 PM.



                          They were 18K gold electroplated...the plate is wearing off. The MQ never had hers replated after it was built, neither has the AQ. I don't think the DQ's have been done in over 20 years.

                          I'll bet if some one got up there with some hot water and a soft scrub brush (like a vegtable brush) they'd come a little bit cleaner and liven up. But, they are ready for another electroplating.

                          On the MQ, I noticed if you touched the bigger whistles, your skin oils would leave a shine on the old gold plate. You could also "shine" them up a bit with a wash cloth and some water...hence my saying about "polishing" the DQ calliope with hot water and a soft brush.

                          There is too much ado about not much!



                            Yeah, Bruno, there was a door to the Officer's Quarters on both sides. The two sides were mirror images of each other and the 8 rooms were tiny, about 10' x 6' with a small closet, a sink and room for a small chest of drawers. Bathrooms were forward under the pilothouse, one on each side. The Captain and the Chief Engineer had the largest rooms, forward of the doors you see; their rooms had the curved windows. There were two other rooms just inside those doors which were also tiny, but measured more like 8' x 8'.

                            The DQ initials replaced the big "G" in 1973, I think.

                            The calliope whistles were (I assume still are?) gold-plated, and required no polishing when I worked on the boat. If htey have not been replated since '71, I would guess they do look a little tarnished....
                            Last edited by Bob Reynolds; 07-28-2008, 09:16 PM. Reason: correct spelling errors


                              Thank God there's no photo police on!
                              Well, I really hope that everyone posting photos takes up responsibility for it and doesn't post pictures without holding the copyright or at least permission from the copyright holder to publish it here.

                              Not respecting copyrights is a serious issue in these days and can cost a lot of money, unfortunately.