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    Identify the boat

    This picture surfaced in an old family album. I showed it to Alan Bates the other day and he asked what boat these 6 girls were aboard. I assumed it was the AMERICA, but Alan said he didn't think so because of the gingerbread on the wing bridge and the pipe extensions on the texas railings. I got the UW/LaCrosse web site and looked at all the pictures of the AMERICA and, by goodness, Alan was right; it's not the AMERICA. I wonder what boat it could be.
    This is what I know.....it was taken here at Louisville. It was taken by my aunt who went to the Louisville Girls High School (they look like high school girls so I assume it was a school trip) and she graduated around 1925. It is a sidewheeler because the second picture was taken on the same day and clearly shows a girl standing next to the paddle box.
    Did Streckfus have any sidewheel excursion boats operating around here in the mid-1920's? Could it have been the first ISLAND QUEEN?
    The big Snickers bar is at stake here.
    Attached Files

    #2
    RE: 'Identify the boat.'
    Hi, Jim & steamboating colleagues:
    Two interesting photos you posted on this thread. I looked and looked again but am not certain either. Judy may know as she has an eye for such details and a collection of photos that could nail it down. Boats changed over the years as we all know.

    The 1st ISLAND QUEEN was long gone by 1922 in the big fire here in Cincinnati. The group photo on the (L) shows metal pipe railing; then the bridge from the top deck with the wood gingerbread. My one thought is, possibly, the Str. WASHINGTON after she was entered in the Ohio River excursion runs after being rebuilt.

    At times the round structural work looks like a paddlebox but could that be housing for stairs? The attire worn by the young ladies is mid 1920s +. Don't you hate it when people didn't write down the date, place or boat? 'Takes a village.' Heck, I don't know.

    Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River.

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      #3
      'Insignia' on round housing in photo:
      Jim, I looked again and in the 2nd snap of the young lady standing alone you'll see on the left of the photo a 'clipped' sign or insignia on the round structure of some type. Just a wild guess: could that be an 'S' for STAIRS or STRECKFUS?

      Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River.

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        #4
        Sidewheelers around Louisville in the 1920's include:
        America, Cincinnati, Island Queen, Rose Island, City of Memphis, Verne Swain
        and Saint Paul(?) Saint Paul was renamed Senator in 1940, which is too late.
        Rose Island's trim matches, but rails do not. City of Memphis's forward stair has a round hood, as does Rose Island. These were the same boat. It is definitely NOT America, Cincinnati, St. Paul or Island Queen.
        The Verne Swain became successively: Rose Island, Roosevelt (while at Pittsburgh), and City of Memphis. I'm betting she is this boat under one of those names. I'm also betting I'm probably wrong.
        The girls dresses hint at 1920's. Notice the high belts, low hems, opaque stockings and flat chests, all pure flapper style.

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          #5
          If it is a sternwheeler she could be the Homer Smith.

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            #6
            Virginia, Steel City, East St. Louis, Island Belle, but not Greater New Orleans (all one boat) lurked around, too. Homer Smith is out of the running.

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              #7
              Jimmy: I'll vote KATE ADAMS. The KATE was a side-winder. She din't run out of Louie, but she sure went by now and then including Mardi Gras about that time, but this looks like warmer weather (could the photo have been snapped in warmer climes...ie NOLA?. The "S" seen in the second pix could have been part of her name. But, I'm like Alan in this regeard, this is my bet but I'm betting I'm wrong! Cap'n Walnut

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                #8
                not a Streckfus, almost positive on that

                Of course I can't find my notes on the Streckfus boats when and where they ran. But I can say for sure it isn't the WASHINGTON or SAINT PAUL. They both had a little row of gingerbread under the wing bridge, but not that design , and those railings aren't familiar to me on a Streckfus boat. It of course isn't the CAPITOL either, because she never came over there. I'd put my money on something like the EAST ST. LOUIS or VERNE SWAIN in one of its incarnations. I'll look at more pix later, just got done snowblowing. Again.

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                  #9
                  There were two other sidewheelers in Louisville then. The Henry Watterson and the Froman M. Coots, but I'm sticking with Rose Island. She was not renamed City of Memphis until 1931-32.

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                    #10
                    If the picture was made in 1925, then the boat is the Verne Swain, not Rose Island.

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                      #11
                      After looking at various excursion boat photos in my files, I vote for the Str. EAST ST. LOUIS, which was a frequent visitor on this part of the Ohio and which began life in 1895 as the VIRGINIA, famous as the "steamboat in a cornfield", which Capt. John Hartford authored a book about in the 1980's. As Alan mentioned, the boat later was the STEEL CITY, ISLAND BELLE (running in the Coney Island trade after the 1922 levee fire at Cincinnati which destroyed the first ISLAND QUEEN and others) and in 1927 was sold to the Greater New Orleans Amusement Company to become the GREATER NEW ORLEANS, after being rebuilt and reboilered at Paducah. She operated in the New Orleans harbor for a couple of years before being sold to Streckfus who dismantled her and used the nearly new boilers on the Str. WASHINGTON.

                      Herewith are two photos of the EAST ST. LOUIS at Madison, Indiana. In comparing them to Jim's photos, note the wingbridge (with gingerbread!) and the metal railing extension atop the wooden jigsaw railing, not extant in the first image, so it was a later addition undoubtedly installed in the interest of safety. I think the girl in the second photo Jim shared is standing in front of a stairway hatch cover, a large one of which is visible up forward and one at the stern in the two images I posted. I have another photo of the EAST ST. LOUIS at Madison, aglow in lights, but it eluded my search last night!
                      Attached Files

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                        #12
                        Alright, Jim,
                        Keith gets the Snickers bar.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Keith: I wonder if the young lady might be shown standing on a bench seat in front of or behind the texas...what we are seeing as a paddle box or stair hatch is in actuality the curved roof line of the texas. Note that the lady has the shadow of a hog chain under her chin and across her right shoulder. Also, I seem to see behind her the vertical seams of tongue and groove boards that make up the flimsy curtain-wall of the texas...typical steamboat construction. That might put her behind the port-side stack and you will note that a hog chain is located there. If so, that would mean that the boat could be a side-wheel or stern-wheel. I think that you are onto something. Cap'n Walnut.
                          Does the presence of a hog chain preclude a steel hull??
                          Last edited by Tom Schiffer; 01-13-2009, 10:18 AM. Reason: Further thought

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                            #14
                            That "S" that you see is the end of NEW ORLEANS, painted over a "ribbon" design on the side of the forward stairway hatch cover. It is visible in the second view I posted below. And it's much easier to see on my original than on this scan!

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                              #15
                              Wow, this has been fun! I was at the photo archives today and went through their photos and I could not positively identify our mystry boat; but I could eleminate a bunch...it's not either ISLAND QUEEN's, the CINCINNATI, any of the local ferry boats, nor the CITY OF MEMPHIS/ROSE ISLAND.
                              Keith the EAST ST. LOUIS looks to me like you've probably hit the nail on the head. One thing I think we can say for sure is that whatever boat it is was not originally built as an excursion boat becuase of the pipe rail extensions on the orignal wooden texas railings.
                              Good job Keith, you won the giant Snickers bar.

                              Comment

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