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Capt. Jim and Loretta Howard

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  • Alan Bates
    replied
    The only woodworking shop Captain Jim had when I knew him was on the second floor of the carriage house where the windows look toward the mansion. An incredibly steep and narrow stairway led there. It was full of hand tools, a lathe a workbench and stacks of wood. I never heard of a woodworking shop in the house. I rather doubt its existence because of dust, noise, etc.

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  • Keith Norrington
    replied
    The "shop" was one of the rooms in the mansion, according to the label on the photo, which also mentioned the presence of a drafting table. Don't know which, of 22 rooms, it was, but Alan might have a firsthand answer. My guess would have been the basement or carriage house.

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  • Tom Schiffer
    replied
    Judy: I seem to remember that one of the Howard volunteers lives 'way out near Rock Island and comes to the Howard on her own dime to "do" cookies 'n such. If you see her tell her that she has my thanks for cookies and support of the museum and all things river related. We also missed her at the King Fisher. Cap'n Walnut

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  • Tom Schiffer
    replied
    Question, Keith: Where was the "shop" where Jim Howard crafted those curios?
    Cap'n Walnut

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  • Keith Norrington
    replied
    Construction began on the 22 room mansion in 1890 and was completed in 1894, with the family moving in during December of that year. Ernst Hoffman, a German woodcarver who was employed at the shipyard, worked for two years with the fifteen different varieties of wood in the house. We were honored to have his great-granddaughter as a visitor not so long ago. Other shipyard workers also crossed the street to work on the mansion during the four year construction period. Laura Burke Howard (wife of Capt. Edmonds J. Howard) purchased many of the home's furnishings at the Columbian Exposition/Chicago World's Fair in 1893. The large oak desk and chair (with intricate carvings) in the second floor hallway, bearing the monogram EJH (on both desk and chair) was built in the shipyard. Although made for the captain, Frances Howard Kohlhepp remembered it being used solely by her grandmother to keep the household account books, etc.

    The fire was on March 17, 1971, and the house opened for limited tours (three rooms initially) as restoration work progressed, in the spring of 1972.

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  • Judy Patsch
    replied
    construction of the Howard mansion

    How long did it take to build the mansion? How much of it was done by shipyard workers? And after the 1971 fire, how long before the restoration was done, or done enough to reopen?

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  • Keith Norrington
    replied
    The guy cooking the hamburgers and hot dogs each year is board member Doug Yates and he certainly deserves a "purple heart" for his HOT & SMOKY work at the grill! Although the number of volunteers dwindles each year due to various reasons, we are proud of ALL the dedicated people who annually pitch in and volunteer long hours "for the good of the cause" -- and ask for nothing in return. Well done thou faithful servants!!!

    Ted, I can't remember how many times visitors mentioned to me that they were so happy "the organ grinder is back this year", because you were sorely missed last year! THANKS, and a whistle salute to you for your generous donation of time and talent to the museum!

    Herewith are a few vintage views of museum related photos I thought might be of interest.
    (1) Howard Mansion under construction, circa 1891.
    (2) Model of towboat LORETTA HOWARD - 1950's
    (3) Howard mansion parlor ceiling - 1950's. The ceiling decorations were "lost" in the 1971 fire.
    Attached Files

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  • Ted Guillaum
    replied
    Volunteers are the Lifeblood of the Howard

    Judy is exactly right about the number of volunteers that it takes to keep the Howard alive. There are so many volunteers keeping the Chautauqua Festival running smooth that get no attention. People like the guy cooking the hamburgers all day and eating the smoke from the grll, his staff selling the food, the folks selling tickets at the gate, the guys monitoring the trash cans and keeping the ground pristene plus many more that you may not see. My hat goes off to all the unsung heros at The Howard Steamboat Museum.

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  • Judy Patsch
    replied
    Restoring the models

    That's good news about the future of those models - volunteers are the lifeblood of the Howard - if you had to pay to have every model rebuilt that needed it, the museum coffers would be empty. And speaking of volunteers, once again a salute to NotKalliope Keith, because he was busy on the second floor of the mansion ALL DAY both Saturday and Sunday volunteering his time, and to Grind 'n Bind Ted Guillaum, who not only travels to the Chautauqua on his own dime, but who donates his tips to the museum too. Too often the regular suspects are taken for granted when they are 'only' volunteers.

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  • Keith Norrington
    replied
    Phillip: Yes, indeed, BOTH of those quite elderly models (NANCY HANKS and a railroad ferry) are extant and in storage at the museum. Next time you come over I'll show them to you. The NANCY HANKS was partially restored in 1970 by a museum volunteer and placed on display. It was damaged in the March 17, 1971 fire and has been in storage since. It is in bad shape but, Greg Goldstein, a Louisvlle steamboat buff with longtime connections to the museum and who Capt. Fred Way always referred to as, "a premier steamboat model builder", has offered to again restore the model. Some years ago Greg built a BIG and fabulous model of the Str. KATIE. At the time of the fire he also rescued a fine model of the steam towboat G.W. THOMAS, refurbishing it for the museum and donating his time and talent.

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  • Phillip Johnson
    replied
    July 18th...I could be out of town...don't you just hate how work gets in the way of all the fun!?!? Keith, any idea if those models still exist in some collection today? Are they at the Museum? They didn't strike me as familiar, but then again there are so many models there it would be easy for me to forget some.

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  • Judy Patsch
    replied
    Howard family

    Its amazing how completely different the ownerships of two shipyards could be: the Howard family with their grand mansion and desire to preserve the yard/family history by creating the museum - and over here the reclusive single Fred Kahlke who looked like a homeless man much of the time and whose shipyard 'went up in flames' with the burning of the WJ QUINLAN. It certainly would have been nice to know the Howards, and I'm sure we'll get some great insights from Alan on July 18th.

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  • Keith Norrington
    started a topic Capt. Jim and Loretta Howard

    Capt. Jim and Loretta Howard

    While scanning some photos for a project at the museum, I thought y'all might be interested in seeing them as well. The first photo of Capt. Jim shows him making "souvenirs" utilizing wood from the cabin arches of the ROBT. E. LEE. A number of these miniature bitts and pilotwheel spokes still survive in collections. The second view has Capt. Jim with some OLD boat models. Loretta Howard is pictured holding a silver pitcher from the Str. JOHN W. CANNON, with other steamboat silver displayed on the dining room mantel. All three images were taken in 1951. Capt. Jim passed away in 1956 and the mansion became a museum in 1958. Loretta passed away in 1978 at age 93. She was an amazing lady and I so wish I could have some more conversations with her. Sorry to say, I was but two years old when Capt. Jim departed, so never had the opportunity to meet him. However, those who attend the next River Ramblings program on July 18th will get to hear Capt. Alan Bates talk firsthand about his friendship with Capt. Jim. Hope you can be "on deck'!
    Attached Files
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