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Str. George M. Verity Dedication Anniversary

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  • David Tschiggfrie
    replied
    Originally posted by Judy Patsch View Post
    The GEO. M. VERITY began as the S.S. THORPE, built in 1927 at Dubuque. 130 x 35 x 5. Nordberg condensing engines 15's, 30's/ 6 ft stroke. Foster-Wheeler watertube boilers. Owned by Federal Barge Lines until sold in 1940 to American Rolling Mill Co. and renamed GEO. M. VERITY (from Way's Towboat Directory)
    Note the normally configured paddlewheel in these photos.
    The third pix was taken in 1938 after the THORPE hit the Washington Ave. bridge in Minneapolis (from C.W.'s collection)
    That second photo shows the THORPE in tow of the PATRICK J. HURLEY enroute to Dubuque Boat & Boiler yards for repairs after sinking in Minneapolis.

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  • Keith Norrington
    replied
    And one more UNunusual sternwheel view: Judy took this shot at Keokuk on October 18, 1980. A great perspective of the helical/herringbone paddlewheel on the VERITY. Kind of like looking into the funhouse mirrors at an amusement park!
    Attached Files

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  • Judy Patsch
    replied
    See my posting about the entire family of towboats, including the SEEBALD...

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  • Shipyard Sam
    replied
    Whatta 'Bout the SEBALD?

    Doesn't anyone else, besides YT, remember the VERITY when she was towing for ARMCO? Cap'n Bill does, of course. The GMV and WEBER W. SEBALD were regulars in the Cinti harbor where I spent my younger days. The tragedy of the two is what became of the SEBALD that was given to the Ashland (KY) Yacht Club for a buck, and that even included the sheets on the beds and the knives, forks, spoons, and dinnerware in the kitchen.

    I was allowed to roam all through her, in 1960, when I rowed over in the AVALON's yawl, and I regret that I did not ask for the Guest Book that was lying on the night stand in the Guest's Quarters that was signed by about every distinguished VIP on the river in the days the SEBALD was running.

    Tom Greene and Fred Way's names come to mind as ones that jumped off pages filled with others just as well-known as they were. I swear that Captain Gordon C. Greene also signed the book, but I'm trying to clear the cobwebs of half-a-century of accumulation as I attempt to recall that very special book sitting, there, on the bedside table.

    Ray Gill, the famed Chief Engineer on the VERITY and the BETSY ANN was an engineroom mentor of mine when I was Striking on the AVALON, a boat that he despised as he was always comparing the spartian AVALON to the comfortable VERITY. But he was a great man to work for, and I fondly recall, with delight, the many tales Chief Gill told of working on the GEORGE M. VERITY.

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  • Keith Norrington
    replied
    Speaking of unusual paddlewheels, here's a view of the Str. MISSISSIPPI III at St. Louis with a rather unique looking wheel. Apparently it didn't last long, as this is the ONLY photo I've ever seen of her with this wheel. Ironically, the photo was taken of the boat in about the same place where she later was permanently moored from 1966 until 1975 as the BECKY THATCHER.
    Attached Files

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  • Keith Norrington
    replied
    Well, at least you tried! Nowadays it seems that some visitors actually want to hear MIS-information and nonsense! At the Howard Museum, I can't count the times people ask me to tell about ghosts, secret passageways in the house, etc. They get really disappointed when I tell them we have NONE! I know it's the "vogue" for museum houses now to have a resident ghost but the Howard Museum doesn't have one and we don't want one! One lady got rather insistent and finally said, "Well, can't you make something up?" She stomped off in a huff when I told her I deal strictly in HISTORICAL FACTS and refuse to fabricate history for the sake of hype! Several of us have been asked, numerous times, where the Howard's kept their slaves! I wonder where these people went to school!!! Or IF they even went to school! Another visitor asked, "WHERE would there have been a shipyard?" Well, still across the street in the SAME place it's been since 1834!

    One of the WORST things I ever heard a tour guide say was aboard the SPRAGUE during my first visit to her in 1969, in company of my parents and maternal grandparents. The genteel southern lady was very kind (she told me that "because I was so" intah-rested" in steamboats it was OK to touch the big pilotwheel despite the sign that said DO NOT TOUCH!) but she told the group that the sheer of the boat was due to the moisture on the river and that the hull was warped! Well, that nearly "tumped me over", but I was barely 15 years old at the time, and even though I knew better from having continually pored over Alan's recently published Western Rivers Steamboat Cyclopoedium, I said nothing, lest I get into trouble with my mama and grandmama for being impolite!

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  • Bob Reynolds
    replied
    Keith, I tried, but must tell you the info. was not well-received. I didn't want to push. The most glaring error was them telling about the deckroom being used as a passenger dining room as though pax were carried for hire.

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  • Bill Judd
    replied
    Tom's inquiry about the Texas is important in that there were at least three different configurations of the Texas. In Judy's photos of the S.S. THORPE there is a very small Texas. In 1941 Armco added two rooms aft, then in 1945 the hull was made wider and Armco decided to add more guest quarters aft, along with a lounge to the Texas. It's interesting to compare photos taken over the 20 years of Armco ownership as to various changes made.

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  • Keith Norrington
    replied
    As a professional riverman, that would have been a golden opportunity for you to provide some EDUCATION for those docents who just might have appreciated it -- and those erroneous facts wouldn't continue in perpetuity!

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  • Judy Patsch
    replied
    VERITY interior

    Originally posted by Tom Schiffer View Post
    Wheel looks more like herringbone than helical to me but what do I know? The towboat has a Texas and I assume the crew slept there...what was in the main cabin...any "staterooms" there?
    The crew quarters were on the boiler deck, and the Texas was added later for more crew quarters and a guest's room.
    We held our Friday night Midwest Buffs gatherings on the boiler deck in the hallway and galley for many years.

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  • Judy Patsch
    replied
    Verity's wheel

    helical = spiral
    In the aforementioned book by David Tschiggfrie, he mentions the "double helical (herringbone) wheel". If you take one side of the wheel, you can see the 'spiral', so its a double spiral or helix, or herringbone. So Keith, Alan, and David on the helical and Capns Walnut and Reynolds on the herringbone are all correct.
    Attached Files

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  • Bob Reynolds
    replied
    Cap'n Walnut, I had always heard the term "herringbone" as well.

    As far as staterooms, there are/were none on the main deck. There is a large deck room aft of the boilers, which are set down in the hold. I can only hope that the docents there have gotten their facts straight, because when we were there 3 or 4 years ago, they were telling some real whoppers about various things. I realize they rely on volunteer help, but unfortunately, when inaccuracies are told many times over, they tend to become regarded as fact.

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  • Jim Herron
    replied
    A video tour of the Verity is included in our DVD "American Queen St. Louis to St. Paul". We had time to tour it while waiting for the AQ to come out of the lock and shot the AQ from the Verity as it passed.
    -Jim Herron

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  • Tom Schiffer
    replied
    Wheel looks more like herringbone than helical to me but what do I know? The towboat has a Texas and I assume the crew slept there...what was in the main cabin...any "staterooms" there?

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  • Keith Norrington
    replied
    In the early 1970's, our own David Tschiggfrie compiled an illustrated history of the boat entitled The George M. Verity Story. For years the booklet was sold in the boat's gift shop, but I don't know if it still is available. I did check BOOKFINDER.COM and eight copies are listed. I've also seen it show up on Ebay several times. Like it's author, it's a dandy -- and well worth having in your river library!

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