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Suwanee Scrapped at Greenfield Village

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    Suwanee Scrapped at Greenfield Village

    News at this site Greenfield Village Open-Air Museum: Steamboat "Suwanee" is that the Suwanee sternwheeler has been scrapped. Anyone else know more?

    #2
    Sad but reality

    This is a prime example of how we are a throw away nation. We care nothing of our past and are content to let it slip into the footnotes of oblivion. Before too long we will have nothing left. I say we get a movement to iradicate the monuments of D.C since they are just old buildings and are substandard due to age. If we were to bring this idea to congress or the people we would be tared and feathered. Why can't we see what we are doing. We are the only nation on Earth that is content to let its history be thrown away. Why bother, the small cries from a few fall on all to often deaf ears....

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      #3
      The sad reality is that those of us who do care are the ones who don't have enough money to do anything about it. Those who have the money are usually the ones who don't care about historic preservation unless it makes more money for them. Keep in mind that there are exceptions to this (before people start pointing out people who are exceptions to the rule), but the trend is, "If it's making money for me, keep it. If it's not making money for me, scrap it."

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        #4
        For those of us that "do" care.....The ones that "don't" give a damn try to satisfy us with calling it.......PROGRESS! I hope that they keep the engines as they do have a historical value to them.

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          #5
          Suwanee

          As I read the blog, the Suwanne was a re-creation ca. 1930 by Henry Ford, and then re-created again at least once or twice in the latter part of the 20th century. Like the proverbial 200 year old axe that has had five new heads and four new handles.

          Still, one would hope that the engine was set aside.

          Wesley

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            #6
            Suwanee engines

            It was my understanding that the engines on the Suwanee were originally on the little steamer St. Jacobs Oil built near Wheeling WV in 1880. This boat was later purchased by the New Orleans Times Democrat Newspaper and re-named Susie B. for the owners Wife. Later they were installed on a Florida steamboat named Suwanee, which operated on the Withlacoochee River. Supposedly Edison took two and three day trips on her when he worked at Ft. Myers FL. That boat was abandoned in 1920 on Lake Okechobee. When Henry Ford built his museum he had the boat replicated for it out of respect for his good friend Edison, who had often admired the Suwanee. Her engines were dug out of the wreck on Lake Okechobee and installed in the replica. IF those engines were still on the Suwanee when she was scrapped and weren't salvaged, it was a real loss. The above is a short version of a long story. And yes, it is a tragedy that this country throws nearly everything from its past away.
            Attached Files

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              #7
              And that the scrapping was done by a "museum" itself. . . .
              Not the first time Greenfield village has done "foolish things" with its artifacts.
              S'
              David D.

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                #8
                *RE: Loss of the SUWANEE*
                Steamboating colleagues:
                Above news RE: fate of the SUWANEE sad, very sad. Thanks to John Fryant for the history he provided. I hope the engines were saved and at least in storage. I'd heard things were in limbo with the boat for some time. Ford and Edison, as posted, were close friends with Edison's lab reconstructed at the museum. On the trip north Tuesday to the lake house I pondered stopping at Greenfield for a look see but kept on driving north.

                David's concern like mine over a museum taking this action. I'd heard several years ago that the Ford endowment, though large, was facing depletion in cash reserves and investment yield. Those huge Ford and Rockefeller endowments of the 1920s and 1930s for Deerfield and Colonial Williamsburg are but a drop in the bucket compared to the huge funds we see today. Chilly to cold up here for two days since arriving and I've got the gas fireplace going now. No bear sightings yet but lots of coyotes, deer, otter, beaver, Sand Hill Cranes, Canadian geese, wild turkeys, eagles. Cheers!

                R. Dale Flick
                Summer: The shores of Lake Michigan.

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                  #9
                  Another one GONE!

                  Like dominoes, the steamboats, great and small, are "falling" and quickly disappearing from the scene. How shameful that a historical institution brought about the demise of the SUWANNEE!

                  I have heard stories, from reliable sources, that the Worlds of Fun Amusement Park at Kansas City came under fire when, in 1995, they quickly scrapped the COTTON BLOSSOM which was used in the 1951 movie version of "SHOWBOAT", starring Ava Gardner, Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson. They wanted the space for another park ride and used the feeble excuse that the riverboat "had some rotten boards in it." And so it was swiftly dismantled with the aid of a wrecking ball and bulldozers. Although it wasn't truly a steamboat, it WAS an icon of Americana, known and loved by people all over the world, who expressed their disdain with much public outcry over its demise.

                  As has been said on this forum, more than a few times recently, RIDE A STEAMBOAT --- WHILE YOU STILL CAN!!!

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