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    MISSISSIPPI V on the Ohio

    Mary Charlton reports that the magnificent M/V MISSISSIPPI V, of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Memphis District, was open for tours at Cincinnati yesterday. Mary took an excellent photo of the boat's roof bell, which has served on ALL of the steamers MISSISSIPPI (I, II, III) and her two diesel successors. The bell dates to 1894 (when the first MISSISSIPPI, built in 1882, was rebuilt following a fire) and still rings proudly on the river. The M/V MISSISSIPPI is one AWESOME vessel, with everything state-of-the-art. You could hold a dance in her pilothouse and one river captain I know calls the boat the "Starship Enterprise"!

    (1) Capt. Steve E. Greenwell, master, Str. MISSISSIPPI (#1) at Keokuk, Iowa on October 1, 1907, poses with the bell as he prepares to get underway with President Theodore Roosevelt aboard for a four day trip to Memphis.
    (2) Str. MISSISSIPPI (later BECKY THATCHER) at Natchez, 1938, with railroad ferry JAMES Y. LOCKWOOD in background. Note bell on hurricane roof.
    (3) MISSISSIPPI V at McAlpine Lock, Louisville, with Str. BELLE OF LOUISVILLE, June 25, 1999.
    Attached Files

    Keith has prevailed upon me to post pictures of the bell. Thanks to modern technology, I could zoom in on it, then get my beloved Mac to zoom in more. I know that Vic and Frank were down the day before me--I suspect they also have some pictures, as Captain Finley said they were looking at the bell with great interest. Maybe they also have some pictures?

    It was great fun to have a tour with Captain Finley. I have an album of pictures posted on my Facebbook page, for anyone who would like to see more.
    Attached Files


      MISSISSIPPI Memories

      Thanks very much Mary! It's something to think of all the MANY times that bell has rung on three steamboats and two diesel vessels! Indeed, Mary has some great photos on her Facebook page from her tour of the MISSISSIPPI V at Cincinnati. Take a look!

      Herewith are several more vintage images in which the bell is visible.

      (1) MISSISSIPPI #1 and Eagle Packet Company Str. ALTON at Cairo, Illinois - 1907 Presidential trip.
      (2) President Theodore Roosevelt waves his hat from the deck of the Str. MISSISSIPPI (#1) - 1907
      (3) Str. MISSISSIPPI (#3) new at Paducah, Kentucky - 1927. This was the LAST steamboat MISSISSIPPI, operating until April 19, 1961. Sold at auction in 1962 for $35,110 to a St. Louis steel executive who used her at Hannibal for a brief time. Later the BECKY THATCHER at St. Louis (1966-1975) and Marietta (1975-2009) until her sinking at Pittsburgh in 2010 which resulted in scrapping. Her steel hull, built by Howard's in 1926, remains submerged.
      Attached Files



        I called Barb Hameister this afternoon regarding our upcoming TWILIGHT trip, and she answered from the M V's pilothouse. She and Carol Roth were there talking with Lee Hendrix, Finley Fraser's cohort. Now there's a pilothouse full of river tales...


          Judy, I asked Captain Finley when I was up in the pilothouse where Captain Lee's bicycle was. There is certainly enough room for it! He laughed, and said it was in his room. Of course, Captain Lee was off watch when I was there, and I doubt he partook of the Graeter's ice cream I brought down to the boat. The bike, of course, was there--just in his room.


            Biking time

            Does he have as much shore time on there to go biking as he did on the QUEENS? Last time I saw him he was peddling along the Toulouse St. Wharf watching the NATCHEZ depart. Somehow I think your ice cream didn't go to waste, even if Lee didn't get it!


              The report from Captain Finley last night was that when he went for his share of the ice cream, the only flavor left was the mocha chip. As I don't like coffee, I can't comment, although this, and the raspberry chip, are my sister's favorites.

              Knowing Captain Lee, he will find time to bike!