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William S Mitchell Dredge

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    William S Mitchell Dredge

    I saw photos on Rafter Clydes facebook page and became curious. It seems this is one storied vessel. I saw the video and read most of the SS Nighmare website. There are not many pictures of her and it showed an potition to register her in the historic society. I wonder how much of her remains and how functional she still is? From the video she was smashed pretty good but looks still mostly intact. I have seen the name Death Dredge attatched to her from various other sites. I just wonder what are the plans other than being a haunted house.

    #2
    Ed the Mitchell is pretty much intact. That damage area looks bad, but really is not. BB riverboats is happy that it looks that way as it fits the haunted boat look better.

    The hull plate was was originally 1/2" with some areas 3/4". Even today the plate tests out at 3/8 or better. The hull is divided into 28 compartments and all are bone dry.

    All its machinery is still on board, even the huge galley is still equipped even to the stainless steel cooking pots, etc.

    Her hull length is 260' x 50 wide. overall width with paddle boxes is 85'. By the way her wheels are still in place.

    There are no plans to do other than the haunted boat theme, it makes a ton of money in just two months.

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      #3
      Thanks

      I found her interesting in that the storied past online. If her stories are true she is in a great post boating life. I looked at her and thought with work and MONEY MONEY MONEY she would make a great overnight steamboat that is a sidewheeler. Sorry I got off topic. I will have to go up and see her.

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        #4
        hi Ed
        There were 4 big dust pan dredges that came out in 1932 and 1934. the Lewis and the Clark and the Black and the Mitchell. All 4 went to the Missouri River. The Capt. Merwether Lewis is dry docked at Brownville, Nebraska and has been operated as a museum. The Capt William Clark has lived on as a dredge the last I know refitted as a Cutter head and minus one Boiler and I think both wheels she was working between New Orleans and Galveston. The black made it to safety in the Dubuque Ice harbor. she has been used for over night guests. The Mitchell was been wondering around looking for a new home for years. first Kansas City, Then a spot south of there and then on to the ghost boat. I was curator over all Neb State historical society museum for a while and the Curator on the Lewis. It would be hard to make the Mitchell a paying traveling river boat. The top crew size was 52 men. About 30 in the aft bunk room and 22 in the foreward cabins. If it can be re plumbed one might be able to add some in side cabins over the engine room the bar can go in the Engine room and a few cabins could be fitted in the machine shop area on the main deck. Only the capt and chief and the cook and helpers had private baths. and you would have to find a place for the crew There was a drying rook and a could of storage rooms over the boiler room. The only way to get a lot of space is to add a Texas. The Laundry Room could make a couple of Cabins. They took the Laundress room out of the Lewis it had a private bath.

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          #5
          I went thru the MITCHELL several years ago with some B-B people. I had to tell them what they were seeing...they din't know the suction engine/pump from the propulsion engines. There was a separate steam engine to run the cold storage area too and a fairly complete machine shop in the rear. Most of the stuff was there including charts in the pilot house, chemicals in the water testing dept etc. Can't tell without a detailed look, but however fearsome the damage looks, it is really "fender-bender" to my eye. Cap'n Walnut

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            #6
            hi
            More Lewis
            Yew these boats has a cold storage room in the aft end main deck with a small steam engine to run the compressor. they all came out with simple steam engines to run the DC generators. after WWII the Lewis got two surplus dc steam turbine generators. For winter layup she had an AC motor to CD Generator in the Boiler room as all her equipment was DC. The government yards at Gasconade had a steam plant and they ran live steam to the boat what ere being worked on.

            The New Society Director we got after I was curator on the Boat wanted to shut her down and had an asbestos test done in the engine room but nothing showed up. I had gotten a gallon of special paint to cover Asbestos a few week before and had applied to to all the open wounds that I could see. It must work. It was a lot better then trying to remove all the old asbestos.

            Carl

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              #7
              The "Mitchell" was remarkably intact when I tinkered on her in 1990-91. It looked like the crew had walked away one day and just hadn't made it back yet. The chief's office had the complete set of the boat's drawings in a fine big cabinet. She had water in several compartments at that time, so it is good to hear the hull is dry now.

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