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Steamboats of the North

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    Steamboats of the North

    Hey all,

    I just got home from a very fast-paced trip to the Northeast to visit the Str. MINNE HA HA of Lake George Steamboat Company and the Str. TICONDEROGA of the Shelburne Museum, in Shelburne, VT.

    What a great trip! These boats are a MUST SEE for any steamboat fan. I mean this in all sincerity, you are missing out on two breath taking jewels of steamboat history if you don't include these two in your travels!

    The MINNE HA HA was built in 1969 by the Dow Family (who also own the NATCHEZ in New Orleans) and features a set of Semple non-condensing steam engines as her propulsion. She runs 7 one-hour cruises a day on the lake from Memorial Day through Labor Day and some special cruises after the season as weather permits. She features a steam calliope built by Dave Morecraft and makes her presence known with no less than THREE steam whistles! She is a gem and has a crew of very friendly folks who are so proud of their boat and love steamboat fans!

    The TICONDEROGA is restored at the Shelburne Museum about two and a half hours drive from Lake George. This is an excellent day drive trip from the Lake. She is a 1906 built sidewheel steamboat with a walking beam engine...the last of her kind in the US. She is in unbelievable condition for her age. To walk her decks is something akin to being on the DELTA QUEEN, as she has many of the same architectural features as this phenomenal time machine of the north.

    I highly suggest that anyone who calls themselves a steamboat fan make plans to go to Lake George and spend a couple of days experiencing the beauty of the Lake and the Steamboat MINNE HA HA. She has two sister boats, the 1908 built MOHICAN (former steamboat, now diesel) and the 1989 built LAC DU SAINT SACRAMENT. All of these boats are worth your time and you won't be the least bit upset with your time traveling to see them!

    While there, plan a day drive to will be so glad you did!

    I cant begin to tell you the fun I had on this trip. It was like finding a new link to the history of steamboating i didn't know existed!


    Picture 1: The LAC DU SAINT SACRAMENT passing the MINNE HA HA
    Picture 2: The Str. TICONDEROGA
    Picture 3: The Paddlewheel of the Str. MINNE HA HA

    Here are some more pictures of the TICONDEROGA showing the amazing architectural similarities to the DELTA QUEEN. She is the last of the American Walking Beam Sidewheelers and a testament to Yankee ingenuity!

    Picture 1: Grand Staircase
    Picture 2: Dining Room
    Picture 3: Forward Observatory (looks like the Texas Lounge, doesn't it?)


      Here are some pictures of the TICONDEROGA's feathering paddlewheels. The bucket boards move to accommodate fluctuations in her trim. They can be adjusted as necessary. Again, simply amazing!

      Picture 1: The Buckets of the wheel...notice the arm to adjust the angle.
      Picture 2: The eccentric that operates the arms of the feathering wheel
      Picture 3: The 3 steering wheels of the TI. The first two are mechanical like we are used to on the Mississippi. The forward and smaller one is the steam assisted steering...and the most commonly used wheel on the boat.


        Here are a few pictures from Lake George to show you the beauty of that body of water and the boats on it! Trust me, there is so much to do up there, it is the perfect vacation spot for any family...specially steamboat families!

        Picture 1: Crowds wait to board the MINNE
        Picture 2: The SAINT landing at the Steel Pier
        Picture 3: The MO passing by



          I can only second you!

          I can also recommend Smokey Joe´s Saloon & Grill in Lake George.

          As for the Shelburne Museum: The ticket is valid for two days. And we were sorry that we weren´t able to come back the other day. The area is really great and there´s a lot to see. I was really highly impressed by this museum complex.

          Also get hold of a free Vermont State map. There are a lot of suggestions of what to do and see in Vermont which we found more than helpful!! Prior to the opening of the museum we had to stop and tour the nearby Vermont Teddybear Factory (and of course by a bear called Shelby). On our way to Boston we made a stop over at Ben & Jerry´s for a factory tour :-).

          Next time we definitely have to plan in some more time for this area!



            Thanks Travis and Carmen for your kind words about our nook of the country. While the MINNE and the TI may not be inland river steamers (or the DQ), they are steamboats none-the-less that need help 'staying afloat', and I am happy that yall had great times aboard these 2 vessels. and Travis, I look forward to the next time that our calliope sounds that good again (the videos are on youtube!) :)


              Under what title are they on Youtube? I couldn't find them on Minne Ha Ha calliope....


                they are under "New Steam Calliope on the MINNE HA HA (#)"


                  Here are the links

                  Part 1

                  Part 2

                  Part 3

                  and so on (or simply check here)



                    the last mile afloat of the MISSISSIPPI QUEEN

                    Mississippi Queen paddle boat heading to junk yard - YouTube
                    While looking at the MINNE videos, this one showed up to the side. It was taken as the MQ was being towed through the bridge in Pierre Part. The shipyard was just a mile downstream - or upstream, can't remember which way the river was flowing...