Steamboat Photos, Page 10


This rafter was very photogenic, came across these two photos of the KIT CARSON in the La Crosse collection and combined them here.

Named for legendary frontiersman Christopher Houston "Kit" Carson (1809-1868) Also included a vignette portrait of Carson himself with the lower photo.

Sternwheel Rafter
1880 - 1916

Way's Steam Towboat Directory Number T1522

Built at South Stillwater, Minnesota circa 1880.
Owned in 1883 by Burlington Lumber Company, McDonald Brothers of La Crosse, Wisconsin and Captain A. R. Young who commanded her.

Later she was sold south to the Patton-Tully Lumber Company of Memphis, Tennessee. Condemned at Memphis and dismantled in 1916.


1880: Captain A. R. Young (master), N. B. Lucas (pilot)

1886-1889: Captain R. N. Cassidy (master) William Wooders (pilot)

1888-1889: Sol S. Fuller (chief engineer)

1890: Harry Walker (master), Captain Charley Meeds (first engineer)

1890-91 Captain John Bradley and Frank D. Wettenhall (pilots)

1890-1894: Captain William Slocumb (master and pilot)

1892: Captain B. B. Bradley (master)

1894: George Dunbar (pilot)

1899: Captain H. Bresee (master and pilot)

1900-1904 Captain William Dobler (master and pilot)

1901-1902: John Schmidt (pilot)

1916: Captain Cornelius Knapp (master)


SacramentoRiverBoat Matthew McKinleyWhisperingBayPhotoBradZweerink

I took the photo of the MATTHEW McKINLEY with Tower Bridge in the background at Sacramento in 1992.

The photo of the McKINLEY undergoing restoration was taken by Brad Zweerink to accompany the 2012 article by Ian Thompson for the Fairfield Daily Republic.

Fairfield California Daily Republic

"Matthew McKinley gets new lease on life in Suisun City"

By Ian Thompson

June 27, 2012

SUISUN CITY—Tucked away next to a dock in Whispering Bay, the entertainment boat Matthew McKinley is getting a new lease on life.

Suisun City residents will be able to see what could be the city's next resident entertainment boat Monday when it ties up to the downtown waterfront.

Vacaville's Gary Stone, who owns the Matthew McKinley, and a crew of friends, family members, volunteers and contractors have spent the last three weeks completely renovating the vessel: putting in new forward stairways, replacing the electrical system and refurbishing its interior.

Half the vessel's wooden roof, which was ripped off by the wind in December 2009, has been completely replaced and more strongly anchored to the deck.

Stone, who bought an island in the Suisun Slough that he is turning into a youth camp, acquired the Matthew McKinley two years ago. When Community Services Director Mick Jessop asked Stone a month ago if the Matthew McKinley could be part of this year's Fourth of July fireworks festival, Stone ramped up his work to renovate the vessel.

"We are under the gun," Stone said Tuesday while workers prepared to caulk and paint the Matthew McKinley.

He expects the vessel to be ready on time, thanks to the work crew.

The Matthew McKinley will be tied up to the public dock during the Fourth of July festival as a place to watch fireworks for friends and people who have helped fix up the vessel and create the Stone Cove Youth Camp.

After the Fourth of July, Stone and Suisun City officials will sit down to work out an agreement that could make the Matthew McKinley the sixth entertainment boat to call the Suisun waterfront its home. The Matthew McKinley is making its appearance three months after the small River Otter Water Taxi called it quits.

The vessel will be leased to the Stone Cove Youth Camp and part of its time will be spent serving as a classroom and gathering place for the campground.

Stone purchased the small, 5.4-acre tidal island in 2009, cleaned out a collection of refuse and derelict vessels, fixed up the dock and improved the island so that it could become home to a private, nonprofit youth camp. Stone said he expects the camp to be ready for its first youth groups later this summer.

The Matthew McKinley was brought to Suisun City in 2008 by Northbay Charters, the owners of the 100-foot-long Lady of Suisun, which only stayed a year before weighing anchor and departing for Oakland.

After the Lady of Suisun left, the Matthew McKinley was parked in Whispering Bay, where Stone found her.

Ian Thompson has worked for the Daily Republic longer than he cares to remember. A native of Oregon and a graduate of the University of Oregon, he pines for the motherland still. He covers Vacaville and Travis Air Force Base for the Daily Republic.


J.S. of the Strekfus line, starboard view.


Postcard with August 19, 1916 postmark.

The name on the hull below the deck at the bow says SIDNEY, big as life. We've got an old newspaper ad from a Hannibal paper for an excursion for her on one of the new pages.

Note the musician with the big bass drum in the left foreground with some fellows following him up the river banks who are wearing the same uniform, probably band players also.

Four U.S. flags are on flag poles aboard the SIDNEY and at least one flag is being carried ashore among the passengers who may be bound for a picnic at a riverfront park.

It addition to the folks disembarking there are plenty of passengers still on the boat. 'appy 'oliday!

A paragraph about the SIDNEY from "RIVERBOATS & JAZZ" on a Tulane University site:

The SIDNEY was commissioned in 1911 and remained in the Streckfus fleet under that name until 1924, when it was renamed the WASHINGTON. This was the first boat to feature a New Orleans band on the river, and it helped to spread the word about the special talents of Crescent City musicians. Fate Marable had formed a band of fellow Kentuckians in 1917, but he later recalled that while they "played real nice, they could not compare to the New Orleans boys." The Streckfus excursions ran from New Orleans to St. Paul, Minnesota, allowing numerous opportunities for patrons up and down the Mississippi River to hear what these players had to offer. Thus, musicians in places such as St. Louis, Missouri, and Davenport, Iowa, gained exposure to New Orleans style music, although it was confined to some extent by the guidelines set down by Marable and Captain Joe Streckfus. Even so, musicians and dancers alike could tell that New Orleans players were somehow different. As Captain C. W. Elder claimed, "None of the others had what was called good solid beat rhythm music with the Dixieland flavor."


Standing in front of the name board at the rear of the pilot house of the PRINCESS are two gentlemen who I gather from their uniforms were musicians "on a break" between giving performances on the boat.

(Excursion boat 1924 - 32)

Sidewheel Packet

Way's Packet Directory Number 1033;
Hull built by Midland Barge Company, Midland, Pennsylvania and completed at Cincinnati, 1924 Ran on Ohio and Mississippi rivers

This boat had a double cabin, parlor rooms, baths, separate dining room, steam heat and all the trimmings. She was designed by marine architect Tom Dunbar as a single-cabin packet for the Cincinnati-Louisville trade. Before completion, the stateroom capacity was vastly enlarged by the building of a second passenger cabin. The original cost of this boat was $417,000 of which she made back about $200,000 in the first eight years of operation. The boat was owned by John W. Hubbard, Pittsburgh and operated by the Louisville and Cincinnati Packet Company. She made Cincinnati-New Orleans Mardi Gras trips without a break from 1924-1930 and cleared $40,000 on her first Mardi Gras trip. She was in Pittsburgh on several occasions, and brought the 31st annual convention of the Ohio Valley Improvement Association there in October, 1925. She appeared for the 1929 celebration of the completion of the Ohio River locks and dams. Her principal business was regular summer operation in the Louisville-Cincinnati packet trade. On May 24, 1928 while between Carrollton and Madison, she collided with the M.V. BELFONT and engineer Homer Johnston was killed. Hard times came with the Louisville and Cincinnati Packet Company having financial troubles. The Cincinnati was sold to Streckfus Steamers, Incorporated, St. Louis. They tore her down to the hull and built a superstructure for an excursion boat named PRESIDENT.

contemporary paddlewheel steamboat

Attached photo I took of a rainbow created by water and sunlight off the sternwheel of the excursion boat Columbia Gorge on the Columbia River last October. The C.G. runs out of her spring/summer/fall base at the town of Cascade Locks, Oregon. On the 4 hour trip I was on, she went downriver (west) and was lowered through the locks at Bonneville Dam, continued west for a spell before turning around and heading back upriver where she got raised back up again at Bonneville en route to home. The scenery of that stretch of river (known of course as the Columbia Gorge) is breathtaking and it was a perfectly beautiful day for it.

During the winter the Columbia Gorge is in Portland. This was one of her last trips before the season ended. She's diesel powered but has the authentic look and feel of the old Columbia River steamboats.



Took these of the Scarlett Belle up at Oxnard in '07 while they were putting the finishing touches on her in the boat yard there. Not a living soul around so I was able to walk around and get these. The link below shows how she's become a weddin' type boat.

The Scarlett Belle Riverboat Paddlewheeler is a yacht newly built in 2007 in the Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard California. She can accommodate 150 guests, climate controlled with heating or air. She cruises inside the Channel Islands harbor taking you thru the waterways and into the newer Westport and sea bridge homes. She has two levels and a wheel house, 2 handicap accessible spacious bathrooms, walk around decks on both upstairs and downstairs and gets lit up with sparkling lights for your event.

The Portland, Portland, Oregon

Attached photo I took of the PORTLAND at Portland, Oregon, on the Willamette River in October '06. This was in the morning before she was open for tourists. I stayed in a spiffy old hotel a few blocks away so I could walk down in the morning and luxuriate in seeing the old girl. That lumpy black chef's hat on top of her stock was put there only the week after some drunken local teenager had climbed the ladder on the stack and plummeted down the into the PORTLAND's innards. He was arrested and hospitalized.

Hannibal Aerial AmericanQueen1995EXP.jpg

American Queen - Dave took it in 1995 from a little single engine plane flying over the Mississippi above Hannibal with the bran' new American Queen headed upstream towards Quincy, Illinois.


With the exception of images credited to public institutions,
everything on this page is from a private collection.
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