Steamboat Photos, Page 17



Sternwheeler helped drain flooded island in 1938

Novelty photo of Sacramento River steamer J.D. PETERS helping to reclaim flooded Mandeville Island in the San Joaquin River in 1938. Included is a detail from a La Crosse photo of the J.D. PETERS alongside the CAPITAL CITY at Stockton, CA.

Old steamboats dry out inundated islands in California

STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA: JUNE 10, 1938 Photo by Acme News Service

A new use has been found for old steamboats - - - that of drying out inundated islands. High flood waters in the Delta of the San Joaquin River broke through a levee to flood Mandeville Island, which is now below river level.

To dry off the land, a fleet of 4 river steamboats including the J.D. PETERS (built in 1889) in this photograph, were taken inside the island area through the levee break. The levee was sealed and the old old steamers backed up so their stern paddlewheels were positioned in front of trough-like flumes over the levee. With their boilers going and paddlewheels churning and the boats secured so they can't move, they are raising the water into the flumes which flows back into the river. Meanwhile the island area, which is 1600 flooded acres in extent with water 10 feet deep, is expected to be reclaimed in time for fall planting. When the island is dried out the once proud river steamers will be used as bunkhouses for ranch hands.







1880's negatives aboard taken aboard steamboats

Six scans, the best of 17 glass negatives of steamboats, most of them 4x5 inches

These negs appear to date from the late 1800's and early 1900's and haD a multitude of flaws that took hours of Photoshop finessing to clean up. Results attached. I added the "Golden Hour" sepia tone effect, using an "ON1" effects option.

The three vertical format pictures I cropped to showcase First, the three gals around the bell, Second, the same 3 women seated in the foreground with 2 gents standing behind them and Third the searchlight attendant. This saved a lot of man hours cleaning up heavily spotted, less non-essential areas to the left and right of the central figures.

The 2 gents and 2 ladies seated on a bench behind the pilot house (whose visor was "buttoned up" while in port evidently; the pilot wheel is clearly visible through the open sliding window) are interesting folks. The fellow wearing the uniform cap may have been a pilot but possibly more likely a passenger who was loaned the cap by a member of the crew to wear while he was posing.

The other three ladies sitting on the porch of the texas cabin aboard the BELLE OF CALHOUN look like they're having a good time, the two on the left are wearing caps and a there is a pilot's cap placed upside down on the deck, lower left which may have been intended to have been worn by the bemused lady on the far right. The BELLE's name is stenciled on the two axes mounted to the bulkhead of the texas cabin.

A solitary gentleman sits on a table inside the main cabin of the BELLE OF CALHOUN. The interior is atmospherically illuminated primarily from sunshine through the portside skylights overhead and possibly from a door that was open into a stateroom whose secondary door opened from the room to the deck outside. The BELLE's name is painted high on the rear bulkhead of the cabin just below the ceiling.

Sternwheel Packet
Built at the Carondelet marine ways and completed at the St. Louis wharf in 1895 Became the JULIA in May of 1899; original name restored in 1905
Burned in winter 1930-1931 at Alton Slough

Original owner St. Louis and Clarksville Packet Company, Frederick W. Schwartz (president); Captain T.B. Sims owned her in 1897; 1898 owned by J.W. Fristoe, Frank P. Hearne and Captain Byrd Burton; May 1899 sold to Memphis and Vicksburg Packet Company; name changed to JULIA; 1905 owned by the St. Louis and Calhoun Packet Corporation, Captain Lee Cummings and name reverted to BELLE OF CALHOUN; 1913 owned by Captain H.W. Sebastian

Original crew, 1895, Captain Aaron Hall (master), Joe Chatterton and Harry H. Monaghan (pilots), Edward Young (first clerk), Zollie Block (second clerk), Oliver Cotrell (chief engineer) and William Tracy (mate). H.S. Ruby (pilot); 1913, Captain George Carvell (master), Captain Roy Watson (master), William Blaine (steward); 1914 and 1915, Selby Crader (pilot); 1915, William Bush (pilot); 1917, Captain Ed Nowland (master)

Way's Packet Directory Number 0516

The BELLE OF CALHOUN was named for Miss Anna Wood, chosen as the "belle of Calhoun County, Illinois" in a contest run by the Hardin Herald. She later married Zollie Block. In 1895 the Waterways Journal ran a contest for the most popular packet crew members out of St. Louis. The BELLE OF CALHOUN hauled off all honors. On May 27, 1896 she was badly damaged by the tornado at St. Louis and sank up to the cabin; was raised and repaired. October 1914 she sank four miles above Alton with 4,700 barrels of apples. Her head was on shore and the stern in 20 feet. About 800 barrels were lost. Again she was raised and repaired. In October 1929 she once again sank about three miles above Hannibal, Missouri and was raised.


Snagboat DAVID TIPSON circa 1904 - 1923

Sidewheel Snagboat

Way's Packet Directory Number 1471

Built at Jeffersonville, Indiana in 1900 by Howard Ship Yards, under the name Col. A. MACKENZIE; renamed DAVID TIPTON circa 1904

Owned by the U.S. Engineering Department

Her skipper, Captain David Tipton, died at the wheel of the MACKENZIE on Lake Pepin, near Reads Landing, Minnesota September 22, 1904 and the boat was renamed in his honor. The U.S. Engineers operated her on the upper Mississippi River until 1920. Captain Frank Martin was her last master. She was sold at public sale conducted at Rock Island, Illinois, to Meyer Katz, St. Louis, and John F. Klein, Pittsburgh. In late 1923 she was sold to two Memphis, Tennessee railroad men, named Peel and Bachelor; who renamed her URSIE BOYCE. She was converted to a packet and put in the Memphis-White River trade and later became the CITY OF CAIRO.

Percy Ruby pilot, circa 1912
Levi King, Jr. chief engineer, 1916
Charles De Lisle pilot, March 1917


From John Hartford's personal collection

Photograph of the steamboat PARK CITY from John Hartford's personal collection from which Ralph Du Pae of LaCrosse, Wisconsin kindly had an 11 x 14 print made for me Included are 4 musicians, what appear to be 3 members of the crew, 11 passengers and a pilot at the wheel in the pilot house.

Players with their instruments: Clarinet, Fiddle, Guitar & the Bass Fiddle player who appears to resemble actor Paul Newman.

Boat was in motion as evidenced by the "action blur" on foliage behind the boat during the camera's brief time-exposure.

Sternwheel Packet

Owned by Captain E.W. Bewley
Clerks: Jake Kittinger; J. Edgar Williams (clerk); Jett Hines (clerk)
Ran on the Ohio River; Green River; Kentucky River

Way's Packet Directory Number 4392
Built in 1883 at Brownsville, Pennsylvania as the GAYOSO. Her name was changed to PARK CITY in 1897. In the beginning of her career, she ran Evansville-Green River. Later on, she went to the Kentucky River where, on December 6, 1909 near Glenmary, Kentucky she was lost due to a peculiar accident. She had a large shipment of whiskey in barrels and cases on board. As the boat rolled while approaching the landing, one of the barrels fell from its place high on the main deck, crashed through the deck and into the hold, went through the bottom planking and sank the PARK CITY. The total loss was $7000 to the steamer and $1000 for the cargo.


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everything on this page is from a private collection.
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