This photo by Dave Thomson, taken in 2005 in Hannibal, shows the Mississippi Queen in better days. Dave adds: "The Mississippi Queen was built by Jeffboat Inc. in Jefferson, Indiana, from 1973 to 1975 and launched on November 30, 1974. Until her christening on April 20, 1975, in Louisville, KY, she was referred to as 'Hull 2999.' "
The Mississippi Queen under construction, late 1975.
The Mississippi Queen and Delta Queen race, c. 1977.
Above: Majestic America Line promotional postcard featuring the Mississippi Queen. Majestic owned all the paddlewheel cruise ships in America at the time. Sadly, Majestic was discontinued in 2008, then parent company Ambassadors International filed for bankruptcy in 2011. Between 2009 and 2010, the Mississippi Queen died from corporate neglect and mismanagement. To learn more about the sad history, continue reading.
Here is the Mississippi Queen listing in a New Orleans boatyard. My brother, Bill M. Muster, took this photo in March 2009, when he visited New Orleans on business and coincidentally stayed in a hotel with a view of the boatyard.
I heard they are trying to auction the boat, and that many items were removed over the last year, since she last ran the rivers. There are a lot of rumors, but I will try to get the real story and post it here. (Come back soon!)
The following photos are by Karen "Toots" Maloy, and are published with her permission, 2009. May this boat's soul rest in peace.
Mississippi Queen Goes to the Gallows
Photos by Capt. Steve Nicoulin show the Mississippi Queen being towed to her end, Southern Scrap in the Harvey Canal in New Orleans. Taken by Capt. Steve Nicoulin from the roof of the NATCHEZ 7:30 PM Tuesday May 11, 2010 downbound on the Mississippi - MQ is going through Algiers Lock and Canal to the Harvey Canal for scrapping. The MQ will be docked in the Harvey Canal where the Delta Queen was put back together after her sea voyage to go under her own power up to Cincinnati.
This just in
Travis C. Vasconcelos commented on Save the Delta Queen 2010's wall post 11/22/2010. Travis wrote:
"The MISSISSIPPI QUEEN is tied up at 3800 Peters Road New Orleans, LA awaiting her fate. She is not totally gone at all...she is 100% intact as far as her super structure, when and engines are concerned. The interior and most of the hotel portion of the vessel is gone. But a blank slate is the artist workshop, is it not? True, it would take about $40m to get her going again....but, the bones there are good bones. Perhaps someone needs to go get her, too! If they have the ability to get the DELTA QUEEN going, she is the next natural step!"
Editor's note: Thank you for the good news, Travis!
This plaque marked the "Bill Muster room" on the boat. Many thanks to
Tracey Smith for rescuing this item and sending it to the Muster family.
Eddie Bayard of New Orleans is a jazz musician and was leader of The Bourbon Street 5 when it played on the maiden voyage of the Mississippi Queen which began on July 20, 1976.
Eddie kindly bestowed this field drum, especially made for that first year of cruising that coincided with the Bicentennial year. It was carried by drummer Ronnie White when the group played on deck or marched on shore.
Eddie wrote "Most of my stuff washed out with Katrina, but the drum was safe upstairs."
The drum was specially customized with the text:
"THE QUEEN'S OWN" (band)
and the names:
CAP (Captain Ernest Wagner)
BETTY (Betty Blake, tireless promoter of the Delta Queen Co.)
EDDIE (Eddie Bayard, cornet)
BILL (Bill Coburn, trombone);
FUZZY ("Fuzzy" Ballard, clarinet)
VIC (Vic Tooker, banjo and calliope player).
RON (Ronnie White, drummer)
STAN (Stan McCauley, piano)
DAVE (Dave Jacobs, bass)
Attached photo of the drum here at home and a photo of The Bourbon Street 5, also provided by Eddie Bayard.
The Mississippi Queen in better times. Glossy postcard copyright Delta Queen Steamboat Company, circa 1995. Sent in by Craig Stichtenoth.
Here's an article about the Mississippi Queen in Cruise Travel, August 1990. Look on pp. 34-39 for the MQ article, plus a photo of the DQ on p. 44. (Link sent in by John Weise.)
June 7, 2012
From Facebook Mississippi Queen group. George Burch's report on the recycling of some MQ parts.
George Burch: I ran across a couple of pictures this week that were taken while in Pierre Part, LA, where the MQ was disassembled and scrapped. These shots were taken at the home of the gentleman that brokered the deal to scrap the boat. These were taken on 12/21/11, just before Christmas.
As you see here, a few things "lived on" and now have a recycled purpose.
The first two are what remains of the paddle-wheel boards, now serving time as a new deck floor on a flat bed neck-over trailer.
The last two are section of railing that now serve as railing on the gentleman's front porch. Take note of the solid brass insert in the columns. I was able to claim two sections of railing as well. Very heavy steel with brass turnings.
Gary Pruitt: Thanks for posting these George. Have a great one.
Carol Joy: Thanks for sharing very interesting
Travis C. Vasconcelos: This railing looks much like that which was at the top of the Grand Staircase just outside of the elevators.
Arthur E Green: I agree.
Carol Joy: The one that we all stood by at one point and had our pictures taken
The three Queens; Mississippi Queen in the winter. Photos by George Burch.
Selected Mississippi Queen blueprints.
Mississippi Queen mermaids monument on the Ohio River.
The Mississippi Queen christening and alleged CIA connections.