| March/April 1968

Courier-Journal Staff Writer

Down in the quiet backwaters of the Manatee River at Bradenton, Fla., peace at last has come to the restless life of the last of the packet boats to churn the rivers of America.

There, in her own specially built basin, is moored the sternwheeler which once plied the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers as the Gordon C. Greene and the Cape Girardeau.

By day she serves as a museum, recalling for tourists the colorful era when passenger-cargo packets were a vital part of the country's transportation system. By night she is a floating restaurant, recreating the atmosphere and specializing in dishes which once made the river boats famous for dining.

Indications are that the boat, now called the River Queen, will rest at Bradenton for a long time.

Recently I visited the packet at her Florida mooring, and as I followed a guide through a tour of the vessel, restored in most respects as she was in her heyday, I recalled some of her history and figured the lady deserved a good home.