| March/April 1968

  • Mississippi River steamboat
    This Mississippi River steamboat, Verne Swain, a famous river boat, could do 20 mph.
  • Gravel for Moline
    Steamer Marquette towing sand and gravel for Moline Consumers Co., Moline, Illinois.

  • Mississippi River steamboat
  • Gravel for Moline

6694 Norcliff Dr., Sebastopol California 95472

In the current Nov. Dec. I.M.A. Mr. Earl Conklin seems to want steamboat articles so I will enclose a picture of Sternwheeler Marquette with two sand barges of the Moline Illinois Consumers Co. It is now in a museum at Winona, Minn. The other picture is of the famous sternwheeler, Verne Swain, taken at our landing, 3 miles upriver from Cordova (that is where we moved from last Jan.) Illinois. It was taken by my Aunt Marion Williams with a 3 by 4 glass plate Kodak about 1905. Please note the size of the paddle wheel. I don't know of any other boat that had such a large diameter wheel. She also had compound condensing engines and was very fast and economical. Said to have made 20 M.P.H. The Swain Co. built many fine boats. We still have the white cloth on a stick that we would flag down the steam packet boats with at our landing, and then get on and go down to Davenport, Iowa. We could return the same day if we wished. I don't think that I have a black & white picture of Steamer Lone Star, which towed sand & gravel for a Davenport Iowa Co. until the middle of this Summer but is now replaced with Lady Lone Star, a Diesel.

I believe Capt. Way of Sewickley, Pa. has estimated that there have been six or seven thousand steamboats built and operated on Midwestern Rivers so I expect that stories about them would fill a great many large volumes.

One would be the story of the wreck and burning of the Effie Afton which struck the bridge between Dav. Iowa & Rock Island 111. I believe that Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer in the law suit that followed. Her bell was dredged up 15 or 20 years ago, & I wonder what became of it.


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