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Packet Queen City

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Packet Queen City 

BOAT TYPE: Packet/Wharf boat
BUILT: 1897 by Cincinnati Marine Railway Company at Cincinnati, Ohio
FINAL DISPOSITION: Sank at Pittsburgh in January 1940; her wreckage was burned on February 17, 1940
OWNERS: 1897: Pittsburgh & Cincinnati Packet Line; 1912: John W. Hubbard, Ohio & Mississippi Navigation Company; 1918: Louisville & Cincinnati Packet Company; 1929: Ohio River Transportation Company
OFFICERS & CREW: 1897: Captain Robert R. Agnew (master), James S. Gardner (purser), Will Chapman (2nd clerk), Anthony Meldahl and Phil Anshutz (pilots), John Leonard (mate), Willard Alexander and Marsh Ellis (engineers), Charles J. Hall (steward), Henry Greer (carpenter); 1900: Captain Thomas Spence Sanford (master), Boyd C. Taylor (clerk), Billy Sampson (steward), Willard Alexander and Eugene Bailey (engineers), Billy Stapleton (mate), Dan Lacey (purser), Anthony Meldahl and Phil Anshutz (pilots),Captain John Sweeney (master); 1901: Captain Charles W. Knox (master); 1913: Captain Edwin F. Maddy; 1914: Captain William C. Lepper; 1918: Captain Ed Williamson (master), Captain Jack Lindenburn (master); 1929: Captain Ed Dunaway (master), Captain Ralph Emerson (master); 1933: Captain William S. Pollock
RIVERS: Ohio River; Mississippi River; Monongahela River; Chattahoochee River; Kanawha River
OTHER INFORMATION: Ways - 4615; Architect Captain J. Frank Ellison was also supervisor during her building. The Queen City was designed for high class patronage at a time of affluence. Captain Ellison was influenced in his design by the Idlewild and he had made a study of Great Lakes steamers which he utilized. Her mahogany cabin was finished in gilt trim and the ceiling was of pressed metal sheets with ornate design. She had wire mesh railings studded with rosettes. She had a carved figurehead rising from her stem which she retained until she was rebuilt at Mound City, Illinois in 1920. A metal Queen City emblem in gold appeared on each stateroom door. Her grand piano was presented by the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce. She had oil paintings on the rounded cabin bulkheads. She had shining brass oil lamps in swinging brackets and overhead lights coming from twined oak leaves of metal. Queen City and her sister boat, Virginia, were advertised in Pittsburgh's social register and brought in many fashionable Pittsburgh citizens. Queen City was christened by Harriet Henderson, daughter of Captain James A. Henderson, president of the P & C Line. She was launched on June 5, 1897; ran her trials through June 10th and departed for Pittsburgh June 19th. Captain Anthony Meldahl was pilot and never missed a trip for ten years (1907). Her fastest time, Cincinnati to New Richmond, Ohio (22.5 miles) was 1 hour 50 minutes in December 1897. When the Chris Greene and Betsy Ann made this run in 1928, they required 2 hours 25 minutes. In June, 1905 the Ohio Harbors Congressional Committee and the National Rivers and Harbors Congress made a trip from Pittsburgh to Cairo, Illinois. Purpose of the trip was to convince Congress on the need for locks and dams. Captain Meldahl served as master for that trip. Several of her owners sent her on Mardi Gras trips to New Orleans. Her first trip in 1903 was such a success that trips were made in 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1913, and 1914. On her 1914 trip downbound, she sank on the Falls at Louisville on Feb. 17th. She continued on Mardi Gras trips in 1921, 1922, 1923, 1925 and 1930. After her ill-fated Mardi Gras trip in 1914, she was laid up in the Kanawha River at Pt. Pleasant, West Virginia until early summer 1916 when she returned to Louisville and ran excursions. She again went back to the Kanawha River until spring of 1918 when Louisville & Cincinnati Packet Company acquired her. In May, 1920 she was towed to Mound City, Illinois where she received a new hull. She was finally laid up at Pittsburgh in September 1933 and became a wharf boat on the Monongahela River at Pittsburgh. As a wharf boat, river-men and boat fans visited her to purchase or borrow souvenirs. She was moved to the foot of Liberty Street because of wharf improvements and sank there in January, 1940. Her wreckage was burned on February 17, 1940. 

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