Submitted by site visitor Barbara Madden
Ironton, Ohio Tribune of May 23, 1944
Im happy but Im not contented was Billy Bryants response to an inquiry regarding his like or dislike of the new Bryant Tent Show now showing at Huntington. We were among a group of Irontonians who attended the tent show the other evening and witnessed the presentation of Little Nellie of the Ozarks. This week the troupe is presenting Uncle Toms Cabin. We imagine Billy really told the truth when he said he was happy but not contented. No doubt the change from showboat to tent-show has been a hard one for Billy and his family after so many years on the river. They probably miss the beautiful Ohio, Mississippi and their tributaries which their boat plied for many, many years. But Billy is making the best of the bargain with his family and other members of the troupe is following the old adage the show must go on. One odd thing is that the tent show is located within throwing distance of the wharf where the former Bryant Show Boat is moored. It was purchased for a wharf boat by a Huntington concern and floats proudly at the Tenth street landing, standing by, while the show goes on inside the tent. Billy and his Tent Show has been given a warm welcome by old friends and new. Children of river villages and towns will miss the caliope playing as the Bryant boat used to round the bend for an annual visit. That was one of the sure signs of summer in our town.
Miss Margaret Davis should be one of those that attends Billy Bryants Tent Show, then she can write a postscript to her already splendid thesis on show boats. Miss Davis has delved deep into the history of show boats and the people who have carried on the show boat visits to river towns and villages the past many, many years. Her paper started to be a thesis for her Masters Degree but is packed with so much first-hand information and data of importance, the thesis will probably be published in book form one of these days, we hear. No doubt it will be vastly interesting. She has visited the boats and interviewed the owners and troupes, so her writing is not hear-say by any chance. She has presented the thesis before a number of organizations and we hear it is one of the finest of its kind ever written. Congratulations, Miss Davis. But the romance of the river is lacking in the Bryant Tent Show presentation. Miss Davis will probably be just as grieved over this fact as we were, for she has learned to love the boat and the river through her contacts in preparing the lengthy paper.
Information from Carol Szwedko who is in the possession of the 1951 book
Carol purchased the book from an on-line used book seller
and found it was autographed by Capt.
The Golden Rod was built in 1908-1909 by the
Pope Dock Company for W. R. Markle. She is 200 ft. long and 45 ft.
wide. (the largest showboat ever built) She had 21 boxes on two levels
clustered about the stage and all around the front of the balcony.
Her capacity was 1,400 (later cut to under 1,000 to avoid certian
GOLDEN ROD Plays
While in Pittsburgh in July of 1930 the GOLDEN ROD docked
at the Montrose Hotel Landing on the Allegheny River.
Aug. 12th, the "The Hoodlum" opened.
GOLDEN ROD Moves to St Charles,
By 1988 the Goldenrod needed extensive repairs. The
city of St. Charles bought the showboat from Pierson's heirs and moved
it to St. Charles in 1990.
Today the Goldenrod Showboat continues its prestigious