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PROLOG

Huckleberry Finn and his pal, Tom's, raft grabbed me at an early age as being a neat idea. At the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, one of my cousins and I laboriously assembled a raft of old lumber.
Well, it floated nicely, until one of us attempted to board the thing. It sank. Still, it was a neat idea.

Then, along came the gallant Captain portrayed by Darin McGavin in the television series, "Riverboat", and I was hooked! Could there ever be a better way to be on the water? A more romantic way to live? Never!

Oh, would that I could somehow acquire one of those wonderful big boats, live aboard her and cruise the waterways of the country! Alas, it was not to be, and probably for the best.

Life has gone on and the those proud boats have all but dissapeared from our great nation's waterways. Now, all I can do is dream about them and collect every little thing I can to commemorate them, to celebrate their influence on the building of the United States, their enormous roll in shaping what this country has become, and to mourn their demise.

This web site is devoted, primarilly, to the midwestern paddlewheelers, the riverboats of the Mississippi and Missouri and Ohio Rivers. There are other steamboats listed in these pages, those which plied their trade on rivers in the east, in the far west, Alaska and the Great Lakes, for they too had a lot to do with our great country's history, but it is the old flat-bottomed queens of the river which are my passion.

This site will always be in the making. As I come upon another boat or find more information on ones already listed, I will add that information to the list.

Some of the information listed is hearsay. A lot comes from books such as "Life on the Mississippi". As time goes on I will footnote all of the info here, but until then a question mark "?" will follow any suspect data.

Input from visitors is most welcome, corrections, additions and true riverboat tales. Suggestions, too, are welcome. However, like most, I have another life to which I must attend. I will work on this whenever I can.

"Big River"
Sung By
Johnny Cash

YouTube

God Bless America
Stand Beside Her
And Guide Her

Please read this article, please!
Please Click on Uncle Sam and Read It!
Your country depends on it.

 


Good folks, there are thousands of links within this site.
I am aware that some 431 do not work.
I am working to correct this.

I apologize for any inconvenience,

Riverboat Dave

 

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A short music clip

Lyrics from the song
"Mark Twain"
By The Kingston Trio on the Capitol Records Album"The Kingston Trio # 16"
Now in a collection from Amazon.com

My Grandad used to tell me,
"Boy, when I was just your age,
I was a river pilot
On the Showboat called THE STAGE.
I'd hobnob with the Southern belles
An' every roust-a-bout.
I'd listen to the paddlewheels
And hear the leadsman shout . . .

(Chorus)
Mark twain, it's two fathoms deep below.
Mark twain, heave the stage, start the show.
Mark twain, play them banjos as we go
Down the Mississippi, 'roun' the Gulf of Mexico.
(End Chorus)

"There were gamblers, crooks and fakers
An' a minstrel man who danced
A singin' gal, Simon L'Mour,
Imported straight from France."
She was a floating palace,
that showboat called the STAGE
And Grandad was the king of it
When he was just my age.

(Repeat the chorus)

The caliopy is quiet, now
The rudder's thick with rust.
The main deck and the paddlewheel,
Are covered thick with dust.
But Grandad's in his glory,
Still standing on the bow.
A halo 'round his pilot's cap,
And I can hear him now . . .
Mark twain . .

(Repeat Chorus)

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