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Delta Queen
Delta Queen

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Photo Details
cunard61



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Registered: November 2011
Location: Newport News
Posts: 1,926
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The historic American river passenger steamer Delta Queen in seen docked on the Ohio River at the riverfront landing in Wheeling, West Virginia on 17 August, 2006. The vessel had only 2 more years of service remaining by this point, before her name was struck from active service in 2008. The vessel was withdrawn when her certificate of operation was revoked for overnight operations. The ships entire superstructure is made of wood and was therefore considered a fire hazard which resulted in the revocation of her operational certificate. The vessel has remained sitting in lay-up in a reed filled swamp in Louisiana since 2016, awaiting approval from Congress to return her certificate allowing overnight services. It was just announced this past November, four days after Thanksgiving, that the US Congress had finally granted her the new Certificate. The old vessel has been absent from the river passenger trade now for 11 years. This steamer of 1921 vintage, will undergo a 10+ million-dollar restoration that will include substantial updating to her fire-fighting capabilities. She is expected to return to overnight services on the inland waterways of America sometime in the year 2020.

The photographer captured another piece of history in his lens when he snapped this shot some 12 years ago. Ahead of the Delta Queen, can be seen 2 bridges spanning the one-thousand-foot wide channel of the Ohio River that flows between the city of Wheeling and Wheeling Island. The large steel green arch bridge in the background is the Fort Henry Bridge built in 1955, and is today, part of US Interstate 70. In front of that bridge can be seen the graceful white covered iron cables, and the tall, Island side, stone tower of the Wheeling Suspension Bridge. This bridge is an extremely rare survivor from the Antebellum Era. After two years of construction, the bridge was completed in what was then the State of Virginia, in December, 1849 and it is an original link on the countries historic National Road. It is, by far, the oldest Suspension Bridge in America, and it remains in regular service to pedestrian and vehicular traffic to this day, excluding large trucks and buses. It will turn 170 years old next December, and in that time, it has seen its share of historic floods on the Ohio River; the worst occurring in 1936, when the surface of the channel beneath the bridge was less than 15 feet from its deck. The State of West Virginia entered the Union in the midst of the US Civil War, in April, 1863, thus giving Wheeling’s historic bridge it’s unique distinction of being older than the state in which it stands.
· Date: Fri, 1 March 19 · Views: 173
· Filesize: 57.3kb, 230.3kb · Dimensions: 1024 x 768 ·
Additional Info
Keywords: Delta Queen, Restored Vessels
Source of Image, If not your own: Clyde George Collection
Location photo was taken: Wheeling, WV
Date photo was taken: 17 August, 2006
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Davie M
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Registered: April 2009
Location: Bedford
Posts: 1,146
Fri, 1 March 19 17:28

Built by Denny Bros. Dumbarton Scotland.
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Wallace Slough
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Registered: March 2009
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 1,766
Fri, 1 March 19 18:02

I'd highly recommend the book "King & Queen of the River" by Stan Garvey. It explains the life of these steamers which were built as overnight boats for the run from San Francisco to Sacramento.
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eddyw
Senior Member

Registered: November 2007
Posts: 7,319
Mon, 8 April 19 19:41

Denny's built both "Delta King" (1924) and "Delta Queen" (1925) both 1150gt (steel hulls) and also the machinery, all shipped out in sections. (Denny's were after all renowned for construction of side and stern wheel steamers for British and colonial service (Clyde, Nile, Irrawaddy, Indian rivers). When sold to Green Line Steamers of Cincinnati, in 1947 "Delta Queen" made the ocean passage from the Sacramento River to the Gulf via Panama and onward to her new home port up the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.
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Wallace Slough
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Registered: March 2009
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 1,766
Sun, 21 April 19 23:15

Eddyw
The hulls (galvanized steel) and machinery were built by Denny's, disassembled, labeled, and shipped to Stockton California where they were reassembled. Then the superstructure (4 decks) and interiors were built in Stockton and the boats were completed. Both boats were placed in service as night boats wherein one boat would leave Sacramento and the other boat would leave San Francisco arriving early in the morning for the next business day. They were in this service from 1927 - 1940. By that time the construction of new bridges and highways had seriously affected their business which had declined. During WWII, both boats were used as barracks and ferryboats to move troops from various depots around the bay to troopships in San Francisco. After the war there was insufficient business to continue the trade as night boats.
The Delta Queen was towed from San Francisco to New Orleans via the Panama Canal and then up the Mississippi to Cincinnati and later on to Pittsburgh where she was outfitted for her service on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.
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Graham the pipe

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Registered: September 2010
Location: Caterham Surrey
Posts: 1,386
Mon, 22 April 19 02:17

A fascinating history of an incredible part of history itself. A big 'thank you' to all informants.
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