Monday, February 7, 2011


Riverboat Week continues here at OPOD, with this fine picture of two riverboats landing in Mississippi. They look to be loading hay onto them. I like how the riverboats carried their loading dock along with them, and could land and load/unload anywhere that there was a flat spot on the riverbank. On the sidewheel of the boat it says "Vicksburg and Greenville Packet Co.". You can click on the picture to get a better look.

I am happy to see by reading the comments yesterday that I was not the only one that had been bothered by the fakery going on in modern Riverboat Tours. I say before taking one, you first determine that the boat is actually powered BY the paddle wheel.


  1. pfft... I was on a few fake riverboats.. Never even thought to care to be honest. I realize now at my age the beauty and timelessness of the past and regret to have ever ridden a true vessel such as these.

    I enjoy the detail of the picture. I enjoy how men are standing around, leaning, waiting for the boat to 'dock'. I enjoy all the daily life that is captured here.

    Thank you.

  2. You would think that the one loading the hay, is also going to be loading some livestock and needs the hay to feed them on their trip.

    I guess riding a fake one (I have ridden several fakes) is better than not being any of them. They are such a nice lazy 1 hour ride up and down a river

  3. That guy in the lower left seems to be riding a little close to the horse....if he lifts his tail, watch out!
    Wonderful pictures. Thanks, PJM.

  4. Never even knew there were fake paddleboats. Weird.

    If you are ever in La Crosse, Wisconsin, take advantage of the time to ride the Julia Belle Swain. I've enjoyed several opportunities to ride this lovely paddleboat, mainly because my mother worked summers as a chef on the Julia Belle.

  5. When thinking about paddleboats I think of the pristine show boats of movies and tourist attractions. These two boat are true working boats based on the rather muddy strakes and the cargo coming on and off. How about showing us one of the grand old show boats of this era so we can see the contrast. The MIssissippi Queen would be a good example I think

  6. Oh give me a fake steamboat. The real ones were prone to BLOWING UP! I grew up 7 miles from the Mississippi River (moved to wyoming when I was 11) and remember seeing the Mississippi Queen several times. Never was on her though.

  7. Two of the men walking up with burlap bags on their shoulders, probably oats, reminds me of carrying 100# bags of potatoes in the same way loading train cars in the early sixties. Nowhere near a riverboat but memories are memories triggered by many years of being idle.
    Some good some better but all appreciated.

  8. This picture reminds me of the Musical Show Boat, really beautiful.

  9. The planks for moving cargo are called stages. They can be placed anywhere around the bow of the boat using the A-frame spars just ahead of the cabin deck.

    Paddle wheel propulsion is very inefficient compared to propellers. Steering and maneuverability are also greatly improved.

  10. I wonder from what year or decade the photo is. No motor vehicles visible, so I guess it must be from the nineteenth century.


    A blog follower

    in Sweden

  11. The river tempts me and beckons. I have ridden on one "real" paddle wheeler, maybe two -- and quite a few tourist rides and as long as I can get on the river, I'll take either. Love the Old Pictures.

  12. If you want the genuine article, I recommend taking a ride on the Belle of Louisville (Louisville, Kentucky).

    This old lady is the real thing, old and paddle driven.


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