Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Delta Queen

The Delta Queen made its way to its new home in Chattanooga last week. I was hoping it would come up the Mississippi one more time, but, alas, it went up the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway to its new destination. I still have not grasped the fact that I may never see another steamboat ply the waters of the Mighty Mississippi. I usually am an optimist, but it is hard to envision it ever happening again. I am hoping that my children's generation is not the last to see such a sight.
As far as I can discern, the top image is the last photo taken of the Delta Queen in Vicksburg. It was taken right before midnight on Nov. 3, 2008, as she was leaving Vicksburg. She had been docked here with the American Queen and the next two photos are of those two ships docked side-by-side at City Front. Look carefully and you will see a train coming across the old bridge to light it up for me at just the right time. Is that cool or what?
The bottom two photos are two of my favorites of the majestic boat.
I was also able to be along the river as the American Queen left the city on Nov. 11. The calliope was in full form as she chugged down the river. I told my son and nephew,  who were with me in the truck, to listen carefully to that sound for they may never hear it again and will one day have to describe it to their children.


  1. Marty, your talent never ceases to amaze and inspire me. Those are truly incredible photos, especially the one taken at midnight with the train crossing the bridge. What a beautiful way to remember her last journey through Vicksburg.

    Although the Queen has docked for probably the last time, your photographic tribute to her will be an everlasting legacy of her elegance, beauty, and history.

  2. Wonderful, Marty! And I'm sad, too, about the Delta Queen. Thanks, though, for recording her passage for posterity...


  3. Marty,
    Great photos as usual. The top photo is extra special indeed. I was at the City Front for her last call in Vicksburg, and it was a very sad day...the end of an era perhaps but maybe when times get better and prosperity returns, hopefully we will see steamboats on the river once again.

    Jon at Mississippi Garden

  4. Marty, I'm in Cincinnati, on the Ohio River. Every 4 years, we have Tall Stacks, which is when all the steamboats come & dock in one place. It is the neatest thing! I'm terribly saddened by all this with the Delta Queen also. There's nothing like 'em. I wish I could go on one of the riverboat cruises!