Monday, August 18th, 2008


DELTA QUEEN HISTORY — PART 2

(CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS POST)

 

Capt. Tom Greene

Capt. Tom Greene

 

A

 

 

 

NEW PARTNERSHIP

After the war, the Delta Queen was put up for auction. In December 1946, Cincinnati, Ohio steamboat Captain Tom Green of the Greene Line Steamers became the new owner for $46,250.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DQ boarded up.

DQ boarded up.

 

 

 

 

TO A NEW RIVER SYSTEM

By spring of 1947, the Delta Queen was boarded up and was then towed for almost a month for more than 5,000 miles from California through the Panama Canal to the Mississippi River and to New Orleans. The planking was then removed and the engines serviced. In July, the boat proceeded under its own power almost 2,000 miles up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers to the Dravo shipyard at Pittsburgh where the boat spent six months undergoing major renovations costing about $750,000. The Delta Queen departed on her debut Ohio River cruise on June 30, 1948.

 

Delta Queen during Greene Line daysHARD TIMES

Captain Tom Greene had a heart attack onboard the Delta Queen and passed away on July 10, 1950 at the age of 46. His widow Letha Greene was left to run the company. She later wrote, “I stood alone with four steamboats, four children, a broken heart and puzzled mind.” By 1953, the other three boats had been sold to enable continued operation of the Delta Queen. After major repairs were required in 1957, Letha offered the boat for sale in 1958.

 

 

 

 

DQ Calliope

DQ Calliope

 

 

 

 

  

NEW PARTNER

California businessman Richard Simonton became majority shareholder and retained Letha as General Manager and company president. Simonton focused on increasing marketing and public relations to garner media attention. The Delta Queen’s calliope (steam organ) was added and debuted in February 1960. The boat became profitable and the mortgage was retired in October 1960. By 1962, all debts were cleared and by 1964 a profit-sharing plan for employees was even established.

 

 

Check back for another post continuing the Delta Queen’s history.

 

–END–

 A Brief Summary of the Delta Queen’s history.

 

CALIFORNIA YEARS — The Delta Queen was built in California of the finest machinery and materials at an unbelievable cost of more than $875,000.

 

She made her debut cruise on June 2, 1927 and ran overnight trips between Sacramento and San Francisco for the next 13 years through the economic and labor struggles of the Depression. Her final California passenger cruise was Sunday, Sept 29, 1940.

 

WAR YEARS

From autumn 1940 to August 1946, the Delta Queen served the U. S. Navy as a floating barracks, a training facility, and troop transport in San Francisco bay.

 

A NEW PARTNERSHIP

After the war, the Delta Queen was put up for auction. In December 1946, Cincinnati, Ohio steamboat Captain Tom Green of the Greene Line Steamers became the new owner for $46,250.

 

Check back in for the next post as the Delta Queen prepares for a new life.

 

–END–