Save the Delta Queen!

Commissioned in 1927, the Delta Queen is the last all-wood overnight paddlewheel steamboat still in operation on the Mississippi river. She looks just like her earlier brethren who carried Mark Twain and has a remarkable history including service as a troop carrier in World War II.

Because of her wood superstructure, the Delta Queen needs an operating exemption from the Safety of Life and Sea Act, an exemption every Congress since 1968 has gladly provided. Until now.

I’m not sure what’s behind the hesitation. Rep. Jim Oberstar of Minnesota made a floor speech claiming the Delta Queen is unsafe because of the wood structure, but the examples of dangerous incidents he cites are either from the 19th century or from contemporary steel ships. The one boiler problem he mentions on the Queen herself was a model of efficient safety procedures, so hardly supports the contention that the Queen is inherently dangerous.

She has passed every yearly Coast Guard inspection. She’s been retrofitted and secured in every possible way. There is nothing at all wrong with her. She is a registered historic treasure of the Department of the Interior and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a National Historic Landmark and a member of the National Maritime Hall of Fame.

Save the Delta Queen!

3 thoughts on “Save the Delta Queen!

  1. The first picture is actually the Delta queen rounding the bend of the Cumberland River as she approaches the city of Clarksville, Tennessee. I know I was the photographer.

    I would ask that in the future you ask for permission to use my pictures, I generally respond within hours. I grant you permission to use this one.

  2. I don’t believe this Bill Larson. He would have contacted Liv by email, privately, rather than resort to this kind of low-down tactic.

    Besides, the photo includes a link to the original photo. It’s not like she was claiming it as her own.

  3. During the 1960`s, my boyfriend, James Williams worked as a pastry chef on the Delta Queen. He passed away on December 25th, 2003. He and I have a son and a daughter. He lived in Cincinati, Ohio, And, often told me stories concerning his job on the boat. I have a photo of him, decorating a cake in the boat`s kitchen.I wonder if you have other photos of him . please contact me. thank you kindly,


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