Sunday, July 27, 2003

Ohio Moments


Delta Queen arrives for first time

On July 27, 1947, the steamboat Delta Queen docked for the first time in Cincinnati.

En route from the West Coast, it had made history as the first paddlewheel steamer to travel the Panama Canal (though it was towed by a tugboat). Capt. Tom Greene of the Cincinnati-based Greene Line deemed it the best way to reach the Queen City from California, where he had bought the boat for $46,250.

Christened in 1927, the paddle-wheeler called Cincinnati home until 1985, when the Delta Queen Steamboat Co. moved its headquarters to New Orleans. But the Delta Queen returns every year to pick up or unload passengers as it travels the Ohio River.

The first steamboat to visit Cincinnati was the New Orleans, arriving in 1811.

In 1816, the Vesta was the first steamboat built in Cincinnati, at the Fulton shipyard. The following year, the Zebulon Pike - the first steamboat designed for passenger service - was built in Cincinnati.

By 1834, Cincinnati and Covington shipyards had built 221 steamboats, making the area the second-largest manufacturer in the country.

- Rebecca Goodman

E-mail rgoodman@enquirer.com or call (513) 768-8361.




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