Delta Queen not last of paddle wheelers

Published 12:12 am Sunday, March 2, 2008

I was pleased to see in today’s Natchez Democrat the article about efforts to again exempt the Delta Queen from the safety at sea law.

It is a very safe National Historic Landmark and should certainly remain, or be able to remain in overnight service.

However, let’s not be making misstatements: She is not “the last steam powered paddle wheeler.”

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There are six of them on the Mississippi system alone, and certainly The Democrat should know that.

In order of age they are as follows: BELLE OF LOUISIANA, JULIA BELLE SWAIN, NATCHEZ, MISSISSIPPI QUEEN, AMERICAN QUEEN. And yes, all are real steam-powered paddle wheelers. The DELTA QUEEN, at 81 years old is the oldest, although her present steel hull is quite modern.

Let’s keep the record straight.

Arthur E. LaSalle

Historic Springfield Plantation

Jefferson County