Showboats and Floating Circuses Page

New Information Added
02/28/2007


Showboats and Floating Circuses

Name: BRYANT'S NEW SHOWBOAT
Billy Bryants Showboat
From
The James E. York Postcard Collection
    Launched: 19?? (Haven't been able to track down when this
                    showboat actually started in business - D.)
    Area: Ohio and Miss. Rs.
    Owner: Captain William (Billy) Bryant
	Towboats: 1907, PRINCESS
           1919, Mar. Purchased VALLEY BELLE 
           Later, the NEW LOTUS
Comments: Bryant eventually gave up the showboat and went to doing tent shows.
		: The barge which was actually the "showboat" was later turned into a
          Wharf boat by a Huntington concern.
   
Name: CHAPMAN'S FLOATING PALACE
    Launched: 1841
    Destroyed: 1847, collision
    Area: Miss. R.
    Owner: Chapman, William
    Captain and pilots: Capt. Chapman, William
    Comments: Sold to Smith, Sol, Actor.

Name: CHAPMAN'S FLOATING THEATER
    Type: Keelboat 
    Launched: 1831
    Area: Miss. R. and Pittsburg
    Owner: Chapman, William
    Captain and pilots: Capt. Chapman, William
    Comments: sold after 1 yr.

Name: CITY OF CLINTON SHOWBOAT
		See OMAR
		
		
Name: CITY OF PARKERSBURGH SHOWBOAT
      See LIBERTY

Name: The Cole Circus Company
    Towboat: 1876, Oct,-77, spring, ELLA HUGHES


1. Name: COTTON BLOSSOM
Click to enlarge
From
Site Contributor Leonard Brown
Type: Showboat Owner: 191?-19??, Jan?, Capt. Otto Hitner Area: 1918: to Mt. Vernon, Ind. Towboat: 1918, JEWELL (the 2nd one) Comments: 1918, Jan., the JEWELL was cut down by ice. : See account of sinking Name: COTTON BLOSSOM Comments: From site visitor Doug McGuigan - Sadly I finally located the Cotton Blossom used in Showboat and many other MGM movies in the 50's and 60's. MGM sold her to an amusement park-Worlds of Fun- in Kansas City in the early 70's where she set in a large pond untill three years ago when the pond was drained and she was taken apart with bull dozers. A sad end to a pretty lady.
The only teddy bear still made in America
Name: EISENBARTH-HENDERSON FLOATING THEATER See Flyer
Owener: Capt. E.E. Eisenbarth
Comments: billed as The Modern Temple of Amusment.  Producing the
          Higest Class Drama Vauderville, Music, Big Electrical
          Productions.
Towboats: 1902-04, ENOS TAYLOR
          1905, Feb. 1 - 1908, Mar. 15, COLUMBIA

Name: EMERSON'S GRAND FLOATING PALACE, see GRAND FLOATING PALACE

Name: FLOATING CIRCUS, See RICE'S 

Name: FLOATING PALACE  See CHAPMAN'S and EMMERSON'S, above

Name: FLOATING THEATER, See CHAPMAN'S

Name: FRENCH'S NEW SENSATION, No. ?
    Type: barge boat?  
    Launched: 1880s?
    Area: Ohio & Miss. Rs.
    Owner: Capt. A. B. French?
    Captain(s): French, Callie M.
    Towboats: 1897, before Mar., C.O.
              March, 1897: MARY STEWART
              July, 1897: RUTH
              *Early 1900s, CHARLES B. PEARCE	
    Comments: Toured for 30 yrs.
            : Some info on this one of French's Showboats from:
              The Tribune Telegraph,
              Pomeroy, Meigs County, Ohio, Wed. Mar. 31 1897.
            : 	Mentioned in this Article



Name: GOLDEN ROD/GOLDENROD - Originally MARKLES NEW SHOWBOAT
Click to enlarge
From
The James E. York Post Card Collection
    Type: barge, Floating Theater    Size: 200' x 45'
    Launched: 1909, by the Pope Dock Company for R.W. Markle
    Destroyed: Presently an historic theater in St. Louis
    Area: 1930, summer for 17 weeks, Aspinwall, Pa.
          1931, summer for 17 weeks, Aspinwall, Pa.
          1937-62, June 1, Locust St. Landing, St. Louis, Mo.
    Owners: 1909-13, W. R. Markle
					In 1913 he lost the boat by forclosure.
					She went on auction and was sold for $ 11,000.
            1922-, Purchased by Capt. Bill Menke
            1964-1990, Frank Pierson and his heirs.
            1990 - , City of St. Charles, Mo. 
    Towboats: 1900-?13? W.R. MARKLE
              Later LIBERTY, WENONAH, and CROWN HILL
    Comments: originally called MARKLE'S NEW SHOWBOAT
			: 1930-31, summers, played at Aspinwall, Pen.
			: 1937, summer, went to St. Louis for repairs. 
            : 1960, Declared a national Historic Monument.
            : 1962, June 1, fire heavily dammaged the boat.
            : 1964, Frank Pierson led a group of GOLDENROD lovers in complete
              		restoration.
            : 1988, the boat needed extensive repairs.
            : 1990: The City of St. Charles, Mo, Purchased the boat.
            : 1990: Ample Entertainment, Inc. leased the boat and again restored
                    her.
            : 1991, May 10, shows resumed at St. Charles.
			: 2001, closed due to financial problems.
			: 2003, given to Lewis and Clark Landing LLC.
            : GOLDENROD is haunted by a Lady in a Red Dress
            : See information from the 1951 book Showboat
			: More info

Name: GRAND FLOATING PALACE
    Type: Showboat  
    Area: Miss. R. & U. Kanawha R.
    Owner: Capt. Ralph Emmerson Gaches
    Towboats: 1921, the W.W.

Name: GRAND FLOATING PALACE, NEW
    Type:  Showboat 
    Area: Miss. R.
    Owner: Capt. Ralph Emmerson Gaches
    Towboats: 1913-17, Dec. 8, ECLIPSE 
              1921-22, spring, the W.W.
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Name: JAMES ADAMS FLOATING THEATER Type: Barge with tugboats Size: 128.3' X 34' X 4.5', 436 tons Area: Mid-Atlantic coast, Chesapeake Bay, Albemarle region of North Carolina. Comments: Web Site Name: John Robinson's, See Below Name: MAJESTIC, A curently active showboat Launched: 1923, Pittsburgh Location: Cincinnati, OH Comments: Showboat MAJESTIC's Home Page : More Information Name: MARKLE'S NEW SHOWBOAT, was soon renamed GOLDENROD Name: MEMPHIS SHOWBOAT, Off. No. 297336 Type: Contemporary Showboat Barge Size: 103' X 40' X 4', Max. 141 tons, 412 Pass. Launched: Hull and superstructure built 1964 by Dubuque Boat & Boiler and completed by Memphis Queen Shipyard Area: 1964-Present (1999), Memphis Tenn. Owner: 1964-Present (1999), Memphis Queen Line Web Site Name: NEW SENSATION Type: Barge Showboat. Launched: 1870s? Area: Miss. R. Owner: Agustus French, Edwin Price, others Name: NEW SHOWBOAT Area: Long Island Sound Name: CITY OF CLINTON SHOWBOAT - formerly the towboat OMAR Type: sternwheel towboat Size: 207' X 36' 581 tons Launched: 1935, ?St. Louis.? Area: 1940's Ohio R., from the mines in West Virginia up river to Pittsburgh and down river to Cairo, IL. Barges were loaded at Huntington, WV. Owner: The Ohio River Company Persent: City of Clinton, Iowa. Comments: From site visitor David Rayburn "The Omar was donated to the State of West Virginia and the last heard of it, it was a tourist attraction located on the Kanawha River in front of the State Capital of West Virginia." : From site visitor Harvey Brennan 12/05/05 ". . . the "Omar" it's now named the "City of Clinton Showboat" converted to a floating Theatre in Clinton Iowa." : See OMAR's history Name: PALACE FLOATING CIRCUS Type: barge and boat Launched: 1850s? Destroyed: 1847, collision Area: Miss. R. Owner: Spalding and Rogers Towboat, NORTH RIVER
Magic Cabin
Name: RICE'S FLOATING CIRCUS 
    Type:  Barge 
    Launched: 1850s
    Destroyed: 1872, died out.
    Owner: Dan Rice
    Towboat, DAMSEL
    Captains: Capt. Dan Rice

1. Name: RICE and DORE
    Type:  FLOATING CIRCUS
    Area: 1915, summer, U. Miss. R. 
    Owner:
    Towboats: 1915, summer, CITY of PARKERSBURG
                    See Picture Page

Name: ROBINSON'S FLOATING PALACES AND/OR CIRCUS
Eugene Robinson's Floating Palace
From John Hartford, River Musician Click on picture to enlarge
Type: Double barge showboat Comments: Cushioned chairs for 1,000 people. : In 1868 John Robinson organized a water carnival and used the 1865 COOSA as towboat. Ran up the Ohio R. to Rochester, Pa and back down to Charleston, on the Kanawha R. : Could this also have been Wild Bill Hickocks Wild West Show? See Towboats: 1884, Winter, W.P. THOMPSON Comments: I know, there is a wide time line on this entry. I can only guess this guy was in show biz for a long time. Name: Thayer & Noyes Circus Boat: 1866, CHARLEY BOWEN Name: SARI originally the JAMES Y LOCKWOOD Name: WATER QUEEN Type: Showboat barge Launched: 1880 Destroyed: 1915? Area: Miss. and Oh. R. Owner: Capt. Edwin A. Price, New Martinsville, W. Va. Captain: Edwin A. Price Comments: 1901-1927, Dec., Capt. Price's towboat was ARGAND 1. Way's Packet Directory, 1848 - 1994 3. Steamboats in the Valley
Open The Alphabetical Index For Boats, Captains & Owners