The following is
from the first page of the booklet entitled Greene Line Steamers, Inc.
Celebrates its 75th Anniversary, written by Betty Blake Simcox:
Perhaps it all
began with Daniel Greene who sailed the schooner Isabelle down the Ohio
River to the high seas.
In 1796, Daniel* came to the Ohio Valley from Rhode Island with his
parents and nine brothers and sisters. They traveled by ox team to the
river, then by dugout canoe.
This family established a settlement and way-point at Newport,
Ohio. They watched the river travelers come through.
The life on the bounding main intrigued Daniel and when he finished the
brick house for his family in 1808, he watched no longer. He took
command of the schooner Isabelle, built at Marietta, and
sailed her down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and across the Atlantic
Ocean to St. Petersburg (Leningrad), Russia. It was hard to
believe. The Russians impounded the schooner until he could show
them there really was a Port of Marietta, and outline the route he
followed to Russia.
Captain Daniel also visited London and other foreign ports. In a
letter to his brother in 1811, he said, I am now on a short voyage to the
West Indies...Brother John, give my kind remembrance to your good wife
That child was Christopher. Not long after Daniel's return to Ohio,
the youngster was inspired by his uncle's adventures. Who knows,
maybe Chris would become a sailor. But, in the meantime, he bacame
a flatboatman and made 21 trips to New Orleans, enduring the perils of
river pirates and getting back to his growing family in Ohio by foot or
Real experience with dugout canoes, schooners, and flatboats made
wonderful stories for Chris's little son Gordon and, by 1862, steamboats
So regardless of just how it began, Gordon Christopher Greene came by his
liking for the river quite naturally.
In 1878, Gordon started "decking" on a riverboat and when he
had saved $250, he paid it to a pilot to teach him to steer. He
continued towboating until he obrained his pilot's license.
Note: It was
Gordon's son Tom who purchased the Delta Queen for $46,250 and
sailed her from California to Cincinnati via the San Francisco Bay, the
Pacific Ocean, Panama Canal, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico into New
Orleans and up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.
*Read more of Capt. Daniel Greene on the 1st Family page.