Famous River Packet Sold: Tom Greene To Be Auto Barge
The Tom Greene, one of the last stern wheel freight
steamboats on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, was sold yesterday and
will be used as an automobile barge by Commercial Barge Lines, Fred C.
Cramer, Secretary Treasurer and General Manager of Greene Line Steamers,
All machinery will be stripped from the Mark Twain-style
packet and the superstructure will be redesigned to handle automobiles.
She will be towed behind squat Diesel tugs.
The Tom Greene was built in 1923 by Capt. Gordon C. Greene
at Point Pleasant, Ohio. Originally used for both freight and passengers,
the packet boat was rebuilt in 1939 to handle only freight. The hull is
of steel and has a beam of 38 ½ ft.
Two weeks ago, the Chris Greene, a sister packet, was sold
by the Line and the company now operated the only two over-night steamboats
on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. The Chris Greene is to become a
harbor boat at Dayton, Ky.
One of the remaining boats, the Delta Queen, now runs to New
Orleans in the tourist trade and the other, the Gordon C. Greene,
operates between St. Louis and St. Paul during the summer. Neither carries freight.
Years ago the Tom Greene was in several races, the most
spectacular being on against the Betsy Ann in June, 1930. Both were on
the Charleston, W. Va., run and had raced informally but neither captain
was satisfied with these contests. In the famous race on June 28, The Tom
Greene pulled away from the Betsy Anne on the course from Fernbank Dam to
Coney Island to win a trophy.
With a full head of steam and the big steam paddle taking
full bites, the Tom Greene could make 10 to15 miles an hour. On ordinary
runs she would average approximately nine miles an hour.
We would like to
share the following e-mail. Perhaps someone has information on the
Blaskey. If so, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
Hello - my name is
Judy Zepeda. My father, Marvin Garwood, 85 yrs old, was telling me
about his experiences on the river working summer jobs on the Blaskey and
the Tom Greene (primarily Blaskey.) This took place about 1942 -
1944. My father's father also worked on the Blaskey. I came
across an article about the sale of the Tom Greene on your Celebrate
Newport website which prompted me to send this email.
I would be very
interested in obtaining any information and a picture of the Blaskey
river boat/barge and determining the name of the "engineer" on
the Blaskey. My grandfather traveled with this man to Miami Beach
when the Blaskey was in dry dock. My grandfather eventually moved
to Miami, and this is where my father's family resides today!
Security on the Blaskey was a "cheetah!" My father would
walk with this animal at night to check the lines on the barge!
Just wonderful stories!