Gordon C. Greene (steamboat)

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United States
  • Cape Giradeau
  • Gordon C. Greene
  • Sara Lee
  • River Queen
  • Eagle Packet Company (1923-32)
  • Greene Line (1935-1952)
  • et al.
Builder: Howard Ship Yards & Dock Company, Jeffersonville, Indiana
Launched: 1923
Christened: 24 April 1924, by Miss Christine Rowling
In service: April 1924
Out of service: December 1967
Fate: Sank, 3 December 1967
General characteristics [1]
Type: Sternwheel paddle steamer
Length: 201 ft (61 m)
Beam: 38 ft (12 m)
Draft: 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Propulsion: Steam engine

Gordon C. Greene was a paddle steamer, launched in 1923, that operated under several names before sinking in St. Louis in 1967.

Ship history[edit]

The ship was built by the Howard Ship Yards & Dock Company (now Jeffboat) at Jeffersonville, Indiana, for the Eagle Packet Company as the Cape Giradeau.[2] She was engaged in the packet trade, initially carrying passengers and freight between Louisville, Kentucky and St. Louis, Missouri, with annual trips to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.[3]

In 1935 she was sold to Greene Line for $50,000,[3] and renamed Gordon C. Greene, after the founder of the company, to operate as a tourist boat on the Ohio River between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, while still often making her annual trips to New Orleans.[1] In 1936 her Captain, Thomas R. Greene added an extra "sun deck", increasing the number of passenger cabins, and she was later converted from coal to oil fuel. However as time went on the boat suffered a series of mechanical breakdowns and was eventually withdrawn from service in 1951.[3]

In 1952 she was sold, and then passed through a series of owners, none of whom seemed to able make her a profitable concern. First, under the name Sara Lee, she was converted to a floating hotel at Portsmouth, Ohio. Soon afterwards she was renamed River Queen to serve as a floating restaurant at Owensboro, Kentucky, and was later fitted out as a tourist attraction at Bradenton, Florida. In 1954 her boilers were removed and were fitted into the steamboat Avalon (now the Belle of Louisville). In 1960 she was towed to New Orleans to be converted to a night club, but was soon at Hannibal, Missouri, serving as a restaurant. In 1964 she was sold for the last time, and was based at St. Louis as a bar and restaurant. There, on the morning of 3 December 1967, the River Queen sank at her moorings.[1]


The ship also appeared in several films.[3]


  1. ^ a b c "Riverboats: Caddo - Cinderella". riverboatdaves.com. 2010. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Colton, Tim (2013). "Howard's Shipyard Co.". shipbuildinghistory.com. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d Neumeier, Franz (2013). "Portrait of the Gordon C. Greene". steamboats.org. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 

External links[edit]