Delta King

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Delta King
Delta King moored in Sacramento
Ordered: 1924
Cost: $875,000
Christened: 20 May 1927
General characteristics
Tonnage: 1837 (gross)
Length: 285 ft (87 m)
Beam: 58 ft (18 m)
Draft: 11 ft 6 in (3.51 m)
Installed power: 2,000 hp (1,500 kW) Compound steam
Propulsion: Sternwheel
Delta King
Delta King is located in California
Delta King
Nearest city Sacramento, California
Coordinates 38°34′58″N 121°30′25″W / 38.58278°N 121.50694°W / 38.58278; -121.50694Coordinates: 38°34′58″N 121°30′25″W / 38.58278°N 121.50694°W / 38.58278; -121.50694
Area less than one acre
Built 1923
Architect California Transportation Co.
NRHP reference # 78000797[1]
Added to NRHP 31 March 1978

Delta King is a 285-foot-long paddlewheel steamboat (87 m). Delta King is the sister ship to Delta Queen, both christened 20 May 1927, traveling between Sacramento, California and San Francisco, California on 10-hour trips.


The hull, first two decks and steam engines were ordered in 1924 from the William Denny & Brothers shipyard on the River Leven adjoining the River Clyde at Dumbarton, Scotland. Delta King and her sister Delta Queen were shipped in pieces to Stockton, California in 1926. There the California Transportation Company assembled the two vessels for their regular Sacramento River service between San Francisco and Sacramento, and excursions to Stockton, on the San Joaquin River. At the time, they were the most lavishly appointed and expensive sternwheel passenger boats ever commissioned. Driven out of service by a new highway linking Sacramento with San Francisco in 1940, the two vessels were laid up and then purchased by Isbrandtsen Steamship Lines for service out of New Orleans. During World War II, they were requisitioned by the U.S. Navy for duty in San Francisco Bay as USS Delta King (YFB-55).[clarification needed]

In November 1940, Delta King was converted by the Navy into a receiving ship for naval reservists. In the fall of 1941 Delta King returned to Stockton, but instead of returning to its regular passenger service she was sold to the Isbrandsten Steamship Co. of New York. Delta King was to be towed to the East Coast through the Panama Canal for use as an excursion boat on the Hudson River. Delta King served as home to hundreds of men who were employees of the being constructed ALCAN Aluminum plant and the Kemano Dam power project in the early 1950s in Kitimat on the northern coast of British Columbia. The ship was used as a bunkhouse for the single men as the townsite was literally carved from the wilderness. Delta King was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

In 1981 she sank for mysterious reasons while laid up in Richmond, California (SF Bay Area). It was later found the damage was minor, and she was raised and towed to her current location.

Current uses[edit]

Today, Delta King is permanently moored in Sacramento, California, and is home to a 44-room hotel, award-winning[2] restaurant and Capital Stage, a resident professional theater company. "Delta Kings" and "Delta Queens" are the mascots of Stagg High School in Stockton, California.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "Sacramento Restaurants Downtown Old Sacramento Fine Dining Romantic - Pilothouse Restaurant Getaway Delta King". Delta King. 2012. Retrieved August 13, 2013. [permanent dead link]

External links[edit]