Steamboat Encounters - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Steamboat Encounters

Posted: Updated:

Judy Patsch refers to her home as the Middle Upper Mississippi River Museum. Patsch lives in Rock Island and she has an extensive collection of steamboat memorabilia.

The Delta Queen is the steamboat which got her hooked on collecting. She has made forty one trips on the Delta Queen since 1973.  As a passenger, Patsch says it's a  great way to see the inland part of the United States and enjoy the scenery along the Mississippi River.  

One wall of her home is dedicated to photos of steamboat captains. Many of the captains are people she knew.

She worked on the Natchez Excursion Steamboat in New Orleans for eleven years, in the dining room, gift shop, and as a narrator.

Her collection includes a ladle from the Effie Afton. It is the oldest item she has. The Effie Afton is the boat which crashed into the first bridge across the Mississippi River in the 1850's.  That bridge is between Rock Island and Davenport.

The collection includes part of the cabin arch from the steamer the Robert E. Lee. That steamboat raced the Natchez in 1870 from New Orleans to Saint Louis.   

Smokestacks and whistles are a throwback to the good old days.

Judy remembers the 1950's when she and her dad would hear the whistle from the Delta Queen and run down to the river to see the boat as it passed by.

Judy gives presentations about the steamboat days. Steamboats that delivered goods long before they became pleasure boats.