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Zallinger Chapel - Alpe di Suisi, Italy (Paul McGehee)
Zallinger Chapel - Alpe di Suisi, Italy (Paul McGehee)
Old Memphis - The Steam Packet "Idlewild" in 1920 (Paul McGehee)

"Old Memphis - The Steam Packet "Idlewild" in 1920" by Paul McGehee depicts the waterfront of the famous Tennessee city as it appeared almost a century ago. One steamboat seen on a regular basis at the levees back then was the steam packet "Idlewild", which carried passengers and freight on the mighty Mississippi River between Memphis and Hopefield Point, Arkansas. The sternwheel steamboat "Idlewild" was built of steel and wood in Pittsburgh back in 1914, and was launched early in 1915...beginning a career which has now spanned over a century. For many years she provided ferry and passenger service on the waters of the Mississippi. In the 1930s she started summertime runs to Louisville, Kentucky's Fontaine Ferry amusement park and Rose Island. She came along at the end of the era of the great Mississippi steamboats, made immortal by the writings of humorist Mark Twain. "Idlewild" was a familiar sight to those along the shore, with her big paddlewheel churning as the smoke bellowed from her twin stacks...and her steam whistle sounded. The "Idlewild" has undergone a few alterations through the years, structural and otherwise. Her name changed to "Avalon" in 1947. "Avalon" ran routes between the ports of Omaha, New Orleans, Stillwater, Joliet, Charleston, and Knoxville. She was active into the 1950s, but fell upon hard times as the decade ended. By 1962 she changed name and ownership once more, this time while in receivership, to the city of Louisville, Kentucky...restored to service and re-named the "Belle of Louisville" she has run river excursions ever since, and is now acknowledged to be the last of the western river steam packets. In 1989 the "Belle of Louisville" was designated a National Historic Landmark by the United States government. She is said to hold the all-time record in her class for miles traveled, years in operation, and places visited...a floating national treasure. In 2014, her 100th birthday was celebrated along the Louisville waterfront..."The Belle's Big Birthday Bash" lasted five days and featured all of the remaining present-day Mississippi steamboats. The celebration, featuring fireworks, concerts, and river excursions was the largest gathering of steamboats that Louisville had seen in over a century. Today, the "Idlewood/Avalon/Belle of Louisville" is living history, a tangible reminder of our maritime past. Do you want to take a ride on the "Belle"? Here's how (click here). "Old Memphis - The Steam Packet "Idlewild" in 1920" is faithfully reproduced from Paul's original color pencil drawing as an archival quality print issued in a strictly limited edition of only 2,000 pieces each hand-signed by the artist. Image size 10 3/4" x 18 3/4".

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Old Memphis - The Steam Packet "Idlewild" in 1920 (Paul McGehee)
Paul's print of the Memphis packet/excursio-
n boat IDLEWILD i ..

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