ON THE OHIO RIVER_Day two of our American Queen cruise finds us docked in Madison, Indiana, known as by Charles Kuralt “essentially the most stunning river city in America.”
Based in 1809, the previous transportation hub for Mid-America, which additionally performed an vital function within the Underground Railroad, is at present a group of charming historic houses, outlets and museums. After a fast buffet breakfast on the Entrance Porch, we board a bus at our appointed time to start our hop on, hop off tour of the town.
We’re every given a map that notes all of the drop-off factors, with detailed descriptions of what we’ll see and really helpful time to spend at every. You may select to “hop off” at anybody. Buses are working all day and often come by each quarter-hour or so for pickup. On every bus, American Queen has positioned educated tour guides that convey useful details about what we’ll see.
The climate is surprisingly delicate and overcast for our go to, the place our first cease is the Schroeder Saddletree Manufacturing facility, the final of its form in america and probably the world. What’s a saddletree, you ask? That’s the wood body that holds a saddle. Opened within the late 1800s, it closed in 1972, however all the pieces remains to be in place for excursions. Pam discovered in addition they made clothespins as a profitable sidelight. Guides are available to elucidate all of it.
The following three stops we select are all historic homes: The Shrewsbury-Windle Home, in-built 1846-1849, in Greek revival fashion, with its 12 rooms, 13 fireplaces and a winding spiral staircase. Up the road is the Schofield Home, a two-story tavern home in-built 1815. In 1818, Masons from throughout the state met right here to type the Grand Lodge of Indiana.
Our final cease is the imposing Lanier Mansion, one other Greek revival dwelling overlooking the Ohio River. Thought of the “crown jewel” of the Madison Historic District, it belonged to James F.D. Lanier, a extremely profitable enterprise chief with 11 kids.
Again on the American Queen, it’s time for lunch, so we head to the principle eating room the place they’re serving an categorical buffet. Together with roast turkey and dressing, we each needed to strive the Coco-Cola Inexperienced Beans, which had a barely candy style.
Within the afternoon, a river professional gave an informative lecture on “Uncover the River,” offering quite a few details and tales in regards to the waterway we’re traversing. For instance, she mentioned its muddy coloration is the results of rainfall. She additionally mentioned we’d undergo 13 locks on the best way to our closing vacation spot, Pittsburgh.
That was adopted by the Captain’s Welcome Reception within the Grand Saloon, the place we met the boat’s officers and raised a champagne toast to our voyage. The captain informed us the boat would common six miles an hour as we traveled upstream.
There’s no mistaking when it’s time to sail away to our subsequent vacation spot. In case you are within the neighborhood of the River Grill and Bar on deck 5, you’ll get an ear-splitting melody of old-time favorites performed on a on a steam calliope. Fortunately, the barkeeper retains a bottle of earplugs for the event.
Subsequent up, the early leisure present on the Grand Saloon. Tonight’s providing is a “Southern Celebration,” that includes a quartet of singers and dancers, together with the home band, the Steamboat Syncopators. It’s a spirited, fast-paced manufacturing. Because the present begins, Pam takes word of a second degree of what look to be personal bins for suite house owners. Upon checking with a housekeeper, she discovers there’s one open for normal people like us — good!
Throughout dinner in fundamental eating, we take word that all the pieces appears all of the sudden darker. Wanting exterior our window desk, we see a stable wall going by. That may solely imply now we have entered our first lock. Having seen locks in motion on the Panama Canal and German rivers, it’s an attention-grabbing course of to look at.
Not able to name it an evening, we gravitate to the Engine Room Bar, the place musicians Jay and Logan are taking requests and delivering rock and roll tunes in entrance of a backdrop of spinning paddlewheel blades seen in porthole home windows. We even get to check out our dancing footwear together with different late night time revelers.
Tomorrow we dock in Cincinnati. Till then.
PHOTOS by Gerry Barker
- The Lanier Mansion in Madison, Indiana
- The captain on the welcome reception
- The Saddletree Manufacturing facility in Madison
- The American Queen transverses the primary of 13 locks (cowl photograph)
See sailings right here American Queen Voyages Cruises (cruisecompete.com)