Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Goodbye Goldenrod. . . Our Sherlockian connection.

Twenty plus years ago we held the first two ever St Louis area Sherlock Holmes conventions on the Goldenrod Showboat in St. Charles Mo.
The Victorian atmosphere of the hundred plus year old boat made for a wonderful hosting spot.
We called the conventions 'The Games Afloat'.
For over fifty years the Goldenrod served St Louis, then moving to St Charles in the late 80's.

Never capable of moving under its own power, the Goldenrod would be pushed from location to location.

My first experience on the Goldenrod was in about 1981, when it was still in St Louis.

And it happened to be a vaudevillian production of Gillette's play about Sherlock Holmes.

While in St Charles, because of river conditions, the boat became to expensive to maintain once again, especailly since St Charles had already sunk a fortune in to it. It needed more repairs than St Charles thought they could handle.
The city eventually sold it and for many years it was hoped it would find a new home and keep offering entertainment.
For about the last ten plus years it has sat on the Illinois River near Kampsville awaiting its fate.
To save it from the salvage yard a group of volunteers had been trying to raise enough money to save it.
The floods of summer of 2015 put an end to that hope, damaging the boat beyond repair.

 The task then became saving as much of the historical interior as they could, hoping some day a museum would house the memories.

Many of the volunteers have worked hundreds of hours making this last hope happen.
Tomorrow the volunteers will finally say goodbye to the old showboat.
They have removed as much as they can.

I am glad to have had some great memories of the old girl, and like many will miss the history of the old showboats and its connection to our local world of Sherlock Holmes.
I at least got to direct (a convention) on the old showboat a couple of times.