This VERNE SWAIN postcard recently was offered for sale on EBay and I was able to add it to my collection of boats owned by the VALLY LINE. This picture would have been taken well before the VALLEY LINE owned this boat. There are pictures of the VERNE SWAIN taken at the Memphis riverfront sometime in the 1920′s. The Valley Line was formed by the merger of Lee Line boats bought by Peters Lee, my grandfather S Rees Lee and the KATE ADAMS. Way’s Packet Directory list three boats named the VERNE SWAIN, this is boat 5552 in Way’s listings.
The St. Louis and Tennessee River Packet Co. was a fierce competitor of the Lee Line. Recently I was able to purchase this interesting piece of history. The gentleman who sold this plate received it as a gift from an elderly friend whose family was from west Tennessee. The friend of the seller had received it from his grandmother who likely travelled on a St. Louis and Tennessee River Packet Co. steamboat. The makers mark on the back of the plate was the Shenango Pottery Co. New Castle PA. Having watched Ebay for such items for a number of years, I was very happy to be able to purchase this rare plate. Are there any Lee Line plates, cups and other serving dishes waiting to be discovered? When the Lee Line Wharf-boat anchored at the foot of Beale Street Memphis burned in 1923 or 24, any such items would have disappeared. However my hope is that there are a few dishes waiting to be discovered.
Josh Gamble thank you for your Photoshop skills used to remove the crease from this old picture while maintaining the original patina and adding sharpness.
REES LEE Northwood Iowa
This postcard was another recent EBay find. The addressee is Mrs. H.J. Sewoster 1268 E 90 St., Cleveland Ohio. A Google search yielded a 1900 Federal Census Cuyahoga County Ohio listing H.J. Sewoster age 17 and his birthplace listed as Germany. His parents are also listed along with an older brother age 22 born in Germany and 3 younger brothers born in Ohio. The card was from Mr. and Mrs. G.E. McIuatters and reads “We haven’t forgotten you but were waiting for these cards. Does this picture look natural? We just returned from a 200 mile auto trip. Weather is grand here now.” I hope to have a Photoshop repair done on this card to remove the crease available to post within the week.
These two folk art paintings of the James Lee, Kate Adams and Rosa Lee were sent to me by Jean Cash Scott whose grand parents John Pennel and Emma Cash Pennel lived on island 51. She believes the paints were done in the late 1800′s or early 1900′s. The Lee Line would have served this island along with numerous planter landings along the Mississippi. The steamboat in the above right corner of the top painting is the RUTH another Lee Line boat. Click on each image for a larger view. Thank you Jean for sharing these great folk art paintings.
Good to see this old nickel silver serving dish brought back to a shiny condition.
Recently a gentleman from Ohio contacted me seeking information about his Lee Line serving dish which passed down to him from his great grandmother. The dish sat in his parents home for years without much notice until he came across leelinesteamers.com and contacted me. The PETERS LEE ran the Memphis Cincinnati trade; therefore this dish most likely came from the PETERS. There are 4 dishes known to me – including this dish. The Woodruff Fountaine House 680 Adams Ave. Memphis has a very nice one on display, my friend Ed Provine owns an equally nice one and Ed graciously sold me a second dish from his collection of steamboat items. Many would be old Lee Line items went to the bottom of the Mississippi when boats sank and when the Lee Line Wharfboat burned and sank at the foot of Beale Street in the mid 1920′s. Thank you for sharing pictures of your dish Joe. I am always interested in locating Lee Line items.
Recently, this bill of lading was offered on EBay and I was able to purchase it for a nominal amount. As you can see, the penmanship is beautiful.
This brochure recently was listed on EBay and sold for $227.50. The Saint Louis and Tennessee River Packet Co. was a strong competitor of the Lee Line. At one point, money changed hands and the Lee Line withdrew a steamer leading to rates being restored to their former level.