JAMES LEE leaving Galina IL area

This picture is also from my recent EBay purchase of 9 postcards depicting the JAMES LEE unloading and departing this town.   The just departing picture and this photo are unusual pictures.  Postcard and regular photos of steamboats as far as I have seen show boats moored while idle, unloading or underway.   Prior to these two pictures, I have not seen boats maneuvering as they depart.


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JAMES LEE postcard picture

JAMES LEE ILLINOIS - CopyRecently this postcard along with 8 other cards depicting the arrival, unloading and departure of the JAMES LEE and the JOHN BERTRAM were available for purchase on EBay.   I was able to purchase these 9 cards for my growing Lee Line collection.  Another of these cards shows several very small local trade stern-wheel boats with the home port of Galina IL painted on the stern of one of the small steamers.   This picture would have been taken prior to 1912 since the JOHN BERTRAM was retired from service in 1912.  Further research reports the JOHN BERTRAM was build to ferry rail cars for the Illinois Central Rail Road.

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Lee Line Tourist Guide circa 1900

This is another EBay find


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James Lee House UK Daily Mail artice

Excellent article on the restoration of the James Lee House 690 Adams Ave. Memphis TN.  Congratulations Jose and Jennifer.


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Steamer VERNE SWAIN newest addition to collection

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.


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St. Louis and Tennessee River Packet Co.

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.

St. Louis Tenn River Packet Co plate

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REES LEE postcard Homewood Iowa Aug 1913


REES LEE as origional

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.

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REES LEE postcard postmarked Northwood Iowa Aug 9, 1913


REES LEE Northwood Iowa

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.

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Folk Art

Lee Line art Pride of the Bends_0001These 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.

Lee Line folk art

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Polished Lee Line serving dish

Good to see this old nickel silver serving dish brought back to a shiny condition.

Cleaned up Lee Line dish

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