The Sinking of the Shiloh

Yesterday, while looking over the images Becky has added to the Pink Palace Photograph Collection, I enjoyed yet another surprise from the photos of the Mayor family – a sunken steamboat.  Two images of it, in fact.  And one image showed the cobblestones of the Memphis riverfront, so it appeared as though it sank right at the foot of Beale Street.

Shiloh sinking

Sure enough, we found the Shiloh (labeled “Shilo” on the images) in Way’s Packet Directory, 1848-1983:


Stw p wh [Sternwheel packet, wood hull] b. Jeffersonville, Ind., by Howard, 1902.  178 tons.  150 x 28 x 4. Engines, 13’s- 5 ft.  Two boilers, each 40″ by 22 ft.  She was built for St. Louis & Tennessee River Packet Co. Came out in Savannah-Danville trade, Capt. Lon Kell, with pilots Charles R. Beard and Ed B. Beard; Sam G. Smith, purser; Tommy Latham, chief engineer; Al Aiken, second engineer; Charles Lewter, second clerk.  She was under charter to Delta Navigation Co., Memphis, Capt. Ed Nowland, Jr., and hit the levee while landing at Memphis with a heavy cargo, sank, and was lost, this in December 1913.


As you would imagine, since the steamer sank while being chartered by another party, a lawsuit followed.  For more information on St. Louis and Tennessee River Packet Co. v. Nowland, please click here.


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Filed under Dig Memphis, Digital Archive, Memphis History, Photographs

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