Sunday, May 13, 2012

National Steamboat Monument

Located along Mehring Way near the Public Landing is the National Steamboat Monument.  The monument highlights the history of steamboats in a time when the river was the primary means of shipping goods.  During the peak of the steamboat trade, Cincinnati was one of the largest ports and manufacturers of steamboats.

The monument features the original paddlewheel from the American Queen, the largest steamboat ever built.  Underneath the paddlewheel is whistle grove which consists of 24 metal smokestacks that contain computer synchronized infrared sensors that play the sounds of calliopes, men working on the river, steam whistles, and songs.  Steam shoots from the top of these stacks toward the paddlewheel.  Whistle grove is an interactive experience and there is a riddle with directions and if correctly answered, patterns of lights, music, or patterns of steam will emit from the stacks.

Along the walkway leading up to the monument is the steamboat hall of fame.  The pillars contain plaques listing the famous riverboats of the time with descriptions and stories about each of them.

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