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Vicksburg in Warren County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
 

The Steamer Sprague

 
 
The Steamer <i>Sprague</i> Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, May 25, 2017
1. The Steamer Sprague Marker
Inscription.  The largest and most powerful sternwheel towboat ever launched (318 feet long, 61 feet wide), the steamer Sprague, was constructed in 1901 by the Dubuque Boat and Boiler Works in Iowa for the Monongehela River Consolidated Coal and Coke Company. The Sprague broke the record for towing when, in 1907, it pushed the largest tow of barges handled by a steam-powered vessel-60 units, 1,125 feet long, 312 feet wide, and 67,307 tons. Unfortunately it also broke the record for the most tows lost- 53,200 tons of coal above Osceola, Arkansas. In April 1927, the steamer transported human cargo during the massive Mississippi River flood, rescuing an estimated 20,000 people, bringing them to Vicksburg. In 1948, the steamboat was decommissioned at Memphis having traveled a distance equal to forty times around the equator and was to be scrapped. A reprieve came from the citizens of Vicksburg who purchased the Sprague for use as a floating theater for the melodrama Gold in the Hills and as the home of a river-related museum and the Vicksburg Yacht Club. Affectionately called "Big Mama," the Sprague burned in
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1974 and eventually sank in 1979.

Sponsored by
Friends of the Sprague

 
Erected 2007 by the City of Vicksburg Riverfront Mural Committee.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicDisastersWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical month for this entry is April 1927.
 
Location. 32° 21.107′ N, 90° 53.013′ W. Marker is in Vicksburg, Mississippi, in Warren County. Marker can be reached from Levee Street south of Grove Street. The Vicksburg Riverfront Murals are located on the Yazoo Diversion Canal levee wall. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Vicksburg MS 39183, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Brothers of the Sacred Heart (here, next to this marker); Carr School (here, next to this marker); "Logging on the River" (a few steps from this marker); The Nation's Most Destructive Flood (a few steps from this marker); "The Founding of Vicksburg and Methodism" (a few steps from this marker); President McKinley Visits the "Land of Cotton" (a few steps from this marker); The Vicksburg Garden Clubs and Planters Hall (a few steps from this marker); "The Blues are the Roots, the Rest are the Fruits"-Willie Dixon (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Vicksburg.
 
Related marker.
The Steamer <i>Sprague</i> Mural image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, May 25, 2017
2. The Steamer Sprague Mural
Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. Mural of "Gold in Hills"
 
Also see . . .
1. The Vicksburg Riverfront Mural website. (Submitted on June 6, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
2. Wikipedia article on the Sprague. (Submitted on June 6, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Additional keywords. The Steamer Sprague | The Steamer Sprague
 
Vicksburg, Mississippi waterfront levee wall murals. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, May 25, 2017
3. Vicksburg, Mississippi waterfront levee wall murals.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 24, 2022. It was originally submitted on June 6, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 293 times since then and 21 times this year. Last updated on January 22, 2022, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 6, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.

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Apr. 15, 2024