The Goldenrod Showboat has been a part of American history since she was built in 1909. She traveled the rivers of the Midwest, touching the hearts, minds, and imaginations of generations with the broad spectrum of entertainment offered by those who lived aboard until she settled in St. Louis in 1937. There she would become a long-time sensation, attracting performers and audiences from all over the globe. She remained a large part of the entertainment scene of the metropolitan area until her doors were closed in 2001 and she was moved to the Illinois River and docked in Kampsville. After a long and tough fight, the Goldenrod lost the battle, was officially decommissioned and was later destroyed by fire. We hold all the interior artifacts from the Goldenrod and look to make them reappear in the area.
The Goldenrod Showboat debuted as the largest showboat ever built when she came onto the scene in 1909. She was a vessel of pure decadence fitted with brilliant decor and lighting for which no expense was spared. Her extravagance and beauty quickly gained her notoriety as she began to travel the Midwest river systems, touching the hearts and imaginations of many. The music of her calliope would signal her long-awaited arrival as she traveled from Omaha to Pittsburg and all the way south to New Orleans. Although she changed owners three times during her first 15 years on the river, she would become and remain a hub of entertainment, offering small towns access to melodramas, vaudeville, music, dance, and in some instances,” talkies” that would have otherwise been out of reach. When the Goldenrod stopped traveling the river in the mid-1930s and settled in St. Louis, she transitioned from a traveling attraction into a popular travel destination. She brought both audiences and performers from all over the globe to her home on the St. Louis riverfront and over the next 60 years, became a mainstay in local entertainment for music and theater lovers alike. Though the Showboat has continued to change hands many times over the years her spirit has never diminished. Even after her doors closed in 2001, she still has kept hold of the hearts and minds of those who remember her and is continuously gaining new admirers.
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