The American Queen

Amy Barnett took this photo as the American Queen headed downstream Tuesday night. 

Amy and George Barnett enjoyed a beautiful sight coming down the river Tuesday evening. The American Queen steamboat was making a run from Chattanooga to Memphis. It came under the river bridge just about dusky dark.

The Barnetts live on Hill Avenue in a house overlooking the lake.

“George had come home early and it was such a beautiful evening, he was out on the back deck,” Amy said. “We saw when it rounded the bend and could tell it was some kind of large riverboat. We couldn’t believe it. We just sat and watched.”

As if it weren’t a pretty enough sight on its own, the sun set and the boat turned on its lights while the Barnetts were watching.

“It was spectacular,” Amy said. “We just watched in awe as it came on downstream.”

The American Queen and its sister ship, the Delta Queen, used to come through Guntersville right often. But it had been awhile since either had been seen in these parts.

George’s friend Jack Powers came over and he got to see it too, Amy said.

George is something of a local historian and he talked a bit about how the boats had stopped in Guntersville at times in the past.

As the boat locked through Guntersville Dam, it played its calliope and the music could be heard as far away as Georgia Mountain.

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