“A national historic landmark”
Belle of Louisville is a steamboat owned and operated by the city of Louisville, Kentucky, and moored at its downtown wharf next to the Riverfront Plaza/Belvedere during its annual operational period. Originally named Idlewild, she was built by James Rees & Sons Company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for the West Memphis Packet Company in 1914 and was first put into service on the Allegheny River. Constructed with an all-steel superstructure and asphalt main deck, the steamboat is said to hold the all-time record in her class for miles traveled, years in operation, and places visited. Belle of Louisvilles offices are aboard Mayor Andrew Broaddus, also a National Historic Landmark.HistoryIdlewild operated as a passenger ferry between Memphis, Tennessee, and West Memphis, Arkansas. She also hauled cargo such as cotton, lumber, and grain. She then came to Louisville in 1931 and ran trips between the Fontaine Ferry amusement park near downtown Louisville and Rose Island, a resort about upriver from Louisville. Idlewild operated a regular excursion schedule from 1934 through World War II, during which she was outfitted with special equipment to push oil barges along the river. She also served as a floating USO nightclub for troops stationed at military bases along the Mississippi River.
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Belle of Louisville
- Mon, Wed: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Tue, Thu, Fri: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
- Sat: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
- Sun: 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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