Remember when you heard from your Mom or your friend, “Just hang in there, something will happen when you least expect it?” The is the exact thing that happened to the Buckeye Lake Historical Society the fall of 2015. The call came… would the society like to have a donated boat? Sure, we take lots of donated boats, what kind is it? Well… it is an 88-foot sternwheeler. WHAT!
We are receiving this large boat when our lake has been drained. Our income is the lowest it has been in years and there are no tourists right now. Add to the list that this 88-foot sternwheeler is on the Muskingham River, 40 miles away. No money, no water and not much hope at this point.
The dream was docked right there in front of our eyes. It was wonderful. She would become a 50-passenger dinner cruise boat for much needed revenue to keep the Buckeye Lake Museum open and become a destination for the many tourists that visit Buckeye Lake. When the owner told us that she only would draft 1 ½ feet of water, the deal was made.
She made it to Buckeye Lake with Ian, owner and master hauler of Marine Transport, Baker Crane and several volunteers and she now sits in dry dock at the Buckeye Lake Yacht Club boat yard. The restoration project has begun. The total restoration has a budget of $60,000.00. Plans are being made for online giving and volunteers. Her launch date is Spring 2018.
This original sternwheeler will enhance the beauty of Buckeye Lake and continue the rich history of sternwheelers. The Queen of the Lake I and the JB Taylor. These sternwheelers graced the shores of Buckeye Lake from 1955 to 1973.
Low water levels cause hardships for everyone at Buckeye Lake – residents, business owners, vacationers and yes, Buckeye Lake Museum. The future of the Queen of the Lake III is a beacon of light and hope. She will be a jewel of the lake for many many to enjoy.