World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Sprague (towboat)

Article Id: WHEBN0025987799
Reproduction Date:

Title: Sprague (towboat)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Vicksburg, Mississippi, Sprague
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Sprague (towboat)

Builder: Peter Sprague
In service: 1902
Out of service: 1948
Nickname: Big Mama
General characteristics
Type: Towboat
Length: 276 ft (84 m)
Beam: 61 ft (19 m)
Draft: 7.4 ft (2.3 m)
Installed power: 2,079 horsepower (1,550 kW)
Propulsion: coal-fired steam

Sprague built at Dubuque, Iowa's Iowa Iron Works in 1901 by Captain Peter Sprague for the Monongahela River Consolidated Coal and Coke Company, was the world's largest steam powered sternwheeler towboat.[1] She was nicknamed Big Mama,[2] and was capable of pushing 56 coal barges at once. In 1907, Sprague set a world's all-time record for towing: 60 barges of coal, weighing 67,307 tons, covering an area of 6 12 acres, and measuring 925 feet (282 m) by 312 feet (95 m).[3] She was decommissioned as a towboat in 1948.


After decommissioning, Sprague became a museum on the Vicksburg, Mississippi, waterfront. For many years the long-running melodrama Gold in the Hills was performed there.

The boat was wrecked and burned in Vicksburg on 15 May 1974,[4] and pieces still remain in Vicksburg, Mississippi.[5]

A model of Sprague is in the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in Dubuque, Iowa. The Friends of the Sprague organization sponsored a mural entitled The Big Mama of the Mississippi as one of the Vicksburg Riverfront Murals. It was dedicated on 23 March 2007.[6]


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.