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Notice the attention to detail and museum quality perfection of the accessories on the boat which Bernhard specializes in.
The boat has an automatic steam pressure regulated gas burner and boiler refill pump for prolonged running time. You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. Much to my surprise, the model was seen very briefly on the silver screen in the movie"The Firm" - probably for about 5 seconds. The Chicot was built by the Howard shipyard, Jeffersonville IN in 1925 for the Army Corps of Engineers.
The next two show a model of the Lowell built in 1998 on commission for the Columbus Museum, Columbus GA. Editor's Note: Last year John answered my questions about his education and background for building model boats. John offers a catalog of steamboat plans, click here to see Paddlewheels and Props: Plans for Riverboats and Tugs.
Search or browse the Primary Sources database to find objects and documents related to Texas independence, which primarily come from the collections of Star of the Republic Museum.


The Yellow Stone was a steamboat that navigated the Missouri and Brazos Rivers to work the fur trade during the days of the Texas Republic.
It was at the beginning of a chase scene through the museum which took place about two thirds of the way through the film. She worked as a dredge tender for the Vicksburg District until 1941 when she was sold to Commercial Barge Line and renamed Jerome D. The Lowell was built in 1838 in Jeffersonville or New Albany, IN for use on the Apalachicola and Chattahoochee Rivers. The model is designed to be a small diesel powered excursion or dinner cruise boat for river or lake service that would operate from a fixed wharf or landing - hence no landing stage (operating models with stages are clumsy to transport around). I sold it to the Smithsonian's Museum of American History in 1975 and it was displayed there until about three years ago when the museum remodeled its maritime history hall. I built it about 4 years ago and this was its second (and last) trip to the Toledo RC Expo. When she was in her apartment in Ludlow KY she had a radio and communicated with all the river pilots. So even though I didn't work on the rivers, my life has still been very nautically oriented.


It was built on contract for the museum during a period from the Fall of 1979 until Feb., 1982. The model turned out very well, although it probably looks a lot cleaner that the full size Chaperon ever looked.
She operated until March 4, 1845 when she was snagged on the Chattahoochee a few miles below Ft. Between the two trips I added a few extra details and a rather spectacular LED lighting system using strip LEDs around the undersides of the decks. I'm anxious to see it on the pond at night I still need to add a few more lights to illuminate the wheel. Other drawings and paintings of early steamboats were also used in the research for the model.



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