A familiar symbol of Elkhart has been missing on the Upper St. Joe River for the past three years:  The “River Queen”. Not only have the citizens of Elkhart missed the River Queen, visiting tourists have been denied the opportunity to ride a historic piece of Elkhart.

The reason for the River Queen’s absence was a minor leak in her hull. The Historic Elkhart River Queen Committee has proposed purchasing the River Queen and repairing her to her glory days condition.

In addition to restoring the “Queen”, the Committee is also planning on giving her a permanent docking location, something she has never had in her past. The City of Elkhart is facilitating this new home for the Queen by having obtained over 300 feet of river frontage along East Jackson Blvd. This purchase will also allow for plenty of parking for her passengers.

The current owner of the River Queen has agreed to help train the new crew from the Elkhart City Parks Department.

To make all of this a reality, the Community Foundation - Historic Elkhart River Queen project is seeking a goal of $100,000. The Foundation has applied for a historical listing on the National Register. In addition, the Historic River Queen Committee is a 501c3 organization. This will allow contributions to be tax deductible. Any funds remaining after the acquisition and repair will be placed into a permanent endowment to help maintain the River Queen.

Donation Form


The Elkhart Truth:  Queen Lifted from St. Joseph River to be repaired

July 2016 will be the 40th anniversary of the Upper St. Joe River Flotilla. We would be thrilled to have the River Queen as the flag ship once again for this event. We count on having your support to achieve this goal.


Marly Rydson

Marly Rydson, Chairman - Dottie Arnold - Bob Deputy - Diana Lawson - Bill Marohn - Tom Shoff  



(Captain John Cleveland & First Officer Tom Shoff)

Greg Stone, owner of Hart City Scuba,  assists the rigging company to prepare the Queen for removal from the river so repairs can begin.