Saturday, June 30, 2018


Left: This is how the Riverboat Columbia looked on July 5, 1918.

Story and Photos by Ed Emmons

A remembrance of the fateful disaster of the Steamboat Columbia was held today at the Pekin Riverfront Part. Taking part in today's ceremony were local dignitaries, state dignitaries, music, an author, and family members.

Right: Members of the Tazewell Area Ceremonial Team honor Guard presented the colors.

It was a hot day at the Pekin Riverfront with temperatures in the 90's, but that did not keep the Remembrance of the July 5, 1918 sinking of the Riverboat Columbia from taking place killing 87 People, 57 of whom from Pekin.

Left: David Zimmerman, Tazewell County Board Chairman was Master of Ceremonies for today's event.

The Columbia on what was suppose to be a day of celebration, ended with 87 people killed when the steamer sank near Creve Couer. The Pekin South Side Social Club sponsored an Illinois River excursion heading from Kingston Mines to just north of Peoria. The steamer carrying over 500 men, women, and children hit a tree stump around 7:30 pm on July 5, 1918 and sank.

Right: Call to service of the 100th Anniversary of the Columbia Riverboat Disaster by Judie Noyes playing a shofar Horn.

Left: Special Music by violinist, Ginsey, playing Concerto in A Minor, Op3.

Left: Invocation by Reverend Kathy Barrett of Kingston Mines, Il.

Pledge of Allegiance was spoken by David Zimmerman.

Right: National Anthem was sung by Elisabeth Sandoval.

Left: Bagpiper presentation by Joey Britts, Playing AMAZING GRACE, and BY THE WATERS EDGE.

Left: Pekin Mayor John McCabe leading a moment of silence and reading a City of Pekin proclamation from 1918.

Right: Pekin Mayor McCabe reads a  City of Pekin proclamation from 1918.

Right: State Representative Tim Butler from the 87th District was one of the speakers at today's ceremony.

Left: State Representative Michael Unes talks at today's ceremony.

Left: State Senator David Koehler speaks at today's ceremony.

Right: IL State Historical Society Executive Director William Furry speaks at today's event.

Left: Ken Zurski- Author of THE SINKING OF THE COLUMBIA, and his new book coming out in August WRECK OF THE COLUMBIA, speaks at today's ceremony.

Right: Bryan Soady reads a narrative of a compilation of letters sent following the disaster.

Left: Reading of the roll of victims by Marilyn Leyland, past president of the Peoria Historical Society, and Kingston Mines Mayor Steve Hedge.

Right: Timber Hollis Fire Department rings the bell for each victim.

Left: Timber Hollis Fire Department rung the bell each time for all victims of the Columbia Disaster.

Right: Conclusion by Christal Dagit, President of the Tazewell County Museum.

Retirement of the Colors by the Tazewell Area Ceremonial Team Honor Guard.

Left: A presentation of flowers was laid at the base of the Illinois State Historical Marker on Main Street by Sue Beeney, descendent of John Grewey.

Right: Descendents of Lucille Bruder Adcock, the last survivor of the Columbia Riverboat throw flowers into the Illinois River in remembrance of all those who lost their lives in the Columbia Disaster.

                                                      Children place flowers in the River