The bell, that now stands on the grounds of the Howard Museum, was cast in 1874 by the Buckeye Bell Foundry (also known as Van Duzen & Tift). It was made in Cincinnati Ohio for the Holy Cross Monastery. The monastery closed in 1976 just prior to the completion of the Mississippi Queen and at JeffBoat. It was decided to donate the 750 pound bell to the boat as a gift from the people of Cincinnati. The bell is engraved, “TO THE MISSISSIPPI QUEEN – FROM THE PEOPLE OF CINCINNATI – 1976.” It was mounted on the forward mast of the new steamboat. The Mississippi Queen and ceased operation in 2008, as a result of bankruptcy, and was tied up at the Perry Street Wharf in New Orleans. Through the association of Mr. Scott Fassler of Boland Marine Company and Keith Norrington curator of Howard Steamboat Museum, the historic bell was offered to the museum in the hope that it could be displayed where the Mississippi Queen was constructed. Howard Shipyard, now the site of Jeffboat, has been in operation for 107 years, making it the nation’s oldest continuously operated shipyard. Through the courtesy of Mr. Mark Knoy, CEO and Director of American Commercial Lines, Mr. Patrick Sutton, Director of Sales for Jeffboat and Capt. John Sutton, port captain for the American Queen Steamboat Company, the bell was loaded aboard the steamboat American Queen and traveled up the Mississippi and Ohio rivers on the boat’s initial cruise to Louisville, for the Great Steamboat Race in May, 2012. The large bell was removed, by a crane barge, from the steamboat and taken to the Jeffboat shop. Here a new stand was constructed and the bell was polished. The work was done under the direction of Mr. George Childers, Director of Maintenance, and a dedicated crew consisting of: Gary Farnsley, Mark Coffey, George Giles, Donnie Hargan and James Adamson. The bell was then delivered to the museum and placed on a concrete pad constructed by Derek Paprocki and associates. The bell was dedicated on Saturday, June 9th, 2012. “Curator Keith” presided and offered the first official pull of the braided bell rope to Mr. Mark Knoy. The bell is placed, in traditional steamboat fashion, forward of our new pilothouse replica. The pilot house was dedicated, at the same time, by Mr. Roger Fisher, board member and project manager. The board of directors and staff of the Howard Steamboat Museum are extremely grateful for this magnificent artifact which has been entrusted to our care for present and future generations to enjoy.