‘ American Queen’ tour group rolls into Marion

River boat passengers check out local sights on stop from New Orleans to Minnesota


American Queen River Boat passengers disembarked from the stop in Memphis for historical site seeing the courthouse square area in Marion, Monday morning. The group toured the Sultana Museum, heard a historical lecture from John Fogleman about the maritime disaster at the Trinity of the Fields Anglican Church and stepped across the street and into yester-year at the old bank next to the Marion Hotel.

“They are off the American Queen, on a 21-day cruise,” said Tracy Brick with the Marion Chamber of Commerce. “We have 45 here today. They Civil War enthusiasts interested in the river’s history.”

Brick explained how the first ever tour connected with the city.

“The women who did this tour was here in March for the Sultana anniversary,” said Brick. “We hope she will keep coming back. We broke them into three groups because the museum only holds 16 at a time comfortably.”

The group took a tour bus from Memphis to make the jaunt into the county seat.

With three groups, visitors went through the bank where Brick pointed out the marble floors, the old vault and iron barred teller cages while providing the story of the building’s history from notes of the late Margaret Woolfolk. Roslyn O’Neal received many compliments after the museum tours. Bottled water, coffee and a tray of cookies were part of the courtesies offered the visitors in the shade on the courthouse square.

Riverboat passengers hailed from all over the country and had loads of geography and history questions for those serving a docents for the day.

“They are on a cruise from New Orleans to Red Wing, Minnesota,” said Lisa O’Neal. “They are from all over the place, it’s really neat.”

By John Rech