Reminiscent of eras long past, the world's largest steamboat ever built — the American Queen — left Ottawa's shores Tuesday after spending a couple days docked near Allen Park.
Before the riverboat left for Peoria, a few lucky locals — including city officials — were treated with a tour of the 418-foot-long, seven-deck vessel from wheelhouse to engine room.
"We only learned of this riverboat's visit just last week," said Mayor Bob Eschbach. "This cruise was supposed to have gone up the Mississippi River but flooding and bad river conditions diverted her and her passengers to our city. We were glad to host them and the crew for a couple of days. When it paddled in Sunday with the calliope blaring off the river, it was so exciting that it gave me goosebumps."