The Steamer Admiral – Annie Amantea Blum

The Sunset Hills Historical Society (SHHS) February meeting will feature a program by local author Annie Amantea Blum, author of The Steamer Admiral, on Monday, February 25 at 7 PM at the Sunset Hills City Hall, 3939 South Lindbergh Blvd.

Most of us who grew up in the St. Louis area are familiar with the S.S. Admiral, that sleek, Art Deco steel excursion boat that ferried parties, families, and sightseers up and down the Mississippi River for nearly 40 years.

“You know, in a big city we often lose sight of the river, but St. Louis and the rest of us have the rivers to thank for our existence,” states Blum.

Blum’s focus will be the history of the Acme Company, begun in 1889 by John Streckfus. His shipping and boating business grew but faced increased competition from the railroads. It was Streckfus who initiated the excursion boat genre.

It is the S.S.Admiral that was the flagship and was the culmination of his company.
Blum’s presentation will focus on the now-defunct, yet famous Steamer Admiral, its impact on the lives of most St. Louisans, as well as the importance of the rivers on our region.

Blum has written The Steamer Admiral & Streckfus Steamers, A Personal View, as well as the follow-up book, published by Arcadia as part of its Images of America series. It includes out-of-the ordinary photographs, which capture the rise and fall of the S.S.Admiral, and photos taken by her husband, Captain Jim Blum, riverboat captain in his own right.

Both books will be available for purchase and she and her husband, Capt. Jim Blum,  will be available for signing them after the presentation.