As a Time Traveler, relax and imagine that you are cruising down the mighty Tennessee River during the 1800s while a narrator explains how the river served as a catalyst for growth for the city; the importance of the river during the Civil War, serving as a protected supply base for both armies; the history of various Cherokee sites and how Ross’s Landing was a trading post for early settlers; how Chattanooga was a booming manufacturing town and used the river to transport supplies; how the Tennessee Valley Authority harnessed the untamed river for hydro-electric power and to control flooding; and more.
The Southern Belle mimics the American steamboats that cruised down the Tennessee River in the 1800s. The “Steamboat Gothic” style was more common on the Eastern coastal rivers with the features of Mississippi riverboats such as the landing stage, or “gangplank,” which was a necessity on the rivers where no dock facilities existed. Many oddities based on steamboat construction can be seen throughout the hull. While onboard, note the bolts around the port-bow door. If they were to be removed, they would leave a 4'x7' opening – that is the size they needed to push a 4'x5' bale of cotton through the space!
- PPE: Masks are not required.
- Tickets: Tickets must be purchased online prior to visit.