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Public Process

Flagships of the Mississippi River Commission

 

The Mississippi serves as a towboat for the Corps of Engineers and inspection vessel for the MRC. During theMississippi V traditional high-water and low-water seasons, each spring and summer, the members of the MRC board the Mississippi to conduct inspection trips and public meetings at various locations the length of the river. These gatherings enable the public to bring their views and concerns before the MRC and engage in dialogue with its members, thereby giving interested parties a greater voice in shaping federal policy.

 The tradition of conducting public hearings onboard the Mississippi began more than 125 years ago, and along the way several vessels have carried the proud designation of Mississippi: flagship of the MRC. Steamer Mississippi I (1882-1919)Mississippi I

Mississippi I was built for the MRC in St. Louis in 1882, and for nearly three decades she carried the members of the MRC on their bi-annual inspection trips of the river from St. Louis to New Orleans. The steamer also carried President Theodore Roosevelt and President Howard Taft on river inspections from Cairo to New Orleans. In 1919, the Mississippi I was transferred to the Second MRC District in Memphis, renamed the Piomingo, and used extensively as a towboat.

 

Steamer Mississippi II (1920-1926)Steamer Mississippi II

Mississippi II was originally designated as the steamer Leota. Built in 1899 as dredge tender, she was noted for her trim lines and great speed. In 1920 she was selected as new inspection vessel for the MRC. Two years later, the vessel was fitted with new boilers, a new cabin, new machinery, and was renamed the Mississippi.

 

Steamer Mississippi III (1927-1961) Steamer Mississippi III

The Mississippi III was the last of the glorious Texas-deck sternwheelers, and helped sustain the colorful traditions and background of the golden age of steamboats on the Mississippi River. Improvements and additions over the years transformed the Mississippi III into the most powerful government-owned towboat in the Mississippi Valley. The Mississippi III continued in service until April 1961, when she was decommissioned by the Corps of Engineers at Memphis.

 

Motor Vessel Mississippi IV (1961-1993) 

Motor Vessel Mississippi IVThe Mississippi IV was the first diesel-powered vessel to serve as the MRC inspection boat. She was built with an all steel superstructure, and powered by two 8-cylinder engines, each capable of developing 1,860 horsepower. Unique controllable-reversible propellers greatly improved the motor vessel’s maneuverability in treacherous river currents. The Mississippi IV served as the MRC inspection vessel until her decommissioning at Memphis in 1993.