Has Elkhart’s River Queen made its final voyage?

NOW: Has Elkhart’s River Queen made its final voyage?

ELKHART, Ind. -- The iconic Elkhart River Queen will not be starting up this Memorial Day weekend, if even at all this upcoming summer.

"She's an iconic part of Elkhart's history. My mom used to ride on her in the 1940s, 50s. They would have elegant cocktail parties on the River Queen," says manager of the boat and member of HERQ, Historic Elkhart River Queen, Tom Shoff. "In January, we received a letter from Mr. Smoker's attorney, advising us that we were being evicted. He gave no reason."

The person who owns the dock that helps support the River Queen, Edward Smoker, wants it gone, even going as far as ripping up the concrete towards the boats on ramp. 

Shoff states, "It's more than just a dock. It's the support building, we have our food and refrigerators in there. It's sewer pipes so we can dump the black water, so it's more than just parking it someplace. You need to have an industrial-strength dock, too. This boat weighs 60,000 pounds, so you can't just pull it up to a pier and dock it."

The River Queen has until June 1 to leave the dock, but Shoff claims that there is nowhere else to go. 

"There is no place to go, since January we've been looking at other alternate locations along the river. For a myriad of reasons, I won't go into today, there is no other place to put her."

Getting in touch with Edward Smoker, he claims that the area has outgrown the River Queen and that it is time for it to get a new home. 

This leaves the River Queen in limbo, where the boat can't be used at all. 

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