The Delta King


This is the soap opera called the many lives (and deaths) of the Delta King.

   In September of 1947 the Delta King was sold and was being prepared to be sent to Seattle, Washington to be used as a fish cannery, but the work was stopped. The King was than sold in 1952 to Kitimat Constructors. It was to be used as a home for the workers of Alcan (Aluminum Company of Canada Ltd.) in British Columbia. Before it was moved the steam engines, the machinery, and the paddlewheel were removed. These were later bought by Tom Greene as spare parts for the Delta Queen. The boat was then towed in May 1952 to the end of Douglas Channel near Kitimat. At high tide on May 15, 1952 the Delta King was floated into a basin where she rested on solid ground after the water was pumped away. By late 1958 the Alcan had built additional housing for its workers and no longer needed the Delta King.
   On March 2, 1959, John Kessel of Stockton, Ca, announced the purchase of the King to be used as a theater and restaurant, hotel and museum on the Stockton Channel. The Delta King was refloated and tugged back to her birthplace at Stockton, arriving April 29, 1959. There ensued a never ending battle between attorneys-at law, owners, want to be owners and more.
   In the fall of 1959 was in the MGM film The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn starring Tony Randall, Judy Canova, Andy Devine, Buster Keaton, Archie Moore and Eddie Hodges (as Huck). The King was filmed from the front and from the distance a tugboat on her side to move her. The real stack was covered with two phony stacks. On July 20, 1969 the Delta King was towed back to Sacramento by a group of people interested in saving the King. The ownership of the King was still unclear. They tried to restore the Delta King for the next 5 years. The person claiming to be the legal owner, Gene Detgen, had the boat towed to Collinsville, Calif. in February 1974. In the summer of 1974 the boat flooded because she got stuck on the muddy bottom during low tide but was soon refloated. The boat was then brought to Rio Vista for a company that soon went bankrupt.
   On February 10, 1978 M. K. Sun bought the Delta King and brought it to Red Rock Marina in Richmond. He was planning to use her as a restaurant at the San Francisco waterfront. In 1980 Sun got permission for his plan and brought the boat to Lauritzen Channel. On April 3-4 the King sunk again. This time the water was deeper and the refloating job much more difficult. It was not until June 1982 before it was refloated. Once again fate slapped the King. In July 1984 she was again towed back to Sacramento.
   FINALLY in 1985 a restoration of the Delta King was started and on May 20, 1989 a grand opening took place. It is now serving as a floating (but stationary) hotel, theater and restaurant at the Old Sacramento waterfront.


Delta King.jpg (62060 bytes)            Delta King 2.jpg (79540 bytes)            Sunken King.jpg (35454 bytes)
Not sure but I think this is                                                                         1974 Flooding     
at Kitimat, British Columbia                                                                                                        


Present day photos.

King Aerial.jpg (48151 bytes)            Delta King 1.jpg (2117040 bytes)            Delta King 2.jpg (1978900 bytes)            Delta King at night.jpg (164386 bytes)


King.jpg (141175 bytes)            Delta King Hotel.jpg (76388 bytes)            sac_river_delta_king.jpg (195282 bytes)



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