La Crosse, WI Steamer J S EXCURSION Fire, Jun 1910

J S Excursion Steamer, photo from J S Excursion Steamer, photo from J S Excursion Steamer, photo from J S Excursion Steamer after the fire, photo from

On June 25, 1910, the excursion Steamboat "J. S." burned and sank near Victory, Vernon County, with close to 1000 people on board.  The trip left from Lansing, Iowa, and was bound for La Crosse, Wis., 30 miles up the Mississippi River.  At 6 p.m. the "J. S." left La Crosse to make her return trip. 

Fire was detected and the pilot steered the boat toward shore as the passengers panicked.  Within two minutes of the ringing of the fire bell, Pilot George Nichols pulled the "J. S." alongside Bad Axe Island where crew members pulled out the gangplank for passengers to exit.  In the end, two people were killed, including a man held in the boat's hold for being disruptive and intoxicated.  The boat burned and sank about 300 feet from shore.  - La Crosse Public Library

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