Army & Navy - NAVY: Old Lady to Valkyrie

For 20 years the matronly, broad-beamed old sidewheeler Seeandbee made the night run between Cleveland and Buffalo, and a pretty thing she was. She was fast too: 20 to 21½ knots. She had passenger accommodations for 2,300, reportedly cost $1,500,000.

In 1933 the Seeandbee went into cruise service, on a run that was the poor man's seven-day dream-tour of the Lakes. While she was quietly aging at Cleveland's East 9th Street Pier, the U.S. Navy took a look at her shallow draft, her gangling length (484.5 feet, overall), decided that with a little...

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