J.S. Steamer

© Photographed April 7, 2017
Viroqua, Vernon County, Wisconsin
43.552777, -90.888560

J.S. STEAMER
This stern transom beam
is the fire charred
remains of the
J.S. Steamer, [sic]
(John Storeckfus) [sic]

This tourist ship
burned and sank on
the Mississippi River
north of Victory, WI,
on June 25, 1910.
Of the 1,100 passengers
on board only
two perished.

Beam donated
by Larry Klahn

The marker is located adjacent to the entrance to the Vernon County Museum and is accessible from southbound South Center Avenue, at its intersection with East South Street, at or near 410 South Center Avenue, Viroqua, Wisconsin 54665.

La Crosse Public Library: Steamboat J.S. Fire
Link includes loads of photos and newspaper articles
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.

Vernon County Historical Society

See also, Vernon County Museum, also at this location.

The marker and the referenced beam.

The marker is located to the left of the entrance
to the Vernon County Museum.


The marker is located in Viroqua, Wisconsin.

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