Goldenrod Showboat | St. Louis Public Radio

Goldenrod Showboat

The Goldenrod Showboat took on about 7 feet of water when the Illinois River flooded near Kampsville, Illinois, in early May 2017.
Historic Riverboat Preservation Association

Illinois River floodwater has drained from the hull of the Goldenrod Showboat, along with any lingering optimism that the century-old vessel can be saved, according to the preservation group that owns it.

“There’s no glimmer of hope,’’ said Jacob Medford, vice president of the nonprofit Historic Riverboat Preservation Association. “We’ve tried our best with the Goldenrod, but not everything works out exactly how you want it. But we gave it our all.”

The historic Goldenrod Showboat is currently docked near Kampsville, Ill.
Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 4:30 p.m., May 8, 2017 — The historic Goldenrod Showboat is sinking in the flood-swollen Illinois River, near Kampsville, Illinois, according to the nonprofit group that's been fighting for years to preserve it.

The Delta Queen is in dry dock in Houma, La.
Photo provided by Delta Queen Steamboat Company

Legislation that would enable the owners of the Delta Queen to return the historic steamboat to cruise service on the Mississippi River has been reintroduced by Missouri’s U.S. senators.

The Goldenrod Showboat's final resting place: The Illinois River, near Kampsville, Ill.
Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio

Volunteers will gather on Thursday at a remote spot on the Illinois River to say their final farewells to the Goldenrod Showboat, a St. Louis landmark they worked relentlessly to preserve.

The century-old showboat suffered irreparable damage last summer during efforts to save it from the flooding river. Since then, volunteers have worked on weekends to remove artifacts -- chandeliers and gilded mirrors, furnishings and photographs -- for future display in museums.

The Goldenrod sits along an Illinois river bank.
Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio

Volunteers have worked countless hours salvaging artifacts from the century-old Goldenrod Showboat that was once a fixture on the St. Louis riverfront, says Jake Medford, vice president of the nonprofit Historic Riverboat Preservation Association that’s been working to restore the vessel.

The Goldenrod sits along an Illinois river bank.
Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio

The gloom of the skies over the Illinois River matched the mood aboard the historic Goldenrod Showboat Wednesday afternoon, as one of her loyal guardians ushered reporters and photographers around the creaky vessel for one last photo op.

Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio

The century-old Goldenrod Showboat is still in limbo, waiting along an empty stretch of the Illinois River like a forgotten star from yesteryear yearning for one more curtain call.

The Goldenrod is moored out of sight -- hidden by weeds and brush in a remote spot along Highway 100, north of Kampsville, Ill. But she’s not been forgotten. A small band of diehard fans say they are determined to rescue and return the vessel to the St. Louis riverfront where she spent half her life.

The historic Goldenrod Showboat is currently docked near Kampsville, Ill.
Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Goldenrod Showboat, one of the last surviving relics linking St. Louis to a steeped, riverboat past, looks to set sail for its final voyage.

But will it be a retirement to the scrap heap or a glorious return to the St. Louis riverfront? Its fate remains in the hands of a small nonprofit group, the Historic Riverboat Preservation Association.

When the Goldenrod was moored at St. Charles
Historic Riverboat Preservation Association / Goldenrod Showboat

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - The Goldenrod Showboat, a historic vessel that delivered lively theater and music to Midwestern river towns in the early 20th century, now waits at an Illinois river bank for salvation -- or the salvage yard.

Though the clock is ticking, a small nonprofit group has renewed efforts to save the grand old vessel and return it to the St. Louis riverfront.