Driving home to upstate New York on a cold, blustery evening, I stopped to visit a childhood memory: the everlasting tourist attraction, Roadside America. But I arrived too late, and the building boasting one of the biggest model railroads in the nation and a kitchy gift shop was closed.
Determined to make the best of the waning evening, I stopped by next door to visit the ruined Suwannee Belle.
Fabricated by Lacrosse Riverboat Company in LaCrosse, Wisconsin in 1985, the riverboat once entertained guests along the rivers in the deep south. The Belle was mothballed and then abandoned in New Jersey until it was rescued for use as a restaurant in east-central Pennsylvania.
The restaurant venture did not last long and the Suwannee Belle was once again neglected and may be cosigned to the rust bin of history.