General Jackson (riverboat)

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Flyer circa 1910
The General Jackson preparing for Tall Stacks in Cincinnati, OH
Name: General Jackson
Operator: Gaylord Entertainment Company
Route: Cumberland River
Builder: Jeffboat, Jeffersonville, Indiana
Launched: April 20, 1985
Christened: July 2, 1985
General characteristics
Type: Showboat
Tonnage: 1,489 tons dead weight
Length: 274 ft; 300 ft including gang plank
Beam: 63.5 ft (width)
Height: 55 ft (fixed); 77 ft (top of stacks)
Draft: 7 ft
Installed power: 2 Caterpillar 3512 diesel engines
Propulsion: Paddlewheel
Speed: 13 mph top speed, 4–8 mph average
Capacity: 1200 passengers
Crew: 157

The General Jackson is a riverboat—more specifically, a showboat—based on the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Jackson was named after another riverboat of the same name that was built in 1817; that boat was in turn named for Andrew Jackson. The modern boat was originally an attraction at the Opryland USA theme park. The park closed in 1997, but the boat remains in service, docking at Pennington Bend near the Opry Mills shopping center that replaced the park. In addition to Opry Mills, the dock is located near the Grand Ole Opry House and the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center.

The original Captains were Captain E.A. Poe and Captain William Howell.


The General Jackson was built by Jeffboat in Jeffersonville, Indiana and launched in 1985. Though built to resemble a vintage steam-powered riverboat, it is actually powered by diesel generators which in turn power two 600-horsepower electric motors, which in turn propel a 24-foot diameter, 36-ton sternwheel. The boat has a capacity of 1,200 passengers and 157 crew members. It is 274 feet long (300 feet with gangway extended), has a 63.5-foot beam (width), is 77 feet tall with it folding smokestacks fully extended (the folding stacks are necessitated by low bridge clearances), and has a draft of seven feet.[1]


The General Jackson is designed to recreate the showboats that plied the waters of American rivers in the 19th century. Several different shows are presented during the primary March-December season, with two cruises usually taken each day. Evening cruises normally feature dining as well. Most cruises feature the country music for which the Opry is known, though variety musicals and gospel music are also featured.

The boat occasionally ventures from its home port of Nashville. In October 2006, the General Jackson took part in the Tall Stacks riverboat heritage festival in Cincinnati, Ohio.


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