Julia Belle Swain returns to La Crosse - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Julia Belle Swain returns to La Crosse

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Victory, Wisconsin (WXOW) - -

A piece of La Crosse and Mississippi River history, the Julia Belle Swain steamboat is back in town.

The boat returned to La Crosse to Brennan Marine early Wednesday afternoon.

It left the Newt Marine boatyard in Dubuque Monday morning where the 44-year-old steamboat was undergoing structural repairs. A new boiler was also installed while the boat was in Iowa.

A local group, the Save the Julia Belle Swain Foundation, was formed with the goal of renovating the Julia Belle Swain and bring it back dockside in La Crosse to provide rides and tours on the Mississippi. They hope to accomplish that goal by next spring.

The restoration effort will continue with the boat's return.

The boat took more than two days to make the trip back up to La Crosse from Dubuque. Since the towboat that brought the Julia Belle Swain back isn't able to travel at night, they docked Tuesday night in Victory, Wisconsin, several miles south of Genoa. 

The photos and video that accompany this story were taken as the boat was docked in Victory.

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