About the Author
Jerry serves a a Riverlorian on the American Queen Steamboat. He gives daily talks, serves as a river guide, and makes announcements about interesting sites along the rivers. The passengers are usually on week-long trips on navigable rivers throughout the eastern United States. In celebration of the Lewis and Clark expedition, Hay does shows on the steamboat and continues to do them at other events portraying Captain William Clark. He does a very convincing talk about the expedition and shares some of Clark's journals. Audiences have commented that even though they knew Jerry, they had become convinced that he was Captain Clark during his presentation. His expertise about rivers is well known and led to him being called as an expert witness in a case that led to designating a river as non-navigable. He has traveled nearly every major river in the U.S., including the entire lengths of the Mississippi River and Ohio Rivers.
One of Jerry's unusual writing projects is a published children's book. The booked titled "A Goose Named Gilligan" was written by Hay about the true adventures of a goose that he rescued and was adopted by him. Another book project by Hay is titled "Beyond The Bridges" and is one of the most complete books about life on the rivers ever written. "Rivers Revealed" was released in June of 2007 by Indiana University Press This edition is available world-wide in soft cover. Hay completed the "Ohio River Guide Book", and was published in the Spring of 2008. This book is a complete guide of the entire 981 miles of the river and is a must-have for boaters, floaters and river road travelers. In 2010 Hay authored the Illinois Waterway Guidebook, that takes boaters from the Mississippi River to Lake Michigan. Two more guidebooks were published in 2011. They are the Tennessee River Guidebook and the Cumberland River Guidebook. The Mississippi River Historic Sites and Interesting Places book is his latest book, published in 2013.
Presentations by Jerry Hay
Painting "The New Orleans Steaming Upstream by Moonlight, 1811" by Gary R. Lucy
2011 was the bicentennial of the year that the steamboat New Orleans made history.
In 1811, Nicholas Roosevelt and his wife Lydia did what many thought impossible by successfully navigating a steamboat from Pittsburgh, down the Ohio River then the Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans. This was the first steamboat to make such a trip and was an amazing journey, not only because of the navigational challenges, but many other factors.
1811 was a very strange year and Jerry talks about all the events that took place while the Roosevelts were on their journey, including the New Madrid Earthquake, a strange comet, plagues, hostile Indians, an on-board fire and much more. This river trip led to the great steamboat era that is an important part of the American heritage.
Jerry Hay demonstrates an unabashed passion for his subject that goes well beyond any prepared script. His love of rivers and riverboating runs deep, having explored America's rivers by raft, canoe, and powerboat. Now on the Delta Queen he shares his love of the river on voyages of American rediscovery.
Quote from Amazon Books review:
"I had the pleasure of riding on the Delta Queen Steamboat last year where the author, Mr. Hay is a Riverlorian. He told the story about Gilligan Goose. I have not read the book yet but the heartwarming story was wonderful. Jerry Hay is a great storyteller so I'm sure the book will be great, as well. The incredible thing about the story is that Gilligan is a real goose and the story he told is true. I am ordering copies for myself and each of my grandchildren."
"Your talks each morning added so much enjoyment to our trip. You have a real gift for story telling and I found myself wishing that when I was growing up I had history teachers who were half as interesting as you." ---- Joan
"Jerry M. Hay, the steamboat company's "Riverlorian," and a river pilot in his own right, is into steamboatin' all the way, and has converted an old houseboat into the Wabash Queen -- his own steamboat. Each morning, Hay holds informal talks about steamboat history, shares river lore with passengers, and cites the source of many common expressions we use today, which had their origin in steamboatin'.Hay is an author as well, having written a delightful children's book titled "A Goose Named Gilligan" -- a story about the goose he managed to free from the mud, with great difficulty, in his native Indiana. The goose returns for visits with him every year. Soon to be released in his newest book, "Beyond The Bridges," which chronicles his travels on the rivers. It takes the reader through all aspects of river life."