Haunting on the Gateway Clipper Fleet
History, Fun and a Haunting
The Connelly famiy is still walking among the Empress, a vessel in the Gateway Clipper Fleet. Letting the crew and passangers know they are still around, haunting this vessel and others in the fleet. Did I know this before boarding the Empress for a dinner cruise? No, I didn’t find out until having a fun conversation with a member of the crew, Ed. While cruising down the rivers we heard stories of history long the banks of the rivers.
Herrs Island went through many changes being used as a way station for cattle being shipped from Chicago. Also used as a meat processing plant and slotter house. At one point the zoo animals were even kept on the island. Now you will find beautiful homes and office buildings looking out over the rivers. The Captian who was sharing all of the history along the Allegheny River even mentioned a giraffe was burried there. I could continue to share more of the history we were told but I want to get back to the Connelly family and Ed’s stories.
I didn’ t find out about the hauntings on the ship until I asked if there was any unusal history around ths ship or the fleet. That was when he shared the the Connelly family hauntings. I know what some of you are thinking, has there been an investigation, suprisingly no. The crew has no fear or concern, the family had a love for the ships so they embrace it. They repoted feeling as if they are being watched, lightly brushed up against or seeing something out of the corner of their eye.
There is no fear only a understanding they all enjoy spending time on the river. John Connelly was not only known in Pittsburgh but also along many rivers with boats like those in this fleet. He was even known in St. Louis, Missouri for the river boat gambeling along the Mississippi River. He didn’t come from a wealthy family. He himself was a coal minner before winning it big with the river cruises. Ed recalled how polluted and unpleasent the rivers were before Mr. Connelly stepped in to make some changes. Starting with purchasing one cruise boat for weddings and siteseeing.
Mr. Connelly passed away in 2009 here in Pittsburgh, Pennsylania. Who knew that while attending the 2017 FGS conference some of us would be dinning aboard a haunted ship. Plus I would find a home state connection with the owner of the fleet.