The sunset cruise was part of a dinner appreciation party to thank everyone who helped bring a cruise boat back to Buckeye Lake.
The Queen, operated by the Greater Buckeye Lake Historical Society, is the first tour boat on the lake since the sternwheeler Mark Twain stopped operating in August 1973. It was the last ride and gasp from the company that tried to revive the Buckeye Lake Amusement Park, according to museum director J-Me Bogden.
The original Queen of the Lake sank in May 1961 just off the current North Shore Boat ramps. Bogden said intoxicated Denison students on board for an outing aggravated a structural problem by rocking the boat back and forth, eventually swamping the Queen. It came to rest upright in three feet of water. No one was injured.
Bogden and her mother, Donna Braig, have been looking for a new cruise boat for years. "People could not get on the water," Bogden said. "I wanted people to have a ride on Buckeye Lake."
Public lake tours are available at 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through October, weather permitting. The Queen II embarks from the North Shore boat ramps in Buckeye Lake, just off Ohio 79. The cost is $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and children. Kids under age 5 ride free.
The Queen is also available for private rental. Call the Buckeye Lake Museum at (740) 929- 1998 for more information. All proceeds benefit the historical society and its museum.