Formula---On Board to Save the Dixie
For the last 75 years, a 65' sternwheeler named Dixie has been operating on Lake Webster, Indiana, with a regular schedule, capturing the hearts of everyone who has stepped aboard her. Recently, however, this historical sternwheeler was in need of some special attention and maintenance in order to pass inspection, and the Formula team was ready and willing to donate and devote their expertise.
The Dixie's history begins with a young packet steamboat pilot named Joseph Breeck. When Breeck was 21, he was diagnosed with a heart condition and told to "take it easy." The Breecks lived near the Ohio River in Lamb, Indiana (a small town near Madison). From about 1905 through the early 1920s, the Breeck family would spend their summers at Lake Webster to relax. By the mid-1920s they had established a permanent residence at the lake. Breeck built the first Dixie in 1914. It was replaced by the present Dixie in 1929. Now nearly 80 years old, the Dixie is still on Lake Webster.
Over the past several months, some Formula employees have journeyed to Lake Webster to visit the Dixie and to lend a hand to restore its heritage. The Formula crew devoted many hours of hard work to the Dixie, and their efforts were recently acknowledged during a luncheon held at the Formula facility in Decatur, Indiana, on May 23, 2008. A brass plaque with their names engraved on it was presented to Vic Porter, chairman of Formula Boats, by several members of the Dixie board restoration. The plaque will be a permanent fixture on the Dixie for all visitors to view. Vic also gave the board members a personal tour of the Formula facility---they were amazed with Formula's plant, personnel and cleanliness.
The first phase of the renovation has been completed. The Dixie has passed DNR inspection and is back in service on Lake Webster. Internal systems including electrical, fuel delivery, sound and lighting were upgraded or replaced. Despite this huge success, there is still a long way to go in securing the Dixie for the next 75 years. The best way you can see the vast improvements made is to come take a ride on the Dixie. There are scheduled summer tours throughout the week and weekend. The passenger fare for all cruises is $7 per person, and tickets are available for purchase at Lakeview Pizza King next to the Dixie landing in North Webster Town Park. To find out additional information about the Dixie, please visit www.savethedixie.org or call 1.888.80.DIXIE today!