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Examiner
  • Our view: Larry Don too iconic to forget

  • A chunk of the lake’s history and heritage lies partially underwater where it has been moored most of its long life at Casino Pier near Bagnell Dam.
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  • A chunk of the lake’s history and heritage lies partially underwater where it has been moored most of its long life at Casino Pier near Bagnell Dam.
    The Captain Larry Don inexplicably sank earlier this week.
    The stern of the iconic vessel sits firmly on the bottom, while most of the midship and bow are secured to a dock. As news of the tragedy spread through the lake and then the Midwest, fond tales of yesteryear were shared by many of us who enjoyed her majesty when she was a must-do for every trip.
    Now, sadly, the Larry Don’s future is in doubt.
    Terry Hart, owner of Hart’s Diving and Salvage, said earlier this week the owners — who also own Beaver’s at the Dam — don’t know if they will salvage the vessel or dismantle it for salvage.
    Rumors abound that the owner of the vessel has called in a salvage company.
    No!
    Please don’t!
    We urge anyone with influence and historical perspective encourage the owners to not only raise and save the Larry Don but to also move forward with plans to have it restored.
    Not only is the Larry Done a snippet of the lake’s history, but it’s also part of this nation’s history since the hull of the boat was constructed from sections of World War II landing craft.
    Too much of the lake’s heritage has slowly been dismantled over the years as history has given way to commerce and gigantic condo projects in the name of progress. The Casino Pier, the Larry Don and the Commander are truly icons and represent a simpler time when families came to the lake and The Strip to be families.
    Let’s start a Keep the Larry Don movement!
     

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