The National Achievement Award is the highest honor presented by the National Rivers Hall of Fame to those people who are making significant contributions to America’s waterways. The National Rivers Hall of Fame with members in 36 states is the only national museum telling the stories of the people of America’s rivers.
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Honored in 1993
Captain Clarke C. (Doc) Hawley, during the course of his long river career, not only served as master of the three of the five remaining Mississippi River System steamboats, but he has done much to promote river history.
Except for two winter towboating stints, he has spent his entire career working with passengers and crew on excursion and tourist steamboats. His steamboating days began on the tramping excursion boat Avalon. He moved to the tourist boat Delta Queen, then to the excursion boat Belle of Louisville, and finally to the excursion steamer Natchez. He has hosted U.S. presidents, government officials, royalty, entertainment and sports stars, river buffs and countless media people. After most every trip he can be found on deck discussing some aspect of steamboating with passengers.
“Doc” Hawley’s generosity in sharing steamboat artifacts and knowledge with his river friends is boundless. He has preserved steam calliope music on several tapes and records and is one of the founders of the National Rivers Hall of Fame.“Doc” Hawley began his river career luring passengers to the Avalon via her steam calliope, and he doubled as her popcorn popper. He was been dubbed by local media as the “Pied Piper of the French Quarter,” for his calliope playing on the Natchez. Captain Hawley has trained over 20 people who now hold captain’s licenses on the rivers.