In 1947, the Idlewild was sold to J. Herod Gorsage, and her name was changed to the Avalon the following year. The name change had been the deathbed wish of the boat's master, Captain Ben Winters, whose career had started aboard a different steamboat called the Avalon.
But by 1962, the Avalon was a sorry sight. In desperate need of major repairs and improvements, the boat was literally days away from the scrap yard when an auctioneer offered to put the doomed steamboat on the auction block. Her salvation came from Kentucky. At the auction, Jefferson County Judge/Executive Marlow Cook offered the highest bid. He bought the boat for $34,000 with county funds.