Traveling on the Mississippi and Missouri

The Story of Mobility in America Maritime Museums in Historic Towns

 Little Rock and the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum

Little Rock is a cultural, economic, government, and transportation center within Arkansas and the South located on the south bank of the Arkansas River in Central Arkansas. Fourche Creek and Rock Creek run through the city, and flow into the river.

Little Rock is an Intermodal River Port with a large Industrial Business Complex

Little rock viewThe Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum is located on North Shore Riverwalk Park along the shore of the Arkansas River in North Little Rock, Arkansas. It is home to two floating Naval vessels that bookend World War II: the tugboat Hoga, designated a National Historic Landmark and recognized for her efforts during the Pearl Harbor attack of 1941; and the submarine Razorback, which was in Tokyo Bay during the formal surrender of Japan, ending World War II. The museum features the sub Razorback, the tugboat Hoga, the battleship Arkansas and the guided missile cruiser Arkansas.

A Collection from the Arkansas River Historical Society features the History of the Arkansas River

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Memphis Tennessee and the Mississippi River Museum

Mississippi River ViewMemphis is a city with a rich and eclectic history: Home of the Blues, Birthplace of Rock ’n’ Roll, BBQ Pork Capital of the World; it began with the Native Americans who settled on the Fourth Chickasaw Bluff, then onto Hernando De Soto, the Civil War, yellow fever, the blues and rock ‘n’ roll music.
Cotton Row beginning around 1840 riverboats loaded with cotton lined the Memphis riverfront. Through the Civil War and by the turn of the century, Memphis was center stage and cotton was king. By some estimates, over 75% of the nation’s cotton came through the Bluff City. Front Street in Downtown Memphis was nicknamed “Cotton Row” and was the heart of the cotton trade and the center of the Memphis economy for over a century.

A Display of Fine Art history-making Music and a Celebration of American Heritage and Culture

beale street in the daytimeBeale Street when the blues migrated north from the Delta it found a permanent home in Memphis, and that home is alive and well today on Beale Street. Dance to the many bands and artists that perform in open-air Handy Park or spend a night sliding in and out of any number of nightclubs. Hit the district in May when the city jams with the annual Memphis in May Festival.

Mud Island River Park by day, take the monorail, which boasts some of the city’s best views, over to the Mississippi River Museum, where you can check out genuine Civil War garb and gunboat reproductions. By night, catch a live performance at the Amphitheater with the Memphis skyline as your backdrop and the rolling river at your back.

The Mississippi River Museum traces the evolution of transportation on the river from the earliest canoes through the golden age of steamboats and modern diesel towboats efficient transportation and the economic impact of river transportation played a vital role in the development of trade routes and the growth of river cities

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Kansas City and the Steamboat Arabia Museum

Kansas City was founded in the 1830s as a Missouri River port at its confluence with the Kansas River. The City Market, bordering the Missouri River, contains one of the country’s largest and longest lasting public farmers’ markets in the nation with several unique shops and restaurants. Steamboat Arabia Museum is right next to the City Market.

The Port of Kansas CityThe Port of Kansas City is an inland port on the Missouri River in Kansas City, Missouri at river mile 367.1, near the confluence with the Kansas River. Kansas City is the second-largest rail hub and third-largest trucking hub in the country with connections to major cities all over the eastern United States.

The Missouri inland waterway allows for barge traffic as far upriver as Sioux City, Iowa, with most of the commercial traffic concentrated between Kansas City and St. Louis.

The Arabia Steamboat Museum is a time capsule of life on the American frontier in the mid-nineteenth century and an opportunity to experience the everyday objects that made life possible for pioneers in the 1800s.  It contains the largest single collection of pre-Civil War artifacts in the world.

Arabia sinkingThe Steamboat Arabia was one of many casualties of the perilous Missouri River.  The Mighty Missouri, as it was often called, is the longest river in the United States and has claimed nearly 400 other steamboats over its 2,500-mile course. The Story begins on the West bank of the Mississippi River in the bustling waterfront of St. Louis, Missouri. Here, in the year 1856, over 200 tons of winters supplies were loaded aboard the Arabia for delivery to the western frontier, nearly 1,000 dangerous miles up the mighty Missouri River.

The Arabia was buried underground for over a century with its cargo, 45-feet beneath a Kansas cornfield; the payload was protected from light and oxygen and was thus remarkably well preserved. The cargo included fine China, carpentry tools, children’s toys and the world’s oldest pickles

The Arabia Steamboat Museum a popular Kansas City attraction for over 20 years

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Alton Illinois and the National Great Rivers Museum

Alton is located 25 Miles north of St. Louis amid the confluence of three navigable rivers, the Mississippi, the Illinois and the Missouri, as a river trading and industrial town. The Great Rivers Region is accessible from six interstates, an international airport and an Amtrak station.

Historic Trails Alton’s Civil War and Lincoln Legacy Trail features costumed docents at sites throughout the city revealing Alton’s legacy through personal tales along with the Underground Railroad, where runaway slaves were hidden in caves, barns and basements. The Alton Museum of History and Art has special exhibits relating to Alton’s connection to the Civil War era.

Alton IL Melvin Price LocksRiver Trails where great rivers converge with great moments in history at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and Confluence Tower; learn how they planned their journey west.

Grafton’s riverfront was packed with manufacturing companies, mills, quarries, loading docks, and riverboat traffic in the 1800s. Today, it is a tourist destination with its specialty shops and wineries.

Architecture Trails many blocks of housing in Alton were built in the Victorian Queen Anne style during the prosperous period in the river city’s history at the top of the hill in the commercial area, several stone churches and city hall.

The National Great Rivers Museum and Melvin Price Locks & Dam feature the importance of the river system to America’s economy from her grand history and cultural significance, to her ecological importance and role as a transportation corridor.

Wing dams Mississippi 1891The Mississippi River, over 2,200 miles long, is the second longest river in the United States and the third largest river basin in the world, exceeded in size only by the Amazon and Congo basins. The central portion of the river is known as the Middle Mississippi, a 300-mile reach from Saverton, MO, to Cairo, IL. Further defining the Middle Mississippi are the confluences of three major tributaries, the Illinois, the Missouri and the Ohio Rivers.
The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 marked the opening of the West, and river settlements began to grow. In 1817, the first steamboat arrived in St. Louis and the population soared. Steamboat arrivals had increased more than a thousand-fold by 1858, turning the river into a superhighway.
The Corps of Engineers continually examines the biological impact of the navigational structures on the river’s ecosystem, balancing navigational needs with those of the environment know more about it

Dubuque Iowa National Mississippi River Museum

Dubuque is located along the Mississippi River at the junction of Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin. It serves as the main commercial, industrial, educational, and cultural center for the Tri-State Area. One of the few cities in Iowa with hills, it is also a tourist destination featuring unique architecture and river views.

A Center for Culture with Five Institutions of Higher Learning

Dubuque Aerial ViewHistory the first permanent settler was pioneer Julien Dubuque, who arrived in 1785 to mine the area’s rich lead deposits. After the lead resources were exhausted, Dubuque became a center for the timber industry because of its proximity to forests in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Other major businesses included boat building, brewing and railroads.

Old Cable Elevator Dubuque IowaDowntown Dubuque is the center of the city’s transportation and commercial sectors, and functions as the hub to the various outlying districts and neighborhoods. An area of special note is the Port of Dubuque which has seen a massive amount of new investment and new construction.

The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium

RiverWorks Discovery® educates children and their families about the commerce, culture and conservation of the great rivers of America and their watersheds.  The curriculum is designed to engage the learner and encourage further exploration of our rivers. This multi-disciplinary program focuses on math, history, geography and mapping know more about it

Alexandria Minnesota and the Legacy of the Lakes Museum

The Village of Alexandria was settled in 1858. The form of the name alludes to Alexandria, Egypt, a center of learning and civilization. W.E. Hicks was pivotal to the early development of the town. He purchased the townsite in 1868 and established a mill, hotel, newspaper, and store. He donated property for a courthouse, jail, and two churches: Methodist and Congregational.

In 2013 Alexandria was picked as a Top 10 Best Small Town

Legacy of the Lakes MuseumAlex is a hot spot for tourism, due to its many lakes and resorts. Tourism events include a Grape Stomp hosted by the Carlos Creek Winery every September, an Apple Fest in October, the Douglas County Fair every August, and Art in the Park every July. The city has a museum housing the Kensington Runestone, which is thought by some to indicate that Vikings had visited the area in the 14th century. Outside the museum stands Big Ole, a 25-foot-tall statue of a Viking built for the World’s Fair in New York City.

wooden boatsThe Legacy of the Lakes Museum originally known as the Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum, it promotes lake traditions and legacies as well as preserve Minnesota history.

Minnesota is home to skilled watercraft builders since Native Americans first fashioned birch bark canoes hundreds of years ago. The museum boasts the most complete collection of Minnesota-made boats from Larson to our own Alexandria Boat Works.

Wooden Boats few museums offer as wide a range of rare boats including Chris-Craft, Gar Wood, Century and Hacker Craft, as well as the ultimate collection of made-in-Minnesota craft

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