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Review Highlights
A sweet little nugget of history and info

A quirky beat up riverboat steamer Tug. Jim Wolfe was our guide. Delightful, courteous and... read more

Reviewed August 25, 2018
suzarno
,
Whately, Massachusetts
via mobile
Geo. M. Verity

Excellent tour, our tour guide Tyler was young, but knowledeable and enthusiastic! You could spend... read more

Reviewed June 30, 2018
charleshaycock
,
Bayfield, Wisconsin
via mobile
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Reviewed May 21, 2016

This is a small, but very interesting museum if you have an interest in mechanical things, or the history of the Mississippi. And the cost is minimal: $4 for an adult ($3 for seniors.) Our elderly docent led us through the engine room, showing us the boilers, then following the steam pipes to the electrical generators, pistons, power steering, etc., and explaining how it all worked. He was well informed and interesting. After that, we were on our own to explore the upper decks where there were a lot of photos and documents.

Somehow, I was expecting something like a riverboat for passengers, but this ship was built almost 90 years ago specifically to push barges, and that was interesting in its own right. (Were were told it would make about 3 miles an hour.)

To me, the experience of being able to walk through the engine room made me imagine being very small and being able to walk through the engine of a car. You could walk over to the pistons and almost touch them. The whole thing took less than an hour, but it would be easy to spend a bit more time there.

The museum has obvious budget constraints, and is a bit run down, but still well worth it.

Date of experience: May 2016
3  Thank Charles S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2016

Road trip summer vacation up the Mississippi River, stoked to visit the Riverboat museum morning of July 10, 2016. My parents and I love history and engineering and literature and an historic riverboat truly fits the bill. We started our tour just the three of us and a few more people joined our tour partway through. The tour guide was one of the managers of the site so he knew EVERYTHING there was to know, super sweet, answered all our questions and even tailored our tour to our particular interests. He even took our group photo for us in front of the museum. We got to tour the boiler room, upper decks and cabins on our own, a windy day so felt thrillingly dangerous with those low railings. Don't miss looking down at the rear chevron paddle wheel and pretending you're the captain in the wheel house! Some wasps and bees, but it was summer on the river so expected but not necessary...

Date of experience: July 2015
2  Thank rainofhearts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2015

Steamboat built in 1927 that was used to push barges on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. The admission price was very low, $4 pp adult. The first part of the tour is guided covering the mechanics of the boat, how steam was used to power everything onboard. The tour guide directed us up some stairs to deck 2 and let us explore at our own pace. Deck 2 was the crew quarters and galley with a lot of old photos and various documents telling the history of the steamboat days. This steamboat was decommissioned in 1960 but had plied the river from 1927 until then. The galley had been updated with modern appliances, counter tops and sink during the 50's if I had to guess. Deck 3 was smaller than deck 2, but there was still a lot of photos and documents to browse. The pilot house is on top of deck 3 and one could sit in the pilot's chair.

Date of experience: July 2015
1  Thank Blueboss573
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.