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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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NATIONAL RIVERS HALL OF FAME. One of three museums maintained by the DUBUQUE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY. The museum, intended as a reference center, collects and preserves artifacts and files on famous and unknown individuals who shaped the life of river communities and commerce in the United States.

The National Rivers Hall of Fame, with members in twenty-six states, hosted its first convention in Dubuque on May 3, 1986. On that day, river water from all fifty states was symbolically mixed and poured into the MISSISSIPPI RIVER by Hall of Fame director, Jerry ENZLER. Formally opened on Saturday, April 30, 1988, the Hall of Fame museum was located in the city-owned former depot of the Burlington Northern at the foot of 2nd Street. The building was leased to the Historical Society for thirty months through an action of the Dubuque City Council on June 1, 1987.

The museum has featured a sixty-two seat theater and an exhibition hall in which displays of river-related exhibits were maintained. The theater's backlit screens were used to show pictures of the nation's major waterways and their social and economic importance.

As part of the museum's exhibits, the LOGSDON, a wooden hulled stern-wheeler which spent most of its life on the Illinois River, was obtained in 1989. The Logsdon joined the WILLIAM M. BLACK, the Tavern, a 42-foot-long steel hulled towboat, and several small craft.

In 1991 representatives of the National Rivers Hall of Fame, DUBUQUE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, and city and county government attended a ribbon cutting for the Hall of Fame's new location on the second floor of the Iowa Welcome Center at the ICE HARBOR. The new site doubled the size of the museum.



Lamphier-Hoffert, Denise. "National Rivers Hall of Fame Marks Opening at Ice Harbor," Telegraph Herald, May 18, 1991, p. 16. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=UW5FAAAAIBAJ&sjid=ZrwMAAAAIBAJ&pg=3301,3114176&dq=ice+harbor+dubuque&hl=en