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Sep/Oct 2013 Issue

Museum offers glimpse of life along the Mississippi

The Lower Mississippi River Museum and Riverfront Interpretive Site in Vicksburg, Miss., offers visitors a glimpse at what life is like along the river–examining both the risks and benefits of living so close to the water, from floods to economic vitality.

Funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the museum has an orientation theater and an assortment of interactive displays that examine the Lower Mississippi River and its tributaries, from St. Louis, Mo., to the Gulf of Mexico. Opened about a year ago, the museum offers an interactive way to learn about the history, people, and events that have been a part of the fabric of the Mighty Mississippi.

Through a series of hands-on exhibits and audio/visual presentations, the museum provides insight into the river’s role as a highway for commerce. Visitors will learn about the river’s complex environmental system and can get an up-close look at its native fish in a 1,515-gallon aquarium.

The museum also features a restored and dry-docked Army Corps of Engineers tugboat, the Motor Vessel Mississippi IV. Tours give visitors a feel for life aboard the boat through interactive displays, artifacts, and a simulator in the pilothouse.

One of the most interesting exhibits is an outdoor interactive flood model that illustrates how the Mississippi River, levees, and control structures interact. Visitors can alter the river’s course and control the water flow by opening and closing dams and other river features. The model holds two inches of water to represent normal stages and about five inches to represent a flood.

Located at 910 Washington St., the museum is open from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. It is also open from 1–5 p.m. on Sundays from April through October. Admission to the museum is free.

Call (601) 638-9900 for details or visit

A family preparing to tour a restored tugboat at the museum. Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau photo

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