Cave Stories

Where to Find: National Rivers Center

Listen to the stories of explorers like Champlain, Percy, Marquette, Lewis & Stevens in our cave, located just past the waterfall in the National Rivers Center building.

First River People

Where to Find: Left as you face the waterfall, National Rivers Center

Learn about an authentic dugout canoe that was made by Native Americans and paddled from Minnesota to Dubuque in the 1860s. 

As guests continue to explore the gallery, the following cases highlight the role rivers played in Native American culture and in trading with European settlers through display of a variety of historical and Native American artifacts.

River Alterations

Where to Find: National Rivers Center

Humans have altered rivers to suit our needs for years. These manmade changes bring not only rewards, but costs as well. Explore the various alterations man has developed over the years.

Rivers are Roads

Where to Find: Left of the waterfall, National Rivers Center

Rivers have carried the goods of the continent for centuries. From canoes of fur trade cargo to steamboats of baled cotton, rivers have moved the people and products of the nation. For hundreds of years, they were the primary way for people to travel.  They have carried millions of tons of furs and billions of tons of grain. Explore the history of transportation on the river through Rivers are Roads.