Full steam ahead into the new year!

Beyond mere decoration, the true function of this ceramic steamboat is that of a whiskey decanter. Mass produced in the late 1960s, River Queen O.B.R. decanters, originally filled with Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, are now common finds in antique stores and websites. In our historic collection, this artifact is a reflection of the importance of documenting all aspects of Mississippi River history.

This month's Collection Spotlight references an important part of that history, the steamboat era, as well as how we remember (and capitalize on) that history. This little whiskey decanter received a lot of attention in the last year, including a visit from author and steamboat-enthusiast George R.R. Martin and being a feature in a recent program sharing the history of the Dubuque County Historical Society in 20 artifacts.