Lansing's unique history as a river town comes to life in this specialized museum, featuring a collection of memorabilia from the early development of the town. Authentic wooden boats and artifacts offer visitors a glimpse at the early clamming and clamshell button industries as well as commercial fishing and ice harvesting. An extensive photograph collection documents the growth of this Iowa river town, which was an important ferry point for immigrants crossing the Mississippi River in the early days of westward expansion. Telephone for more information. Open some summer weekends or by appointment. (Free Admission)
Museum of River History
The Museum of River History honors Lansing's past. It is a comprehensive experience in river life and commercial fishing. Originally started as a display for Lansing Fish Days in 1989, the collection has grown to become a truly extensive array of artifacts. Karen and Gary Galema are the collection's caretakers and offer museum tours to visitors, school groups and locals alike. Karen's father, Harold Verdon, was a commercial fisherman and bestowed not only a wealth of information on Karen, but also a love for community. The Galema's are passionate about connecting story with object and enrich the tours with tales of river adventure.
Check out the giant fyke net that stretches over one hundred feet along the north museum wall, hear the story about Mr. and Mrs. Rome Olloff who mounted an entire Model A car into their boat so they could use its engine to power the motor and imagine the skilled fingers of fishermen knitting lengthy cotton nets. The museum has many exhibits, including ones on the evolution of outboard motors, the skillful river ice harvesting, and the historic button factory.
Located at 60 South Front Street, Lansing 52151, the museum is open weekends from Memorial Day through October. Also open by appointment. Call Gary and Karen Galema, museum caretakers, at 563-538-4641. No admission charge, but donations are welcome to help maintain this special collection.