Facial masks are required for all visitors, regardless of vaccination status
Each year millions of people travel to the Mississippi River to learn about its history and its impact on our nation. The National Great Rivers Museum at Melvin Price Locks and Dam is dedicated to telling the story of the Mississippi River from her grand history and cultural significance, to her ecological importance and role as a transportation corridor.
Visit our museum and gain an understanding of the great rivers, their environments, their place in the natural world, and the dynamic interaction between the river systems and the human and wildlife communities that border them.
A dramatic play of light and sound sets the scene for visitors to connect to OUR RIVER, as they begin their gallery exploration at this exhibit. Visitors encounter a pool of water, with water rippling down from the ceiling into the pool.
Communities: Habitats of the Mississippi
The Mississippi River supports a rich, dynamic network of natural communities. Visitors enjoy a wall display that portrays the diversity of river ecology in the extended river ecosystem, made up of three main ecozones: River, Floodplains, and Bluffs.
Mississippi in Motion
This exhibit shows how rivers forces act on the river to change its course and character over time. River cycles are conveyed with 5 different cycles of time: geological, annual, seasonal, monthly, and daily.
This map shows the confluence of the Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois Rivers.
This sweeping 60-foot wall display presents the history of the Mississippi from prehistory to today.
Stairway for Boats
This exhibit lets visitors control a flow of water between four stair-stepped pools, an abstraction of the Mississippi Lock and Dam System. This exhibit also describes the Upper Mississippi Lock and Dam System.
Common Water, Common Ground
This exhibit poses contemporary environmental situations involving water quality and water quantity.
Steer the Barge
Come see the life-size, realistic replica of a towboat pilothouse. Try your hand at steering a barge.
Aquarium The dams along the Mississippi River create large lake-like areas where there is slow flow downstream. With a slow flow comes the species who prefer such conditions including carp, drum, walleye, bluegill, catfish, and crappie.
This exhibit includes a stream table that allows visitors to see how a riverbed may change as water flows downstream.
What Makes a Great River
This exhibit introduces visitors to the River Through Time. See how the Mississippi River we know today was “grown” and shaped by powerful natural forces over hundreds of millions of years.
The micromodel demonstrates how micromodeling is used in river management. The reverse side of the exhibit is a “laboratory” designed to explain sedimentation.
Melvin Price Lock and Dam
Learn how Melvin Price Locks and Dam were built and how it operates today.
How Much Water Do You Use?
It’s important to be aware of our personal water consumption, and how we can use water resources more wisely. Find out how much water you use.