City of Le Claire
The city of Le Claire has a rich river history. Located at a point where the Mississippi River makes a sharp turn the place was known as the Upper Rock Island Rapids. Specialized rapid pilots were needed to pass this dangerous part of the river. Those pilots were well paid. Check the website for a self-guided tour of the River Pilot Homes.
Although no paddle-wheeler the riverboat TWILIGHT is worth seeing. The TWILIGHT is operating out of Le Claire, IA, a famous riverboat town. You can book 2-day cruises up to Dubuque, IA, from Memorial Day Weekend until Mid-October. The TWILIGHT is built by Capt. Dennis Trone as a marvelous replica of the famous floating palaces and was sold in 2005. The boat is equipped with an air operated calliope. The landing boat of the TWILIGHT is the old steam ferry CITY OF BATON ROUGE (#1050). The engines were moved to Capt. Trone’s other boat the steamer JULIA BELLE SWAIN (#3180), which he sold some years ago. The CITY OF BATON ROUGE used to have a center paddle-wheel. The stacks were wiped off by a tornado a couple of years ago.
Twilight River Cruises
The boat is located at the Public Boat Landing in Le Claire, IA, cruising Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. The head office is located on Galena.
Buffalo Bill Museum and towboat LONE STAR
Le Claire is the birthplace and boyhood home of Buffalo Bill Cody. The main part of the museum is concentrating on Buffalo Bill. But the museum also shows artefacts of the rich river history of Le Claire. Part of the museum is the last operating steam towboat LONE STAR (#T1627) which can be walked on.
Buffalo Bill Museum