The Lower Mississippi River Museum and Riverfront Interpretive Site ( www.lmrm.org ) is located on historic Washington Street in downtown Vicksburg, Mississippi. I first became interested in visiting the museum after seeing a television special about the research being done on the Mississippi River, by the U.S. Corps of Engineers staff in Vicksburg. Before I arrived, I had been concerned about where I would park, but on the weekday I visited, I was able to park just a few steps from the front door! There is also additional free parking on the back side of the building.
Adjacent to the LMRM is an actual Corp of Engineers boat, the Mississippi IV, that visitors can tour to get a feel for life on board the boat.
The numerous static exhibits and interactive exhibits within the museum will give you a new appreciation for the "Mighty Mississippi", and I would recommend sitting down in the Theater to watch the short video that tells about the history of this magnificent watershed.
The beautifully designed facility has glass walls, clean restrooms, free WiFi, eye-pleasing displays, and there is no admission fee!
Depending on the particular era in time that interests you, you can pick up a "phone" to talk to someone who lived along the Mississippi at that designated time period.
I tried my hand at this pilothouse simulator, and found out that even though I am a graduate of the Annapolis Sailing School, my river navigation skills are very questionable!
A metal walkway connects the museum to the main deck of the Mississippi IV boat.
The galley of the boat was well equipped to feed a non-stop line of hungry sailors!
Since the boat is so long, and had so many levels, one could get their exercise just by walking up and down the numerous decks!
One reason the Corp of Engineers needs a reliable working boat is to keep abreast of the ever-changing course of the river. The three colors on this photograph show the different twists and turns the river channel has followed for the years 1775, 1893, and 2010.
Outside behind the museum is a scale model of the lower Mississippi River, that folks can wade in, if they so desire. This photo of the PATH the river makes through the Delta, is the visual aid I am using for my First Place 4 Health ( www.FirstPlace4Health.com ) memory verse that says, "Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." Psalm 25:4-5. Likewise, school groups can use this model to show the kids the ways of the river, teach kids about its path, guide kids in the truth of water resources management, and teach kids what they need to know so that they can continue to hope in the benefits provided by the river, all day long!
When you look at the river model from inside the museum, you can also see an "ox bow" lake (lower right of photograph) that has been formed when the river changed courses.
This display of the USA shows all the rivers that empty into the Mississippi River watershed. That is a HUGE proportion of our country, and illustrates why the Corp of Engineers is being proactive in protecting this valuable resource of our country. I am very thankful they have open this excellent educational facility so visitors can explore the river's past, examine the science behind water movement, and learn about the future plans for the Mississippi Valley. The morning I spent at LMRM gave me "Miles of Mississippi Smiles"! Tricia