River Bluffs Maritime Museum returning to McGregor this weekend
By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor
Jeff Moses, with the River Bluffs Maritime Museum, will be back in McGregor this summer/fall, setting up his traveling museum in Riverfront Park, beginning with Saturday and Sunday, June 28-29.
Speaking in front of the McGregor City Council June 18, Moses said he’s also tentatively planning to be in town July 26-27, Sept. 21-22 and Oct. 11-12, dates that work with his schedule and should not conflict with other riverfront activities.
“We encourage you to be back here,” said Mayor Harold Brooks, a sentiment the council members echoed.
Moses said he has built ship models for 46 years. Last year, for the first time, he set up a traveling 18- by 12-foot tent to display his creations. Since his visits last year, Moses said the museum has received recognition from the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc, receiving silver and gold medals for two entries in the 38th Model Ships and Boats Contest. From January to May next year, his collection will be displayed there to promote the contest.
Moses said he keeps track of visitors, noting that many locals have stopped by the museum.
“It’s very rewarding,” he said. “I’ve met some great people, so that’s been fun. It’s also a good tourist attraction.”
Moses said he spends almost all of his time working on boats and models. One small boat, he said, took four months to make. Moses will run some boats in the water while he’s at the riverfront. One model that he showed to the council goes up to 30 m and has run 200 times, he added.
Moses said he has a vision to make the museum about more than his models.
“I see it as more than boats,” he said. “You have to have classes and teach. You have to have an attraction.”
Someday, said Moses, the museum might also have a permanent home. As a native of the Prairie du Chien/McGregor area, he said he’d like it to be in Iowa.