M/V Mississippi IV

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Forum topic by William posted 11-10-2012 10:41 PM 2242 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9950 posts in 2991 days

11-10-2012 10:41 PM

I wanted to share with my Lumberjock friends what my family and I done this morning. There is a new museum that recently opened in Vicksburg, Mississippi. This was our first time visiting it and we had a good time. So I wanted to show ya’ll.

The main attraction of the museum is the M/V Mississippi IV, which you get to go on and explore all five decks of. Also, this is not one of those “do not touch” places. There are plenty of interactive things for the kids to do. It is very interesting.

Inside the main building, you’ll learn all about the Mississippi River, the U.S. Army Corps. Of Engineers, and how they influenced the river over the history of it. This photo shows a wishing well in the foyer. It is about fifteen feet across it and shows all the tributary waterways that empty into the Mississippi.
You watch a fifteen minute film, then it’s on to the museum.

These were models that are presented showing how Vicksburg, and pretty much all river towns along the Mississippi river, developed over the years.

As I said before, there is so much that is interactive for the kids. All the models have activities or a phone where the kids can pick it up and hear about the model, instead of having to read the information. This makes it more likely for younger ones to want to learn without getting bored.

Remember the main attraction of this museum is a retired boat, so these models showed the progression of boating on the Mississippi and how they advanced through history.

Here is another example of the interactive displays for kids. On this one, there is a model of a town with a river running around it. The kids can push a button to increase water flow and flood the town. As an adult, if you study the different areas on the display though, you can also see the difference things such as levis make to the severity of flooding in low lying areas.

There are a lot of displays of tools used for mapping the river and such in the main building.
There is so much more to show in the main building, but it would take so much to show it all here. My family will be going back again. So maybe I’ll show more on later trips if people show an interest in this post.

As you walk through the back of the main building, and outside, you can turn and see a nice view of the River at the Vicksburg waterfront.

Then it’s on to the main attraction, the boat, the M/V Mississippi IV. The name does have a meaning. This was the fourth boat used by the Corps. to navigate the river. The M/V stands for motor vessel. This was the first to use a deisel engine. The first three ships they used were steam powered.

There are five decks to explore on the boat. There is so much to see that I don’t think you could possibly catch it all on one trip. That is why I know my family and I will be going back again.
As you enter the ship into the conference hall, there are pamphlets you can pick up there. You can get a map of the boat. There’s one for the kids that, in addition to the other interactive displays, they can also do a scavenger hunt to watch for various items around the boat. My kids done this and had a ball.
The thing they had the hardest time with was the mashed potatoes. They seen a kitchen on this first deck and thought they’d find it. However, it was only breakfast items on display. It was not until later, when they found the main galley, that they found the mashed potatoes.
There is also something for kids who are boy scouts. My kids are not scouts, so I don’t know the details, but there are activities that scouts can do on the boat that allow them to earn some kind of badge.

This is the kitchen I mentioned where my kids found the breakfast items. Each room of the ship is set up like this. This one has plastic food items. It is meant to make it look and feel just as life did on the boat when it was being used.

Here is one of the many sleeping compartments on the vessel. Each one is different though. It depicts how each person had different interests. Some had magazines, some books, some typewriters, some even had journals you could flip through and read to get an idea of life on the boat.

This is the radio room. You can learn about a lot of the equipment here. My kids learned a little morse code by following the instructions in the room.

You can walk around all the outside decks, but this is my favorite on, outside the pilot house. From here you can see beautiful views of the city of Vicksburg.

Inside the pilot house, there are more interactive displays where kids and adults alike can learn about the controls and what it took to navigate one of these huge vessles safely.

This was my kid’s favorite part of the pilot house, and the whole boat I think. Here, you have a simulation exercise. You use the controls and a computer program, there are six different ones, to actually feel like you’re navigating the boat. We later learned that these are actual programs they used a long time ago that aspiring river pilots had to do well on before moving ahead in the training program.

Then we went down below all the three previous decks we’d looked at, into the main galley and engine room. Since it had bee years since I’d been on a large ship like this, I forgot how steep the stairs are on these things.

This tour almost got me in trouble with my wife. When she seen the size of the galley and this stove, she wants a similar kitchen at home.

The lowest deck was my favorite part of the whole ship. This is the mechanical quarter, engine room, generators, and such.

This is the top of one of the two Norberg eight cyclinder diesel engines that powered the boat. These things are massive. Each one of those white box things you see on top is a valve cover for one of the cyclinder.

Each one of those cyclinder houses one of these huge pistons. With me doing mechanic work four years and working with pistons in the four inch range, these things are amazing to me.

Here’s a view of the sides of one of these huge engines. They are taller than me and about twenty feet long.

As I said before, one could spend days exploring this boat. We were all getting tired though. Even my energetic kids had started finding anywhere they could to take a seat. So it was time to call it a day. If any of you come to Vicksburg and have the time though, I highly recommend this museum. Just go downtown towards the waterfront and you can’t miss it. It’s the only huge tug boat sitting on dry land in a spot that you can see blocks away.
It doesn’t cost anything to go see it. My only warning is to use the restroom in the main building before going on the boat. If you get on there and have to use the bathroom, seeing the, now nonworking, ones on the boat doesn’t help your situation.
It is a very interesting place to visit. There is plenty for the kids to do. I haven’t seen that a lot in other museums. We do have a lot of Museums in Vicksburg. If you want to make a weekend of it, there is plenty to do. We also have the Cairo exhibit. It is an ironclad civil war battleship. You can explore it. If you don’t like boats, we also have very interesting civil war battlefields you could explore, or you could go see the museum where Coca-Cola was first bottled at the Beidenhorn Candy Company.


18 replies so far

View JL7's profile


8685 posts in 3114 days

#1 posted 11-10-2012 11:10 PM

Cool tour William….I love going through that old iron….those river models are cool. Kind of amazing the scope of the Mississippi….I live about 6 blocks from this massive river and you embrace the same river so many miles away…..

The source of the river (is claimed) from this rather lazy lake in northern Minnesota, Lake Itasca:

Somewhere – I have the pics of me as kid crossing that pass on Itasca…..but that’s for another day…..

Thanks for sharing the day.

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View DIYaholic's profile


19657 posts in 2824 days

#2 posted 11-10-2012 11:11 PM

It sounds as if you enjoyed this as much as, if not more than your kids.

That does look like an interesting place to spend some time. I enjoy learning about things like this. Here in Vermont, we have a paddle wheeler in dry dock that you tour as part of a museum.

You are a great tour guide, perhaps there is a career in it for you. Thanks for teaching me a little bit ‘bout life on the Ole Miss!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View patron's profile


13630 posts in 3490 days

#3 posted 11-10-2012 11:13 PM

great tour william
and looks like the kids partied on

glad you got to take some fresh air
and be with the family

better start looking for parts for that stove
(or make lots of stuff to sell)
that seeds been planted
and you know how the wife gets
when they want something

oh yea
and start planing the kitchen expansion too
a couple of walls need to come down lol

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2989 days

#4 posted 11-10-2012 11:20 PM

As you guys can tell William writes very well.
That was a great narrative of your trip with the family.
Looks to be a great time.
I think I will have to pay it a visit.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View William's profile


9950 posts in 2991 days

#5 posted 11-10-2012 11:23 PM

Jeff, it is simply amazing that the river starts as it does. Yes, at the beginning of the Mississippi River, you can literally walk across is. Here, in some parts of Vicksburg, it is near two miles wide. You have to be a strong swimmer if you swim across because, even on calm days, the undertow will pull you down and drown you. If you do successfully swim it, and go straight across, you exit about eight miles downstream from where you entered. I grew up on the Mississippi River. No matter how far I go, I’ve always been able to tell I was home when I seen those muddy waters.

Randy, I’m glad you enjoyed it. There is so much more to see that I didn’t get in there though. I just got tired of typing.

David, it is nice to get out once in a while. We all had a great time. Unfortunately though, I am laid up this evening, still paying for it.
No, she will not get a stove like that. I haven’t been too awfully long remodeling the ktichen to put in this ceramic top stove she has now.


View luv2learn's profile


2851 posts in 2452 days

#6 posted 11-11-2012 12:31 AM

Hey William, thanks for sharing your outing with us. The headwaters of the Mississippi is not much more than a stream in Northern Minnesota. I was there years ago.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View LittlePaw's profile


1571 posts in 3227 days

#7 posted 11-11-2012 06:30 AM

Your kids are very lucky to have a Dad who would take them to tours like this! A wonderful trip and day like this will stay in their memory for life! I enjoyed reading about your tour as much as you did! Thank you for sharing with us.

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View William's profile


9950 posts in 2991 days

#8 posted 11-11-2012 01:11 PM

I’m glad you enjoyed it Luv2Learn.

LittlePaw, we like to do this sort of thing anytime we get the chance. We don’t have a lot of money, and with four boys still at home, museums and parks are one of the things we can do at a reasonable price that seems to be a good time for every one.
Our most regular out of town visit spots are the Agriculture Museum and The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson. We like those because they are always changing their exhibits to include something new. For example, last time we went they had a huge interactive dinasour exhibit.

It seems that, all in all, people enjoyed reading about our day. So in the future, when we make these sort of day trips, I’ll be sure to take plenty of photos and give ya’ll a guided tour. My wife and I have been discussing putting a little cash together and making a trip to the Petrified Forest between here and Jackson. I think the town is Flowers Mississippi. It’s an interesting place. It is the oldest known petrified forest east of the Mississippi River.


View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3434 days

#9 posted 11-11-2012 01:45 PM

William, I really enjoyed your tour, thanks for sharing with us. Kids love to learn about history, when they can feel they are part of it. Sounds like a great museum.

-- John @

View William's profile


9950 posts in 2991 days

#10 posted 11-11-2012 01:55 PM

I’m glad you enjoyed it Huff.
That is why I like this museum. We visit some museums where you have to remind kids that the number one rule is not to touch anything. One of the first thing they tell kids when you go by the help desk in this museum is that this is not one of those kinds of places, and they encourage kids to touch and feel everything. I think that gets kids more involved when they can explore with their hands and not just with their eyes.


View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2713 days

#11 posted 11-11-2012 02:42 PM

i’d certainly enjoy looking around that museum for a few hours

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View scrollingmom's profile


1185 posts in 2613 days

#12 posted 11-11-2012 03:52 PM

What a great family day. Sounds like everyone enjoyed themselves, now thats something to remember.

-- Kelly, Allen,KS

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2839 days

#13 posted 11-11-2012 04:45 PM

What a great tour you gave us! That boat is amazing and I had no idea the engines were that big! Thanks for including your LJ friends in your excursion.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9237 posts in 3069 days

#14 posted 11-11-2012 06:36 PM

This was a fun tour to see. Thanks, William! :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3264 days

#15 posted 11-11-2012 07:25 PM

thanks for sharing William … you have the potentiale to be a great tourist-guide :-)

we have simular navigations – simulators here on the school for future captains
of the big ocean vessels … fun to see it installed on a real bridge :-)


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