Take time to visit the Buffalo Bill Museum
LECLAIRE, Iowa — Visit the Buffalo Bill Museum in LeClaire, Iowa, and discover fascinating history along the mighty Mississippi River that will entertain and educate.
William F. Cody or better known as “Buffalo Bill” (1846 – 1917) was born in LeClaire. His career as a frontiersman, U.S. Army Scout, and later as a showman touring throughout the United States and Europe with his “Wild West Congress” show, has made him a favorite figure among the many generations of visitors to the museum.
The Buffalo Bill Museum was established in 1957 by the LeClaire’s Women’s Club and was originally located in a store front on Cody Road (Highway 67). Its primary exhibits featured local river pilot artifacts, Buffalo Bill memorabilia, local Indian history, and items common to homes in the early 1800s throughout the region.
Exhibits include a new Civil War encampment, the Lone Star Steamer, the Riverboat Pilots, the Sauk and Fox Indian tribes, Pioneers of LeClaire Township, Indian artifacts, the “Green Tree Hotel,” life on the Mississippi River, and LeClaire’s famous sons, “Buffalo Bill” Cody, James Ryan: Inventor of the Flight Data Recorder (Black Box) and other commonly used safety devices, and James Buchanan Eads: Engineer known for the Eads Bridge in St. Louis.
The museum has added an exciting new reason for you to visit the Lone Star Steamer. A new sound system has been added to the River Pilot’s Pier building where the Lone Star is located. The new sound system allows you to experience the sounds of the steamer traveling on the river along with background sounds.
Visit the new exhibit “Philip Suiter, Legendary Riverboat Pilot” in the River Pilots’ Pier area of the museum. Philip’s descendants have sponsored the display that will feature Philip Suiter, the first riverboat pilot in LeClaire.
There is also a Civil War exhibit commemorating the 150th anniversary of the start of the war.
Other exhibits at the museum focus on Mississippi River history; artifacts and records of LeClaire families such as household items, clothing and personal effects; recreation of a one-room schoolhouse accompanied by records from the school serving the region’s families; manufacturing exhibits; Indian and prehistoric artifacts.
The museum is open year round, and admission is $5 for adults and $1 for children. It is located at 199 N. Front St. in LeClaire, one block east of Cody Road/Highway 67, between downtown LeClaire and the Mississippi River.