One of the best-known names in the history of America’s prairie region is Buffalo Bill, born William F. Cody near Le Claire, Iowa in 1846. While his famous show was based near Omaha and toured throughout the United States and Canada, today Le Claire is the location of the humble museum celebrating this amazing man and his simple beginnings near the Mississippi River.
The museum houses a number of detailed displays, including a recreated 1920’s-era one-room school such as the one Buffalo Bill would have attended.
Exploring the school room, one can almost imagine the smell of coal and chalk and the whispers of prairie children thankful to be sheltered from the wind and cold outside. A few pictures and a ledger provide a glimpse into the young lives molded long ago in prairie schools such as this one.
Other exhibits highlight Buffalo Bill’s beautiful hometown on the banks of the Mississippi just across from Illinois.
Far more exciting, however, is the focus of the museum: Buffalo Bill himself!
Travel Tip: Did you know that VacationIdea Dream Vacation Magazine named the Buffalo Bill Museum one of the 25 best things to do in Iowa? If you go, the museum is located at 199 N. Front Street in Le Claire, Iowa. A small parking lot is available and the museum features clean restrooms, a gift shop, and an extra exhibit featuring the “Lone Star”, America’s last remaining wooden Mississippi River steam boat!
The Buffalo Bill Museum is open from 9am-5pm Monday through Saturday, and 12-5pm on Sunday. There is a fee to enter, but the exhibits are well worth the cost, providing a wealth of information and something for everyone to enjoy. For more information, visit the museum website here, or call (563) 289-5580. Be sure to tell them that you read about the museum on the Prairie Party of One blog!