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Event to Offer History of Area Along Des Moines River Water Trail
Posted: 05/21/2013
Paddlers can take a break from their journeys this summer to attend a number of educational river and history events, including one in Bonaparte, Van Buren County, June 17.

“History on the River: Pioneer Potteries on the Des Moines River” will include a tour of Bonaparte Pottery, 411 First St., at 4:30 p.m., followed by a presentation at 6:30 at the historic Bonaparte Opera House at 616 First St. Participants are welcome to attend one or both portions of the program. 

Archaeologists Cherie Haury-Artz and Lynn M. Alex will discus the history and archaeology along the Lower Des Moines River Water Trail with a program illustrating archaeology’s contribution to our understanding of the Bonaparte Pottery. Also known as the Parker-Handback Pottery and Handback-Wilson Pottery, this enterprise was in operation from 1866 to 1895. Remains of the pottery were uncovered in the flood of 1993 and the pottery is now part of a National Historic Archaeological District.

The session will also present suggested highlights for new interpretive materials for the Lower Des Moines River Water Trail and will ask for input from community members. This program will help determine what local residents would like to learn and tell others about the river.

The session is one of many educational programs taught by the DNR and other teachers, presenters and educators this summer, as Iowans enjoy more than 900 miles of state-designated water trails.

This program is sponsored by Pathfinders RC&D (Fairfield), Iowa DNR and the University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist. Pre-registration is requested, though walk-ins are welcome. To register online and to get more information, visit For more information or to register over the phone, contact the Pathfinders RC&D office at 641-472-6177.

For more information, contact Detra Dettmann, Executive Director, phone: 641/472-6177 email: