WIUM Tristates Public Radio

New Museum Officially Open in Keokuk

Nov 22, 2019

The Keokuk-Hamilton Dam Museum is now officially open at its permanent home at the corner of 4th and Main Streets in downtown Keokuk.

Kathy Asbury, who heads the foundation that created the museum, said that in 2009 some residents floated the idea of starting a museum to coincide with the 2013 centennial celebration of the first dam built across the Mississippi River. 

Asbury said the "museum" was initially a temporary display in the River City Mall before growing into its new home..

“This is a day we have waited for for a long time,” said Asbury. “We had a lot of people come in [the first day], all positive comments.”

Admission to the museum is $7. It will be open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Asbury said a highlight of the museum is a virtual reality tour of the dam and the adjoining power plant. The tour, which lasts about ten minutes, provides a visual and oral history of the project.

Asbury said more than 1,000 photographs are displayed as well as equipment used by Hugh Cooper, who built the dam, and Ameren, which operates the power plant.

A sample of the photos on display depicting the construction of the dam in the early 1910's.
Credit Jason Parrott / TSPR
Credit Jason Parrott / TSPR