Big River Magazine

July-August 2012 Highlights

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Follow the links for more information about Upper Mississippi stories and news in this issue of Big River.

Feature Stories

Guttenberg, Iowa, tied for Fifth Place with Bellevue, Iowa.

By Dean Klinkenberg

The Mississippi Traveler found six Upper Mississippi riverfronts to be the most inviting for hanging out and watching the river. Which ones would get your vote? For the whole story, order a copy of this issue.

Lake City, Minn., claimed Third Place.

Davenport, Iowa, came in Second Place.


Bizarre Creatures of the Mississippi

Free-Floating Man-Eaters of the Backwaters

The Bladderwort

Mississippi River Tributaries

The Wisconsin River

The lower Wisconsin River is popular with paddlers.

Whit-Craft Boats
By James Lantow

Whit-Craft brochure images from the 1960s.

The Whit-Craft Boat Company built hundreds of houseboats in Winona, Minn. It was a thriving business in the late 1950s through the 60s, employing 60 workers. The company sold the well crafted houseboats all over the United States, in Canada and elsewhere.

The author's bi-tunnel houseboat in 1965.

Crossing the Railroad, Dividing a Town
By Julianne Couch

Railroad tracks are embedded into the pavement of Second Street in Bellevue, Iowa, with only a curb between the trains and the passenger cars cruising alongside.This cozy arrangement is known as “on street running.”


Restaurant Review

Breitbach's Country Dining — Iowa’s oldest bar and eatery
An Iowa Treasure

Breitbach’s is best known for its made-from-scratch food. The restaurant offers all-you-can-eat buffets on Friday and Saturday nights and a Sunday morning breakfast buffet, also full menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner and a sandwich menu anytime.

Mike and Cindy Breitbach and their children, the fifth and sixth generations to work in the restaurant, are still serving home-cooked meals at Breitbach’s Country Dining on the Great River Road between Dubuque and Guttenberg in northeast Iowa.

River Reviews

Muskrat for Supper, by Kenny Slawey

Troubled Waters, by Jack Lambert

Shell Games — The Life and Times of Pearl McGill, Industrial Spy and Pioneer Labor Activist, by Jeffrey S. Copelnd

The Okee Dokee Brothers — Can You Canoe?

Fishing Camp, the Game