A piece of history on the Mississippi River - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

A piece of history on the Mississippi River


It was an historic day in Fountain City Wisconsin as a famous icon to the Upper Mississippi River Valley is making its final journey.

A historic day indeed. For many that live along the Mississippi River this may have been a regular spectacle, but after today, it will only be a memory.

After 68 years, William. A Thompson is retiring.

The William A. Thompson is a dredging vessel built in 1937 in the city of Pittsburgh and made its home in the Upper Mississippi River until 2005. Today was its official retirement party.

"Dredge Thompson will be sadly missed by the community. It's missed to a certain extent to a large extent by the crew on the Dredge Goetz, however they do appreciate the upgraded accommodations," Said Marc Krumholz of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Some of the Dredge Thompson's former crew members attended as their vessel made its final trip down the Mississippi.

"It was our home, I mean we lived on board. We dredged the Illinois River, we dredged as far as Memphis Tennessee with it, we dredged during the winter so we spent a lot of time," Said Roger Weaver a former Chief Engineer

A new state of the art dredge will take over maintenance on the Upper Mississippi River.

It's not self propelled, you don't live on board, there's a separate living quarters, Said Weaver

Where new members of the current crew of the new vessel will make more memories.

Dredge Thompson was on its way to Prairie du Chein where it will likely be opened to the public for tours.

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