The dredge William M. Black is one of a handful of steam-powered side-wheelers in the U.S. and one of only four surviving unmodified historic U.S. Army Corps of Engineers river dredges. She was used to complete the navigable channel on the Missouri River, making it possible to use the river for shipping wartime supplies during World War II. She moved large amounts of sediment using streams of water and an enormous suction pump. She is called a dustpan dredge because the shape of the suction head is similar to a common dustpan.
Decommissioned in 1973, after 37 years of service on the Missouri River, William M. Black interprets the history and development of the western rivers and the role of the Corps of Engineers. Audio tapes recreate the lives of the officers and crew. Youth group overnight encampments are planned for the near future.
USACOE Dredge William M. Black is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is a National Historic Landmark.
By kjfitz @ 2006-04-30 11:33:03