DES MOINES – The early Des Moines pioneer, outdoorsman and writer Tacitus Hussey will be the subject of a Des Moines River History Cruise sponsored by the Des Moines Historical Society in October.
The River History Cruise will be Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. on the Jon Anderson White Riverboat. Cost is $15 for DMHS members. This program is offered as a benefit of membership in the Des Moines Historical Society. Anyone wishing to participate may join and pay dues to DMHS at the time of ticket purchase. Purchase tickets at www.desmoineshistoricalsociety.org. Reservations are due by Monday, Oct. 14, 2013.
The cruise will last about an hour and a half and depart from the Des Moines River near the Robert D. Ray Asian Gardens (799 Robert D. Ray Drive). Guests should plan to arrive 15-20 minutes prior to departure. Tea and lemonade provided; restrooms available on board. Anyone who has questions or requires assistance should contact Sarah Oltrogge, (515) 971-4364.
John Wenck, DMHS member and water trails coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, will be the guest speaker. His love for both history and paddling led him to learn more about Hussey who, having arrived in Des Moines in 1855, eventually became one of Iowa’s leading outdoorsmen. Hussey earned his living as a printer and newspaper editor, but was perhaps more widely known for his paddling pursuits, which were published in local Des Moines papers from the 1880s to the early 1900s. Hussey also wrote about Iowa history, and published the well-known work “Beginnings: Reminiscences of Early Des Moines” in 1919. Wenck’s program will offer biographical information about this pioneer enthusiast who paddled across Iowa in a wooden decked canoe with a double-bladed paddle.
Wenck is president of Central Iowa Paddlers, and leads an annual history float on the Des Moines River.