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Memorial Established for Doug Schlesier

The Dubuque County Historical Society and the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium lost a great friend, board member, and volunteer in December with the passing of Doug Schlesier. In honor of his memory, Schlesier’s family has established a memorial fund in his name to help renovate and relocate the belt-driven machine shop in Bellevue, IA, a project that was very near and dear to Schlesier.

The belt-driven machine shop built boat motors in the late 1800s and early 1900s. In recent years, Schlesier and many other blacksmith shop volunteers at the River Museum have been instrumental in getting the machine to work again. Schlesier helped spearhead efforts to relocate the belt-driven machine shop to the River Museum in Dubuque, where it would become a featured part of an upcoming River of Innovation exhibit. This major exhibit will reshape the Woodward Riverboat Museum to become both a living history of boat building on the Mississippi as well as build upon the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) skill sets of our 200,000 visitors each year. We are already in conversation with community schools, local industry and government entities as partners to the project.

The fund established by Schlesier’s family will go towards the design, interpretation, and installation of the belt-driven machine shop at the Museum & Aquarium. The goal for the Schlesier Fund is to raise $12,500, with Schlesier’s family generously pledging to match these proceeds dollar for dollar, raising a total of $25,000. The project itself has additional funding needs that the Museum & Aquarium is still working on fulfilling. Schlesier will be memorialized with a plaque in the shop once it is completed. For more information on the development of the River of Innovation project, please contact Erin Dragotto, Director of Development at (563) 557-9545 or edragotto@rivermuseum.com.

To support Schlesier’s memorial, please visit the site below: www.donatenow.networkforgood.org/memorialsdgschlesier.

Those wishing to pledge their support can also mail a donation to:

Dubuque County Historical Society
Schlesier Memorial Fund
350 East 3rd St.
Dubuque, IA 52001


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