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A Journey of Exploration

About Us

RiverWorks Discovery® educates communities about the commerce, culture, conservation, and careers of the great rivers of America and their watersheds.

Featured Career


Career Description: Responsible for operating a river towboat in the transportation of commodities on the inland river system, including supervision of the crew, maintaining the boat in a safe and seaworthy condition, navigation of the boat on the forward watch, administration of company policy and adherence to all applicable laws and regulations.

Annual Salary: Avg. $145,000

Minimum Education: High School Diploma or GED or minimum 5 years in the Pilot House


Hall of Fame Spotlight

The Builders

Charles Ellet, Jr

Inducted in 2000.

Of all the American engineers in the first half of the 19th century, the most renowned was Charles Ellet, Jr. (1810-1862). Ellet created the first comprehensive approach to river management. He proposed a levee system, the use of natural outlets and reservoirs, and the building of artificial outlets and reservoirs.

At 17, Ellet was on his future path to success working as an assistant canal engineer. His aspirations to become an engineer lead him to teach himself French, save his money, solicit the help of Lafayette, and win admittance to the best engineering school in the world, the Ecole de Ponts et Chaussees in France. In 1829, he returned to the U.S. and promptly built America's first successful wire suspension bridge, over Philadelphia's Schuylkill River. Thereafter, he built the longest suspension bridge in the world, across the Ohio River at Wheeling, West Virginia.

More about Charles Ellet, Jr