The museum has amassed a vast collection of local photographs, articles and artifacts from the Iowa Great Lakes early days of boating. It includes displays depicting steamboats, motor launches, wooden cruisers, and sailboats which were primary means of transportation around the lake shores before roads and autos were prevalent. The museum features a fully restored boathouse, 25 classic wooden runabouts, including Hafer boats, which were made in Okoboji by the Hafer Boat Company. There are exhibits of vintage outboard motors, period swimsuits, fishing, hunting, and former lakeside resorts. There are displays featuring the early days of the amusement park and accompaning “thrill boats” of the 20’s era in which one summer evening, the very tragic collision of two speedboats occurred, resulting in the loss of nine rider’s lives, changing the state’s boating laws forever.
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