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National Rivers Hall of Fame Inductees

Hall of Fame inductees are the pioneers, explorers and artists in America's river history. They were movers and shakers from the days gone by and the recent past. These men and women made significant contributions related to America’s rivers, which is why we honor them.


The Pathfinders

Henry Rowe Schoolcraft

Inducted in 1992

Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, an explorer and ethnologist, is most noted for his discovery of the source of the Mississippi River and for his writings on Indians of the North American Plain. In the early 19th century, Schoolcraft led an expedition through present day Missouri and the Ozark Mountains. He later served as a topographer on an expedition to the Lake Superior region and the Upper Mississippi, publishing a journal of his travels in 1821.

In 1832, Schoolcraft again explored the upper reaches of the Mississippi River, discovering and naming Lake Itasca as the river’s true source. The name “Itasca” came from Schoolcraft’s combining the words “veritas” and “caput” which translate to mean “true head.” His Narrative of an Expedition…To Itasca Lake, the account of the journey to the great river’s source, was printed in 1834.