How You Can Help

We’re scrambling to get the trip together by July, including making research connections at organizations and universities near the river.

Outfitting the Shantyboat

Rooted in the DIY and art worlds, by any real world standards, the Secret History project has a humble budget.  However, we expect the project to require upwards of $10 thousand.

Generous Supporters Have Send Us Equipment Directly

Generous supporters send us equipment directly.

Still looming are the costs of transportation, supplies, gas, food, and paying the artists so they have a home to come back to. We raised over $5000 with our Kickstarter campaign; many thanks to our backers and supporters! These funds cover many of the basic travel expenses for our trip, helps pay for final outfitting of the shantyboat, and makes sure we have decent audio-video and digital equipment to record our interviews in the river communities we visit.

But we still need help. We’re still looking for specific supplies, and have a Secret History Wishlist stocked with everything up to and including a kitchen sink. This is your chance to vicariously float along with us! Each item off of our wishlist gets delivered to our door, and labelled with the name of the generous donor (that’s you!). Check out the Secret History Wishlist and see if there is anything that you would like to send us.


Any equipment you donate will forever have your name.

Connections in the Upper Mississippi Valley

I am particularly interested in people who have stories or research about working-class or displaced people living on or adjacent to the river in the upper Mississippi Valley. What critical resources or collections around shantyboat or bottomland communities do you know about?  Do you have more connections to people I should be working with?

Thanks for helping support the project.

6 comments for “How You Can Help

  1. June 25, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Sounds like a very interesting project. When do you depart? If you need any assistance/supplies in the La Crosse, area please let me know. I would be happy to assist you if I am able. John

    • June 27, 2014 at 4:05 am

      John, thanks for writing. Oh we will love to meet you coming through La Crosse. We depart Minneapolis around July 19th and really have no idea how fast or slow we will make our way down river. If you have connections above or below you on the river of people who have experience or memories (first or secondhand) or people living on or adjacent to the river, we’d very much like to connect with them and line up interviews.

  2. rjwalker
    July 13, 2014 at 12:14 am

    I followed your construction blog for awhile and then lost track – is it still up? What is the link?

    And Congratulations!

  3. Duane Olson
    July 14, 2014 at 12:47 am

    There is a man by the name of Kenny Salway who lives in the Fountain City, Wi. area that you should talk to. You are probably already aware of him but thought I’d mention it. He’s written several books about life as a river rat. Perhaps he could introduce you to others. He’s on facebook if you want to contact him.

    Be safe out there!

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