- Associated Press - Friday, May 13, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The Bismarck-Mandan tourism group that operates the Lewis and Clark Riverboat on the Missouri River wants to give visitors more information about the area’s history and current offerings.

The Fort Abraham Lincoln Foundation has raised $580,000 of the $1 million needed to build a community heritage and event center at the site of the former Captain Meriwether’s riverbank restaurant. It needs $750,000 to get started and is on target to begin construction by the end of the year, the Bismarck Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1rHQxQ7 ). The project has several partners, including the state Tourism Division.

The center would have a cafe and a museum highlighting the steamboat’s role in the fur trade, the coming of the railroad and the immigrant homesteaders who settled the West.

“We want to continue to tell that story,” Foundation Executive Director Aaron Barth said.

The center also would offer information to riverboat patrons on area attractions, hotels and restaurants. In 2014, 17,000 people took a riverboat tour.

The center, which would be built on a wharf and pier structure to protect it from flooding, also could spark more commercial development along the river, according to Barth. He cited as possibilities a canoe or kayak outfitter and a trail bike rental business.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com

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