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The First People Gallery presents a history of the origin of the Mississippi River, the first inhabitants to settle in the valley, the exploration and settlements by Europeans, and the basic modes of transportation employeed by these cultures. Reproductions of Paleo and Archaic projectile points and tools, as well as, original pottery from the Mississippi Valley 10,000 years ago. Interpretive panels emphasize the migratory origins of Native Americans, their distinctly colder climate, and prehistoric plant and animal life.

Examples of the museum's collection in these galleries are:
  • Native American
  • Tools
  • Pottery
  • Trade Goods
  • European Explorers
  • Military Equipment
  • Maps
  • Early Settlers
  • Imported Goods
  • Pioneer Utensils and Tools
  • Glass, China and Textiles