Pearls of the Mississippi

by Linda Stanley
(Reno Nevada)

Mississippi River Pearls

Mississippi River Pearls

As a child my brother and I would visit our Great Aunts who lived in Le Claire, Iowa right along the Mississippi. We would go down to the river and look for pearls on the advice of our Aunts. At the time I did not know the whole story behind the search until I started doing our family tree.


It seems my Great Uncle Waldo Lee Gardner was known as the Pearl Wizard in or about the late 1800's. In 1999, when his son Waldo William Gardner, was moved to a rest home my father and I were left with the task of cleaning out his house. In the bottom of a drawer were loose pearls. I scooped them up and took them home not giving it much thought until I came across them today.

In total there are over 100 of various sizes and shapes. Here are just a few.

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Sep 25, 2015
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Pearls of the Mississippi
by: Anonymous

We're a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your website provided us with valuable information to work on. You've done a formidable job and our entire community will be thankful to you.

Apr 09, 2010
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Please contact me
by: Kari

Hi Linda, Please contact me. I have some questions about your pearls. Thanks.

Aug 14, 2009
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Glad to see your Mississippi River pearls
by: Kari

Hello Linda,

I was very glad and excited to see your Mississippi River pearls. Le Claire, Iowa is just a few miles from where I live here in Muscatine, Iowa, which is also on the Mississippi River.

These local natural river pearls are amazing and I'm glad you have an appreciation for them. They are some of America's treasures.

Lots of folks here in Muscatine have river pearls tucked away in a drawer, jar or envelope. It's a very common thing around here.

On this page I have posted photos of some of the natural USA river pearls from local people in my area. These will soon be offered for sale on my site.

If you'd like to add more photos you can send them to me at karipearls(AT)gmail(DOT)com and I'll add them to your page for you.

Let us know what you decide to do with your lovely pearls and thanks for sharing your photo and story with us.

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