Next February, Houston County celebrates its 100th birthday.
Officials are continuing their centennial celebration this month by offering riverboat rides on the Chattahoochee River.
Passengers can relax on the cruise and learn about local history at the same time.
Between 1828 and 1939, more than 200 riverboats paddled up and down the Chattahoochee River between Columbus, Georgia and Apalachicola, Florida. Columbia was the port-of-call in Houston County.
Now, Captain Pete Hosemann has brought his paddle wheeler, "The Chattanooga Star" to the river. Hosemann has developed a program he calls river-trek that uses his riverboat to teach students about their local waterways.
Weekday mornings throughout December have been set aside for students on The Chattanooga Star. The general public can board the side wheeler Tuesday through Sunday afternoons.
They'll also learn something about the area's history. For instance, a local amateur historian said about a quarter of a million Native Americans lived in the Tri-State area until about 1,000 years ago, then many of them disappeared.
The Chattanooga Star will be docked at Omussee Creek Park South of Columbia throughout the month of December.
A special three-hour cruise will be offered on Saturday mornings. Tickets are being sold on a first-come/first-served basis.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit Landmark Park in Dothan and you can call the park to make reservations for school groups or private dinner parties.