Group documents life and river communities along Sacramento River

A group is documenting life and river communities along Sacramento River in a shantyboat.

A group is documenting life and river communities along Sacramento River in a shantyboat.

Wes Modes, an artist, is living inside a replica of a 1940's shantyboat and documenting people's lives on the Sacramento River.

"I think it's important to me to have a people's history," Modes said. "The history of people and how they dealt with the flood, the history of how people dealt with the economic collapse."

Modes started a kickstarter for the art and history project and raised more than $8,000. Modes, his friend and dog are living in an old shantyboat and spending time in different communities to collect stories along the Sacramento River.

"We made [the shantyboat] from scratch about five years ago," Modes said. "it took two and a half years to build and then we immediately launched without it ever being in the water on the Mississippi River in 2014."

Modes built the Secret History shantyboat out of reclaimed materials and a traditional wooden-hulled barge bottom houseboat. They spent the last three years on the Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers.

Their goal is to make a digital archive of personal histories.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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