Experience the history and heritage of several river towns along the Mighty Mississippi River as you travel the rolling hills and majestic countryside of the Great River Road. Learn about the history that made each community into what it is today. Enjoy a sampling of the variety of different activities each community has to offer.
Click on a city to view itinerary options for that city, or click here to view all options.
512 Fenelon Place
Fenelon Place Elevator
Open April - November. Also known as the 4th Street Elevator and the world's shortest, steepest, scenic railway - 296 feet in length. Magnificent view of Iowa Illinois and Wisconsin.
8991 Bellevue Heights
WebsiteJulien Dubuque Monument in the Mines of Spain
The Julien Dubuque Monument built in 1897 on the site whre Dubuque was buried, sits high above the Mississippi River and provides the "landmark" for the Mines of Spain Recreation area.
2241 Lincoln Ave
563.583.2812Mathias Ham House
Open May 1 - October 31. Located just below Eagle Point Park, this 1856 Italianate mansion of entrepreneur furnishings, reflects the splendor and beauty of nineteenth century life along the river. Enjoy tours of the home led by costumed guides.
8991 Bellevue Heights
WebsiteMines of Spain Recreation Area
The Mesquakie were the earliest known inhabitants of the Mines of Spain Area. Their village was located at the mouth of Catfish Creek. The Mesquakie carried on a fur trade with French voyagers. They also worked the lead mines for many decades before the Revolutionary War. Mounds, village sites, rock shelters, trading posts sites and campsites dotted the landscape. Julien Dubuque is believe to be the first Europeans to settle on what is now Iowa soil in 1788. In 1796, Dubuque received a land grant from the Governor of Spain to work the land. The grant specified that the 19 square mile area to be named as the Mines of Spain. The park is designated as the Julien Dubuque Mines of Spain National Historic Landmark and as a Silos and Smokestacks Heritage Area Partner Site.
721 Central Ave
563-557-9545The Old Jail Museum
It's a crime if you don't visit! The Old Jail Museum is where history breaks outs. A rare example of Egyptian Revivalist architecture, the 1857 jail exhibits some of the Dubuque County Historica Society's most unique and interesting artifiacts, yet still has all the criminal elements we love to hate. Don't skip the dungeon in the basement!
Terminus of Commercial Street
The Shot Tower was built in 1856 and it produced lead shots until 1881 when it because a fire look out for the Standard Lumber Company. It remained a fire watch tower until 1911 when it caught fire and was completely gutted. Since that devastating fire, it has been a historical landmark that has highlighted the Dubuque skyline. The Shot Tower is currently undergoing a $600,000 rehabilitation project that includes archeoligocal survey in and around the tower, tuck pointing, masonry repairs, a new room, new windows and window sills and construction of a stairway leading to the top of the tower.
350 East Third
This national landmark vessel was once a working dredge boat used during WWII on the Missouri River. Walk the decks of this 1934 Steamer and tour its engine room and pilothouse.
600 Star Brewery DriveStar Brewery Building
The Dubuque Star Brewery is a visually dominant five-story brick brew house. Typical of other mid-sized breweries of its day, it is designed in the Romanesque style. It was one of a handful of Iowa breweries to revive after the end of the national prohibition in 1833. The film "F.I.S.T" was partly filmed at the brewery.
7th and Main StreetTown Clock
Originally erected in 1873 atop a building on Main Street north of 8th street, the clock was moved to the downtown mall in 1971.
WebsiteHistoric House and Progressive Dinner Tours
Step back in time and dine in the elegance of some of the historic homes in Dubuque. You will visit mansions and enjoy a special five course dinner with entertainment. Groups of twenty or more may book a private dinner. Reservations required. Open year round.
Galena/Jo Daviess County, Illinois
408 E. Sycamore St.
Elizabeth, IL 61028
Website1876 Banwarth House and Museum
A fascinating, hands-on experience awaits! Join period interpreters on a journey through the fine Victorian home of Charles Banwarth.
230 S. Main Street
Galena, IL 61036
815-777-9252All About A Ghost Tour
Walking tour with researched, authentic stories about Galena's ghostly past & present. Mix of history, mystery. Friday-Saturday, 8 p.m.
204 Hill Street
Galena, IL 61036
WebsiteAmelia's Galena Ghost Tours, Inc.
Nightly ghost tours on a luxury air-conditioned shuttle bus with a theatrical flare exploring several locations in historically haunted Galena.
1004 Park Avenue
Galena, IL 61036
WebsiteAnnie Wiggins Ghost Tour
Join us for the original ghost tour of Galena's sites, cemeteries and famous ghostly tales. Costumed guide. Reservations recommended.
311 E. Myrtle Street
Elizabeth, IL 61028
WebsiteApple River Fort State Historic Site
Black Hawk and his warriors attacked on June 24, 1832. His story and that of the early settlers are told.
1008 Park Avenue
Galena, IL 61036
Italianate 1857 mansion. Victorian furnishings, Liberace's estate items, 'Gone With the Wind' green drapes. Guided tours. Dowling House combo available.
601 S. Prospect Street
Galena, IL 61036
WebsiteChicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design
This international museum has a satellite facility in Galena featuring contemporary art, architecture and photography from around the world.
6521 N. Hill Road
Scales Mound, IL 61075
WebsiteChicago Great Western Railway Depot Museum
Unique historic site. Railway station, general store, mill. Enjoy rural Jo Daviess County. Beer, food, Sunday afternoon music.
220 Diagonal Street
Galena, IL 61036
Galena's oldest home. 1826 trading post/residence furnished with primitives. Thirty-minute tours. Discount Belvedere tickets. Noreen's Old Tyme Photo on site.
908 Third Street
Galena, IL 61036
WebsiteElihu B. Washburne House State Historic Site
Washburne was a popular congressman/friend of Lincoln and Grant. Grant's election news was received in the library via telegraph.
231 N. Main Street
Elizabeth, IL 61028
WebsiteElizabeth History Museum
Local history exhibits on lead mining; the Apple River Fort; Elizabeth businesses, schools, veterans; weekends, May-October, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; free.
211 S. Bench Street
Galena, IL 61036
WebsiteGalena & U.S. Grant Museum
'Ghosts of the Grants' hologram, Civil War exhibits, 1830s lead mine shaft. Book/gift shop. Galena merchandise. Daily 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
230 S. Main Street
Galena, IL 61036
WebsiteGalena Main Street Walking Tour
One-hour tour explores historic highlights, plus 'Field of Dreams' movie locations. Saturdays, 10 a.m., May-October, DeSoto lobby. Reservations not required.
1024 Hill Street
Galena, IL 61036
563-580-1797General Grant Walking Tour
An one-hour walking tour with General Grant on Main Street in downtown Galena.
East Dubuque, IL 61025
Within historic Gramercy Park lies 26 ancient Hopewell Indian Mounds, an archeological treasure. It affords a superlative view of the Mississippi.
227 N. Main Street
Galena, IL 61036
WebsiteGalena Carriage Co.
Historic carriage rides, dinner rides, romance and roses rides. Friday and Saturday evenings, 5 p.m.- 9 p.m. May-November. Reservations recommended.
504 S. Prospect Street
Galena, IL 61036
Guided tour of breathtaking 3.5-acre gardens with seven water features.
245 Commerce Street
Galena, IL 61036
WebsiteOld Blacksmith Shop
Authentic 1897 blacksmith shop with working forges. Original tools/equipment. On-site historian. Gift shop: Galena-forged items. May-October, Friday-Monday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
123 N. Commerce Street
Galena, IL 61036
WebsiteOld Market House State Historic Site
Public building was center of community life during Galena's 'Golden Era.' U.S. Grant Exhibition is featured with several Grant artifacts.
208 Perry Street
Galena, IL 61036
WebsiteOld Stockade on the Cobblestone Street
Galena's earliest history came alive as I researched this 1820s log building. Come, share! Saturday, 1 p.m.-4 p.m., or appointments. Donation.
107 W. Front Avenue
Stockton, IL 61085
815-947-3963Stockton Heritage Museum
Chicago Great Western model trains; Kraft Cheese history; 1890s building. Open Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., May 1-October 30.
4349 Industrial Park Drive
Galena, IL 61036
Galena's only ADA-compliant and climate-controlled trolley service! Daily narrated tours, May-October. Unique group tours, wedding transportation offered year-round.
500 Bouthillier Street
Galena, IL 61036
WebsiteUlysses S. Grant Home State Historic Site
This Italianate home was presented to U.S. Grant in 1865 and opened to the public in 1904. Furnishings original.
3799 Woodbine Street
Stockton, IL 61085
815-947-3904Woodbine Glass Museum and Gift Shop
Museum displays 4,000 pieces of hand-blown glass, including contemporary and antique work from many countries. Glass blowing video. Gift shop.
November 4, 1828, Savanna was founded by a brave band of pioneers that travelled from Galena by covered wagon and flat boat. The first industry was timbering and selling wood to the steamboats. In 1860's, land was purchased for railroad that later became the Chicago, Milwaukee, St Paul. At the height of the railroading days, as many as 100 passenger and freight trains departed from Savanna daily.
Our town celebrates the rail industry with two museums dedicated to that industry: City of Savanna Train Car Museum at 25 Main St and Rock Island Tech Society located within the Savanna Army Depot Park. The Hiawatha Train Car is open April - November for more information contact: 815-273-7772. The Rock Island Tech Society is open daily for more information phone: 815-273-7772.
The Savanna Historical Society will be opening their Civil War museum soon. The museum houses a large Civil War collection, Wayne King & other Big Band memorabilia; as well as a scale model of the railroad lines in Savanna.
In 1919, the Savanna Proving Grounds opened to be a testing facility for World War I cannons. It continued under a variety of names: Savanna Army Depot and Savanna Ordinance Depot until the 1990's. At the Savanna Depot Park, visitors are welcome to visit the Savanna Army Depot & Military Museum. Contact information is 815-273-4013.
1st Street & 10th Avenue
WebsiteAuthentic Dutch Windmill
Experience Holland in Illinois. Fulton's authentic Dutch windmill, "de Immigrant," was built in The Netherlands, disassembled, and reassembled by Dutch craftsmen. This local icon symbolizes Fulton's Dutch heritage. The windmill is fully operational and volunteers are on hand providing educational tours and information. Fresh stoned-ground flour and other unique Dutch items are available for purchase at the Windmill Cultural Center, located next to the windmill. Open May (weekends only) & daily Memorial Day thru mid-October.
111 10th Avenue
WebsiteWindmill Cultural Center
Fulton's newest attraction (opening late April 2010) houses an extensive collection of 21 scale-model windmills representing ten European countries. The museum contains an education room, unique exhibit area, gift shop, and small cafe. Visitors will learn how windmills impacted and changed the life of people. The museum is open weekends in May and daily Memorial Day thru mid-October.
515 N. 4th Street
A remnant of the past, this 1800's village was built inside a former rock quarry overlooking the Mississippi River. Heritage Canyon is a 12-acre wooded nature walk dotted with buildings that take the visitor back to pioneer living. Stroll through the park following the brick paved paths and yellow arrows. The canyon features a log cabin settlement, one-room school house, blacksmith shop, church, general store, and much more. The swinging bridge, a favorite among children, is made of steel-woven cables once used in quarry operations. All of the buildings house artifacts from times past. Open April 15 thru December 15, 9am to 5pm.
707 10th Avenue
WebsiteFulton (Martin House) Museum
Home to Fulton's Historical Society, this museum features memorabilia and artifacts pertinent to Fulton's history. The civil war era home contains stained glass windows, walnut bench seating, and a walnut staircase. The home also houses the Wayne Bastian Memorial Resource Room which features genealogy information, plat books, archived local newspapers, and Whiteside County history books. Open Sundays 2pm to 4pm and other times by appointment.
The Lincoln Highway was the first transcontinental highway spanning from Times Square in New York City to San Francisco, California. The highway travels through Fulton, Illinois, along US Route 30 and 15th Avenue. An informational gazebo, featuring interpretive text and historical photos, can be found at the corner of 10th Avenue and 3rd Street. The Lincoln Highway spans over 3,100 miles and travels through 14 states.
WebsiteGreat River Road
The Great River Road is the longest scenic byway in America as it travels through Fulton along Highway 84. The Great River Road is a 550-mile route on Illinois' border offering breathtaking views and majestic landscapes. An information kiosk, featuring interpretive text and historical photos, can be found at Den Besten Park near de Immigrant Dutch windmill.
WebsiteRonald Reagan Trail
Fulton is proud to announce its recent addition to the Ronald Reagan Trail. The former U.S. President's ancestral lineage began in Fulton in the mid-1800's. President Ronald Reagan's parents were both born and married in Fulton, Illinois. The former President's father, John Edward Reagan, worked in a dry goods store in downtown Fulton and his mother, Nellie Clyde Reagan, worked as a milliner in Fulton. Several of the former President's relatives including grandparents and aunts and uncles, are buried in the Fulton Catholic Cemetery.
601 South 1st Street
563-242-1201Clinton County Historical Museum
Open weekdays 9-11:00 am; Sundays 1-4:00 pm.
420 5th Ave So
563-242-8556George M. Curtis Mansion (home of the Clinton Women's Club)
Victorian mansion which houses the Clinton Women's Club formerly the home of George M. Curtis, 19th Century lumber industrialist. Listed on National Register of Historical Places.
WebsiteHistorical Walking Tour
Choose from a one- or two-mile walk through the downtown, including more than a dozen points of interest.
Quad Cities, Illinois & Iowa
1400 River Drive
WebsiteJohn Deere Pavilion
John Deere came to Moline, Illinois, in 1848 where he began a steel plow manufacturing business that revolutionized the farming industry. Along with the corporate headquarters, the John Deere Pavilion in downtown Moline is one of the most comprehensive agricultural exhibits in the world. There are exhibits, interactive computer displays, and an array of new and antique machinery.
1105 8th Street
WebsiteButterworth Center & Deere-Wiman House
Sitting atop the hills overlooking Moline, Illinois, and the Mississippi River are two historic homes built by Charles Deere, John Deere's son. They remain as examples of the finest craftsmanship of the 19th century. Tours by appointment during regular hours. Please call in advance. During July and August tours are given at 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m. on Sundays.
1717 W. 12th Street
The Putnam Museum in Davenport, Iowa, was one of the first museums established west of the Mississippi River. River, Prairie, and People is an award-winning exhibit that takes visitors on a walk through time as they explore Quad Cities' history, from the early Native American settlements to the 21st century.
712 W. 2nd Street
WebsiteGerman American Heritage Center & Museum
The exhibits at the German American Heritage Center & Museum (GAHCM) in Davenport, Iowa, show immigrants' journey by sea, train and foot, to their final destination at GAHCM, which was originally a very busy hotel for thousands of immigrants in the 1860s. It also shows contributions to the region by immigrants, and highlights daily life, from recreation, family life, religion and organizations.
WebsiteRock Island Arsenal Island
From beginnings rooted in the protection of the fur traders in the early 1800's, to its current role as a modern military installation, the Arsenal Island has been an important part of the growth in the Quad Cities. Located on the largest island in the upper Mississippi River, the Rock Island Arsenal Museum tells the history of the island in exhibits and photos. During the Civil War, Arsenal Island was home to a Confederate prison camp, the Rock Island Prison Barracks. Also on the Island, visitors can see the National and Confederate Cemeteries. Note: A current U.S. picture ID is needed in order to be permitted on the Island for persons 16 and older.
WebsiteColonel Davenport House
The Colonel Davenport House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1833-1834 and is on the North end of Arsenal Island in the Quad Cities. It is open for tours from May to October, Thursday-Sunday from 12-4 p.m. In 1816, George Davenport helped settle the Quad Cities area and created a life here for himself and his family.
WebsiteVillage of East Davenport
The Village of East Davenport, a six-square-block district, was first established in the pre-Civil Wartime of the 1850's. The area is the second largest historic district in Iowa and features almost 45 shops, galleries, pubs and eateries.
1510 46th Avenue
Rock Island, IL
WebsiteBlack Hawk State Historic Site
The Black Hawk site in Rock Island, IL, was first occupied by Indians as long as 12,000 years ago. For nearly a century beginning about 1730, the Sauk and Meskwaki (Fox) Indians made their home near the site. Located there, the Hauberg Indian Museum interprets the culture of the Sauk and Meskwaki with exhibits, displays, and artifacts.
WebsiteIsabel Bloom Production Tour
Isabel Bloom, a Native Iowa artist, who once studied under the watchful eye of American master Grant Wood, created a unique sculpture process of concrete casting and each are hand-finished to resemble weathered bronze garden sculptures of the Victorian era. Her work of over 45 years continues today with over 250 original designs. Get a behind-the-scenes look at every step in the making of each Isabel Bloom sculpture at the Davenport, Iowa, factory.
309-762-0167Belgian Museum of the Quad Cities
The Belgian Museum of the Quad Cities provides an opportunity for visitors to Explore, Experience, Taste, Tour. The Center offers an extensive collection of documents and archival material for genealogical/historical research. Hours: Saturday 1-4pm; Wednesday 1-4pm.
In the 1800s, the Quad Cities area saw an explosion of commerce as new settlers recognized the economic potential of this developing region. With the economy's continuing boom, these successful businessmen began building homes worthy of their financial standing; creating grand neighborhoods throughout the Quad Cities. Today, these historic neighborhoods boast a variety of beautifully renovated homes and mansions that offer a unique perspective on the people and industries that developed the Quad Cities into the metropolitan area it is today.
199 N. Cody Road
WebsiteBuffalo Bill Museum
LeClaire is the birthplace of the famous "Buffalo Bill Cody" and features a museum in his honor. It has a collection of Buffalo Bill and Mississippi River steamboat artifacts. On display is the Lone Star towboat is the last wooden-hull working class boat of its kind. It was constructed in 1869, and features a condensing engine, twin tubular boilers, 5-foot stroke, mud drum, steam-powered winch and dredging equipment.
117 W. Second St.
WebsiteThe Muscatine History & Industry Center
Muscatine's mother-of-pearl button industry once supplied the world with a billion buttons per year, made from the mussels harvested from the Mississippi River. It was estimated that 50 % of the community's workforce was involved in producing the highly lustrous and durable fasteners. The Muscatine History and Industry Center exhibits items related to the homegrown industry and interprets their role in the production process. Other exhibits include those from HNI, Bandag, and Stanley Consultants.
1314 Mulberry Avenue
WebsiteThe Muscatine Art Center
The Muscatine Art center is two adjacent facilities, including the 1908 Edwardian-style Musser Mansion and the more contemporary Stanley Gallery. The Musser Mansion was built for a member of Muscatine's wealthiest lumbering families near the turn of the last century. The home museum offers a glimpse into the lives of the ultra-wealthy through their amassed collections of fine furnishings and exquisite works of art. The Stanley Gallery exhibits works from nationally recognized artists and impressive private collections.
1884 Wildcat Den Road
WebsiteThe Pine Creek Grist Mill
The Pine Creek Grist Mill, which was originally built in 1848, by Muscatine County's first official resident, draws thousands of visitors each year. The Mill is Iowa's oldest operational mill and is capable of grinding grain much the way it did a century ago. Located in a picturesque setting along Pine Creek in Wildcat Den State Park, the Mill serves as link to Iowa's pioneering past. There is no charge for admission, check the website for hours of operation.
Henderson County, Illinois
Located on Route 164 3 miles south of Oquawka, ILAllaman Covered Bridge
Erected in 1866 this bridge spans Henderson Creek at the state rest area. The bridge is one of 3 structures in Henderson County placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 104 foot long structure was reconditioned after flood damage in 1982 by the Henderson County Historical Society and the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Located on Route 96 in Dallas City, ILThe Burg House
A unique landmark of the L. Burg family legacy. The spacious singular stone block structure resembles a castle and holds a fascination for all who pass by.
Located in Raritan, ILHenderson County Museum
The museum is operated by the Henderson County Historical Society. It depicts rural lifestyles during the early 1900s showing school rooms, farm kitchens, wearing apparel, and many farm implements of the day, some of which are very rare. Contact Jim Cook at (309) 746-6103.
Located in Biggsville, ILHorse and Buggy Museum
This museum houses a collection of horse powered farm equipment dating from 1820 - 1920. Collection includes buggies, hearse, wagons, sleigh, bobsled, thrashing machine, husker-shredder, tillage equipment, haying equipment and much more. Contact Jerry Weibel at (309) 221-0066 or (309) 627-2462.
Located off the Keithsburg Blacktop near the Big River State ForestLincoln Trail
The trail provided Captain Lincoln's Militia Company access from Oquawka to the Rock Island area during the Black Hawk War. This trail has been researched documented, and marked out for public use in the forest. The starting marker is accessible by auto.
Local river history. The former home of Justus Schlotzhauer, advance man for Ringling Brothers Circus.
Located in Oquawka, ILPhelps House
The Phelps House, listed in the National Register of Historical Places, is of the New England style of architecture. The two story frame house was erected in 1832-33 on a high point along the Mississippi River for Alexis Phelps in Oquawka. Alexis and his brother Sumner, who became successful businessmen, were longstanding friends of Lincoln and Douglas. You can watch for the Delta Queen Riverboat from the high bank overlooking the beautiful Mississippi River. The Phelps House has been completely refurbished and is open by appointment. Call 309-768-2403.
Located near the starting marker for Lincoln's trail, which is off the Keithsburg Blacktop near the Big River State Forest.Pioneer Trail Cemetery
The small, rail enclosed cemetery has been restored and, it too, is accessible by auto. The dates range from the mid 1850's to the early 60's.
Raritan Opera House
The Raritan Opera House of old has been renovated and is visited often by serious players of the Two-Rivers Arts Council and other local talent. Once again it is entertaining the public as it did so many years ago.
Located 1 mile east of Media, IL on the county blacktopSanta Fe Railroad Trestle
Erected in 1882 on the Santa Fe mainline, this is a unique structure for the Midwest. With a span of 1000 feet plus and 6 stories high, it testifies to the steel girder construction skills of that era. The U.S. Army provided top security for the trestle during WWII. This same mainline remains in full service today.
4 miles east of Gladstone, ILSouth Henderson Church and Cemetery
The South Henderson Church congregation was organized in 1835, the first in the county. The congregation founded Monmouth College. The ivy graced, large, striking, old stone structure was built in 1855 and still provides services on occasion. Daniel Boone's Granddaughter, Elizabeth Robbin, is buried in South Henderson Cemetery. The grave is plainly marked. The graves of three Veterans of the Revolutionary War are also easily located.
6th Street between Washington & Columbia
Burlington's most famous landmark named the "Crookedest Street in the World" by Ripley's Believe It or Not.
400-800 W. Jefferson Street
319-752-6365Heritage Hill National Historic District
Named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, Heritage Hill boasts 160 structures reflecting many architectural periods and styles.
N 3rd and Franklin Streets
Named for its size, this small park offers a breathtaking view overlooking the Mississippi River.
501 N 4th Street
WebsiteDes Moines County Heritage Center
This new museum features historical displays and educational programs that will delight toddlers to grandparents. Open May-September 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday, noon - 5:00 p.m. Sundays, closed Monday. Open October-April noon - 5:00 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday, closed Monday and Tuesday.
512 Columbia Street
WebsitePhelps House Museum
This elegant Victorian house was built in 1851 and is located at the top of Snake Alley. Open May-September on weekends from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
www.dmchs.orgHawkeye Log Cabin
Located on the bluff where Lt. Zebulon Pike first raised the American flag on what was to become Iowa soil. Open May-September on weekends from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
400 N Front Street
WebsitePort of Burlington Welcome Center
This historic building includes information on statewide attractions, souvenirs from the Iowa Store and a video of local attractions.
3rd StreetTerritorial Capital Historical Marker
Burlington was the first capital of the Iowa Territory, and although the building no longer exists, a historical marker can be found at its site.
Fort Madison, Iowa
Riverview Park & Hwy 61
319-372-6318 ext. 275Old Fort Madison
Come step back in time at historic Old Fort Madison, Iowa, the Midwest's oldest American military garrison on the upper Mississippi River. The original fort, built in 1808 under the command of Lt. Alpha Kingsley, was home to the 1st Regiment US Infantry from 1808-1813. Old Fort Madison is an accurate reproduction of the original fort. Open June 1 - Sept. 7, Wed-Sat 9:30 am - 5:00 pm and Sun 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm. Open May and Sept., weekends only. Group tours available.
2095 Hwy 61Daniel McConn Barn
Is recognized on both the Iowa Historic Register and the National Historic Register and is Iowa's only bank/basement, double-decker, Pennsylvania-Dutch barn. Built in 1857 it has been referred to by the president of the Iowa Barn Foundation as "one of the most important barns in America, a true historical gem"...!
1st Street & Hwy 61 NIowa State PenitentiaryThis maximum security prison was commissioned as a territorial prison in 1839 and served seven years before Iowa became a state. It is one of the oldest correctional facilities west of the Mississippi. The original cell house completed in early 1840's is still in use today.
Santa Fe Bridge
Originally built in 1888 and owned by the Santa Fe Railroad the current bridge was built in 1927 With a 525 foot swing-span, this bridge is the longest double-decker swing span bridge in the world. This bridge has a two track rail line on the lower level, while two lanes of road traffic occupy the upper level.
The Lone Chimney Monument
This replica was built in 1908 with the cannons added in 1909, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the original Fort Madison. After the fort was burned in 1813 all that was left to be seen were the chimneys. After time only one was left standing which was labeled "The Lone Chimney" by passing riverboat captains.
This Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Steam Engine #2913 was given to the city by the Santa Fe Railroad in 1959. This fully refurbished Baldwin 4-8-4 "Northern" was built in 1944 weighing 345 tons was one of the last steam locomotives to see revenue service.
7th Street & Avenue F.Lee County Court House
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this court house, built in 1841, is one of the oldest in continuous use in the state of Iowa.
2 miles North of Fort Madison, IA
Brush College, a one room school house was built over one hundred years ago to succeed the original log school on approximately the same site.
Avenue H & 9th Street
319-372-7661Santa Fe Depot & Historic Center
Originally built as the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad depot, it was completed in 1911. This mission style depot with its long, low tiled roof, arched windows and bell tower, it is the only depot still in existence of that era. Today it is the home to the North Lee County Historical Center.
Hwy 61 14-15th StreetCity Cemetery
Fort Madison's oldest cemetery is also the resting place to several prominent citizens of Fort Madison. General John Knapp, commander of Fort Madison and believed by some to be its founder, Clarissa Claypole Wilson (daughter of Betsy Ross) and 3 granddaughters of Betsy Ross are also buried here.
716 Ave F.
WebsiteThe Albright "Betsy Ross" House
Listed on the Historic National Register the Albright home was commissioned in 1857, patterned after a high-style Italianate design, the house was completed in 1858 for a tremendous cost of $14,000.00. The double home (duplex) is 3 stories high with ceiling heights of 12 feet. Each residence consists of 13 rooms and both homes are a mirror image. Bought in 2000 by Rob & Carol Davis from Palatine, IL. The home is in the process of being lovingly restored.
903 Ave E.The Atlee Mansion / Victorian Architecture
Fort Madison streets are lined with grand Victorian style homes. In fact, you will find 89 of these two and three-story marvels throughout the town.
9th Street & Ave EBandstand in Central Park
The original bandstand was built in 1910 in Central Park. In 2008/2009 was refurbished and repainted and shines beautifully in the park.
2010 E. Parley Street
WebsiteBaxter's Vineyard and Winery
Tour Illinois' oldest winery where the Baxter family has been making wine in historic old Nauvoo since 1857. The winery is open for free tours and tasting. Take a memory of Baxter's Vineyards and Winery home from the Tasting Room and Gift Shop. Their fine selection of wine includes Sweet White, Pink Catawba, Icarian Red and many others. One can browse through a unique gift shop featuring Country Blue Cheese Dressing, Wisconsin Cheese, Carol's Homemade Pies and Sweetbreads, jams, jellies and other specialty foods. During the appropriate season, grape and apple picking is also available.
217-453-2246Joseph Smith Historic Sites
Walk in the footsteps of Joseph and Emma Smith through the Joseph Smith Historic Sites, featuring the Joseph Smith homestead, Mansion House, Red Brick Store and Burial site of Joseph, Emma and Hyrum Smith. Guided Walking Tours of the sites available daily at the Joseph Smith Historic Visitors Center.
310 Buchanan Street
217-357-2989Carthage Jail & Visitors Center
The Old Carthage Jail was constructed of native yellow limestone between 1839 and 1841. It was the site where Mormon leader, Joseph Smith Jr., and his brother Hyrum, were killed by an angry mob on June 27, 1844. This resulted in the Mormons abandoning nearby Nauvoo on their famous trek.
50 North Wells StreetThe Nauvoo Temple
Originally built in 1841, by Mormon architect William Weeks, under the direction of Joseph Smith Jr. The Nauvoo Temple was designed in the Greek Revival style, made out of limestone quarried in Nauvoo, and used distinctively Latter-day Saint motifs, including Sunstones, Moonstones, and Starstones. Destroyed by fire and then a tornado, the original temple was gone. Today, The Church rebuilt a temple on the original site whose exterior is a replica of the first temple. Tour the beautiful gardens and learn all about the majestic Nauvoo Temple. (Not open to the public.)
Main & White Streets
WebsiteFamily Living Center
Explore the sights and sounds of pioneer life in historic Nauvoo. Hands-on-experiences include woodworking, weaving, rope making, pottery, and candle making just to name a few. A free, must see place for children.
350 North Main Street
WebsiteHistoric Nauvoo Visitor's Center
Stop by the Visitor's Center for a tour of historic Nauvoo. Tour 65 separate and distinct sites from a bakery to a brick maker. Hands on activities, pioneer games, and even a horse-pulled wagon ride through the city can be enjoyed all year. Rides are available daily, weather permitting, except Sundays. Take time to explore the Monument to Women Garden while stopping at the Visitor's Center. Within the garden area are statues depicting and celebrating women's roles at every stage throughout life. Free!
350 North Main Street
WebsiteWagon Tour of Old Nauvoo
Nauvoo is one of the most delightful villages in the country, and a wagon ride is a unique way of seeing the beauty you might otherwise miss. The tour is approximately one hour and is narrated by a tour guide. See the sites, hear the stories and learn the history! You can board the wagon at the corner of Partridge and Hibbard Streets at the Historic Nauvoo Visitors Center. Free!
350 North Main Street
WebsiteInspiration Point Wagon Tour
This 45-minute scenic tour takes you through a wooded area to Inspiration Point, where you overlook the "Mighty Mississippi" at one of its widest points. Hear the touching stories of the sacrifices of many early pioneers who called Nauvoo home. Free!
WebsiteThe Way We Were - Historic Mulholland Street Tour
Stoll through the history of Nauvoo's commercial district on Mulholland Street. Experience the evolution of the Icarinan Community, the Sisters of St. Benedict and the businesses that called the street home. Take a self-guided, historic walking tour of Nauvoo's Mulholland Street and learn more about the history of the businesses and historical activity that took place from the 1850's up to the present. Begin your journey at the Outdoor Interpretive Park. Your circuitous route will allow you to stop at various locations, pick up a page from the past and learn more about specific dates, names, and businesses that were associated with Muholland's Business District over the years.
State Park Entrance off Hwy 96
Located in the Nauvoo State Park next to the oldest Concord Grape vineyard of Nauvoo, this original brick home highlights an Abraham Lincoln room, quilt room, Icarian room, Victorian parlor, toy and doll antiques, summer kitchen and original underground arched wine cellar.
1380 Mulholland Street
WebsiteWeld House Museum
Covering history from Quashquema to present, visitors will see items of Dr. John Weld, pioneer physician. This 1837 Greek revival style home features a 900-piece arrowhead collection, river history display, pioneer artifacts, copies of Joseph and Hyrum's death masks, 1895 wedding garments, old Nauvoo business artifacts and photos spanning over a century.
650 White Street
WebsiteFamily Living Center
Discover candle making, rope winding, spinning and other early crafts at the Nauvoo Family Living Center. Get a taste of what it was like to live in early Nauvoo.
1140 Kimball Street
This original brick home features an underground arched wine cellar and the oldest vineyard in the State of Illinois. Also features a German kitchen as well as extensive additions and depicts Mormon, Icarian and local history. Visit the original Nauvoo Historical Society Museum and sample the grapes during the season.
306 Walnut Street
WebsiteKibbe Hancock Heritage Museum
May – October: Daily: 1pm – 4pm or by appointment
17th & Orleans StreetRand Park
57 acres of rolling green hills and a manicured bluff to witness a breathtaking, panoramic view of the Mississippi River. This park offers a large playground, stone shelter houses, flower gardens, fishing, ice skating, 18 hole disc golf course and tennis courts. This park is also the eternal home of Chief Keokuk, for whom the town is named.
1701 J. StreetKeokuk National Cemetery
It is one of 12 original National Cemeteries designated by the U.S. Congress. During the Civil War, the presence of the College of Physicians and Surgeons caused the federal government to locate a military hospital in Estes House (formerly at 500 Main Street), and four other sites in Keokuk. The sick and wounded were transported to the hospitals in Keokuk by riverboats on the Mississippi River. Many soldiers, from the North and South died at the hospitals in Keokuk during the Civil War, and were buried in what became Iowa's only National Cemetery. The cemetery is currently the final resting place for the remains of over 4,000 American soldiers.
Located in Victory Park on the riverfrontThe George M. Verity River Museum
The paddle boat was built in Dubuque, Iowa by the U.S. Government in 1927 to revive river transportation and move barges from St. Louis to St. Paul. The museum is open daily from 9 to 5 beginning Memorial Day through Labor Day and open from 9 to 5 on weekends only from April 1 to Memorial Day and Labor Day to October 31. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors, $2 for children ages 8-18, children 7 & under free.
Lock & Dam #19
Construction on U.S. Lock and Dam #19 began in 1910, and when completed in 1913, it was the largest electricity generating plant in the world. Lock 19 is on the National Register of Historic places. The lock and dam can be viewed from the Observation Deck of the old railroad bridge. The lock is 1200 feet long and 110 feet wide, with a lift of over 38 feet and large enough to handle a full-length fleet of barges. Annual tonnage growth on this stretch of the river is expected to reach 31.5 million tons per year by 2010.
Bridge Observation Deck
With completion of the new bridge, the Keokuk side of the old bridge was transformed into an Observation Deck. The deck provides a wonderful view of the River, Lock & Dam 19, the George M. Verity and Victory Park.
318 North 5th StreetMiller House Museum
The Samuel F. Miller House is owned and operated by the Lee Co. Historical Society. The home was built by Samuel Freeman Miller in 1859. Miller was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by Abraham Lincoln in 1862, and served until his death in 1890. Museum is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, from 1-4, Saturday & Sunday with admission of $2.00.
415 Jersey Street
217-223-1800Dr. Richard Eells House
The Dr. Richard Eells House was a part of the Underground Railroad. The home is the oldest standing two-story brick house in Quincy. In the 1840's the house was a stopping point on the Underground Railroad, as escaping slaves made their way north to freedom. Dr. Eells is credited with helping several hundred slaves escape through the Underground Railroad.
12th to 24th Streets & Maine to State StreetsEast End Historic District
The East End Historic District is distinguished by its grand collection of homes of every period and style since 1850. Most have been painstakingly restored with lawns of beautifully planted sugar maples, tulip trees, flowering dogwood and redbud trees. Visit the Quincy Area Convention & Visitors Bureau offices at 532 Gardner Expressway for maps of the historic districts.
332 Maine Street
WebsiteGardner Museum of Architecture & Design
The Gardner Museum building originally housed the Quincy Public Library. The museum was organized in 1974 to encourage the preservation of Quincy's outstanding architectural heritage. Don't miss the stained glass gallery and museum gift shop or the museum's first Saturday of the month guided architectural walking tours May through October.
902 Prairie Mills Road
Visit the "Prairie Mill" in Golden, Illinois (Adams County), a restored Dutch smock windmill and a historic landmark in western Illinois.? It is the only restored, US-built windmill operating with its original millstones and wood gear mechanism. Built in 1873 by Henry Emminga, it's one of only two Dutch windmills in downstate Illinois. Today, the Golden Windmill is owned by the Golden Historical Society and is home to the Windmill Museum and Gift Shop.
425 S. 12th Street
WebsiteJohn Wood Mansion
The John Wood Mansion is the restored home of Quincy's founder and the twelfth Governor of Illinois, John Wood. The mansion is recognized by historians and architects as one of the Midwest's finest existing examples of Greek Revival architecture. The 1835 Pioneer Log Cabin is preserved, refurbished authentically, and features a pioneer garden. The Parsonage displays items depicting the history of Adams County while preserving a historic parsonage. The Parsonage is open during office hours.
128 N. 5th St.
WebsiteQuincy's Looking For Lincoln Way Side Exhibits
Witness Lincoln's history in the community as an open book. A total of eighteen wayside exhibits display the Lincoln legacy in the historic areas of Quincy, many of them around Washington Park. The Lincoln Bicentennial Commission has designed waysides using images, photos, and text highlighting Abraham Lincoln's connections to the community. Some mark specific locations where events occurred. Others address the vibrant city, business, and industrial landscapes as well as prevailing issues of the age of Lincoln. All will enhance the visitor's understanding of the life and legend of our 16th President.
1601 Maine St.
The Newcomb-Stillwell Mansion, completed in 1891, is the home of the Quincy Museum. The first floor of the building is restored to the style of the 1890's. The second floor features changing exhibits, a local history room, a new acquisitions gallery and a gift shop. The third floor is a wonderful place for children with rotating exhibits on Dinosaurs, Mississippi Wildlife and Native Americans.
532 Gardner Expressway
The Villa Kathrine is a unique example of Mediterranean architecture. Built as a residence in 1900 on a bluff with a breath-taking view of the Mississippi River, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built for Quincy native and world traveler George Metz, the Villa Kathrine was based on his sketches and photos of villas throughout the Mediterranean. It has a number of interesting features, including a "harem" room and a courtyard, which surrounds a reflecting pool. The building now houses Quincy's Tourist Information Center as well as the Quincy Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.