Come, step back in time at historic Old Fort Madison, Iowa, the Midwest’s oldest American military garrison on the upper Mississippi River. Discover what life was like at a United States fur trading post on the rugged frontier of the Missouri Territory. Learn the exciting heritage of Iowa before it was a state and of its involvement in the War of 1812. This historic installation was home to Captain Horatio Stark’s Company of the 1st Regiment, United States Infantry from 1808 to 1813.
Wander through the authentically reconstructed buildings to experience a day in the life of the men, women and children who inhabited this factory post. Be greeted by authentically garbed historic interpreters performing the duties that were necessary to sustain life at an isolated fort. Daily duties can range from baking bread to military drill and musket firing. Visitors are encouraged to partake of the past with hands-on experiences such as trying a fresh baked morsel, dipping a candle, handling Springfield musket or just interacting with the interpreters.
The original fort was located at the present site of the former Sheaffer Pen Factory parking lots, at 4th Street and Avenue H/Highway 61. The local DAR Chapter erected a stone chimney to commemorate the soldiers who were stationed at Fort Madison, when it was the farthest west frontier of our nation. Visitors can still pay their respects at the Lone Chimney.
Dr. Eugene Watkins, Site Director
1-800-210-8687 to schedule a group tour
(319) 372-7700 ext. 275 (Office-year round)
(319) 372-6318 (Fort-summer only)
October-April: Closed for the Regular Season Available for private arranged tours or special events
May and September: Saturday and Sunday only 9-5 pm Available weekdays by appointment
June 1st through August 31st: Wednesday thru Sunday 9am – 5pm Available Monday and Tuesdays by appointment
Annual Festivals and Events at Old Fort Madison
Living History Weekend at Old Fort Madison:Mid April- Celebrates the frontier lifestyle of the soldiers and traders who called Fort Madison home.
Rifles, Raptors and Reenactors:Month of August- The Fort will host weapon displays, raptor bird shows and other programs about wildlife, the river and the surrounding area.
The Siege of Fort Madison:Month of September- Each year the Fort commemorates the War of 1812 Siege of Fort Madison. Come learn about this exciting history.
Steampunk at Old Fort Madison:Month of October- Come and enjoy this unique event that incorporates Victorian style architecture and Science Fiction to tell a story of epic proportions.