Fort Madison, Iowa

Published August 12, 2010 by LS Murphy

Ahh…Vacation. A time to relax and renew. This year I spent my holiday with my family in Iowa.

First item on the agenda…being a tourist in places I had travelled to during my youth. My mother wanted to see the replica fort in Fort Madison, IA. The original fort burnt as the troops abandoned it in 1813. But the replica lives on with a couple of nice tour guides who were more than willing to suffer through the August heat in wool uniforms like the soldiers wore back in the good old days and to demonstrate life at the fort.

The small window overlooks the river in the towers. There is even a cannon waiting to open fire at an unconcerned fountain near the parking lot.

After surviving the stifling heat of the fort, we travelled about two hundred yards to the old train depot where the history museum is located that celebrates life in northern Lee County, Iowa.

In the first building, there was an old Edison record player. A gentleman wound it up and we were instantly transported back in time. I felt like I needed to be on a steamboat heading to New Orleans.

Our tour began and we realized quickly that the museum is still in the early stages of life. Our guide, however, was not. He was fantastic though. He gave the entire tour in his bib overalls as he munched on a stub of a cigar.

I loved every minute of it.

Even though I expected more history of trains that came through the region, there was so much about Fort Madison that I didn’t know about. The museum is well worth the stop.

For the kids the best part of the tour has to be the big red caboose at the end. But you have to get past the train crossing sign first.

There is plenty to see and do in Fort Madison, IA. You just need to get on the road to find out the rest.

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