Old Fort Madison

Where Iowa's History Began

Step Back in Time

Photograph of blockhouse at Old Fort MadisonStep 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 reconstructed buildings to experience a day in the life of the men, women and children who inhabited this factory post. Be greeted by historical interpreters in authentic, period attire 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 firings. Visitors are encouraged to partake of the past with hands-on experiences such as trying a fresh baked morsel, dipping a candle, handling a Springfield musket or just talking 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, located north of the reconstructed fort.



716 Riverview Drive, Riverview Park, Fort Madison, IA 52627

Hours and Season

June - August
Wednesday-Sunday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Available Mondays and Tuesdays by appointment.

May & September:
Saturday-Sunday only, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Available weekdays by appointment.

Available for private arranged tours or special events by appointment.


Site Director: Dr. Eugene Watkins

Contact Old Fort Madison

Schedule a tour: (800) 210-8687

Office: (319) 372-7700 ext. 275
(Available year-round)

Reconstructed Fort: (319) 372-6318
(Available seasonally)


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More to Come

This website is being built and will feature our special events schedule, detailed histories related to the site, and more. Estimated completion is January 2017.

Copyright © 2016 Old Fort Madison. All rights reserved.
Website by Dan Woodward.