In June hubby and I visited Fort Madison, Iowa. Though I lived near there for a few years, the old fort was an attraction I’d never seen. Hubby vaguely remembered having visited it at some point, and also when it was built (he said they had men from the nearby prison build it.) Since we all know that hubby and I love historical stuff, we had to go.
I enjoyed it a lot, though initially I thought it was a bit pricey, the amount of things they have there are worth the price – we spent a couple of hours there but could have easily spent five or six had we decided to read all the material they have on display. (The man who runs it went to Washington and dug up all the paperwork pertaining to the fort – from records to receipts – and a lot of it is copied off and organized in binders. I did flip through a couple and found it quite interesting. If we’d had more time I’d have looked at a lot more of it, but we were limited…I forget why.)
Though there were re-enactors, who were pretty knowledgeable, the highlight was talking to the guy running it, Mr. Watkins. I’m a bit anti-social, especially at museums and such, and prefer to read exhibits usually rather than chat with people because I can never think of any questions, or anything to say that makes me seem intelligent, but I really enjoyed talking to him. He has a passion for the period in history and it translates well. By the time we were done talking to him, we were as excited as he was!
(Here’s a video of him firing the musket that was really fun to watch.)
There’s a website on the fort and the history that does a better job than I could at telling you about it. But, one thing I was interested to learn was why it had to be rebuilt – I always wondered where the original went. Apparently the soldiers themselves burned the original down when it was abandoned! There was also an “Indian attack” on the fort at one point. Led by Tecumseh, it was part of a large organized strike on several places, all done simultaneously.
Anyway, check out the website! I admit, I didn’t expect it to be that exciting – I mean, it was a fort/factory (aka trading post) but it really is pretty interesting. (There’s a voice over that tells you a brief history after it first opens – and it looks like they have an awesome Halloween event going on called Dead Zone… OOoooOOooo.)
And of course, I took a bunch of photos. Here are a few. There are more in my Flickr album as always.
And now I need to go to bed.
Have a loving history kinda day! (And don’t be surprised if something on this shows up in one of my vampire stories some day!)