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Dubuque On the Mississippi River

A city in the US state of Iowa

By Rasma RaistersPublished 2 months ago 6 min read

Dubuque a city in the U.S. state of Iowa sits on the Mississippi River.

The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium tells visitors the story of the rivers in the U.S. The museum has two major centers that highlight the different aspects of life on the Mississippi River, There are over a dozen aquariums with animals that live on the Mississippi. You can see a historic Train Depot, the steamboat William M, Black, the Pfohl Boatyard, raptor aviaries, and much more.

The Mines of Spain Recreation Area is located on the outskirts of Dubuque. The state park stretches along the Mississippi River. It has unusual landforms, different plant species, and plant and animal communities. The park is a combination of forests and prairies. On the bluffs above the Mississippi, you can see 250-year-old burr oaks, The park looks about the same as when Julien Dubuque arrived in the area in 1785. You can enjoy twelve miles of hiking trails and in the wintertime, four miles of ski trails, Keep an eye out for rare animals like bobcats, flying squirrels, red-shouldered haws, and bald eagles. In the park, you can visit the EB Lyons Interpretive Center and see the Julien Dubuque Monument.

The Julien Dubuque Monument stands on a bluff overlooking Catfish Creek and the Mississippi. It was built in 1897 in honor of Julien Dubuque who was a trader and lead miner. The Mesquakie Indians gave him the right to mine their land therefore creating the first Euro-American settlement in the area that eventually became Dubuque. Julien Dubuque married the Indian chief’s daughter. After his death, the tribe buried his body under the log mausoleum on the site of the current monument.

The Fenelon Place Elevator is the steepest and shortest scenic railway you can find anywhere in the world. It will take you from Fourth Street up to Fenelon Place 189 feet high. You can get spectacular views of the Mississippi, the Dubuque business district, and the surrounding states, It has become one of the most popular tourist attractions.

Eagle Point Park overlooks the Mississippi and its Lock and Dam No. 11. The park has amazing views of three states – Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Most of the landscaping was done by Park Superintendent Alfred Caldwell who showed his love for the prairie architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright.

There is much to enjoy in the park like the Shiras Memorial Pavilion, the Riverfront Pavilion, the Veranda Rooms, the Terrace Room, and more. You’ll enjoy the Rock Garden, Spray Fountain, and the Fish Pond. There are six tennis courts and a music bandstand. The park is a popular place for local events and celebrations. You’ll find lots of hiking, walking, and biking trails all through the park.

The trails run along the old trolley line that begins at Shiras Avenue and ends at a large statue of an eagle.

The Dubuque Museum of Art was founded in 1874 and has a collection of more than 2,200 works of art mostly American art. The museum has one of the world’s largest collections of paintings by Grant Wood, a rare and complete compilation of photos of the American Indian by Edward S. Curtis. There are also some touring exhibitions. The museum offers Saturday morning and summer art camps for children and family-friendly matinee art performances. There are drawing, oil, and landscape painting classes for adults, The museum also holds lunchtime lectures about art history.

Stone Cliff Winery is a lovely wine bar and tasting room that is located in the historic Star Brewery Building in the heart of the Port of Dubuque. The building is interesting to look at. You’ll enjoy delicious food on the lunch menu with great wine that comes from the winery. Once a month the winery hosts a Murder Mystery dinner with great food and selected wines.

Crystal Lake Cave was discovered by miners in 1868. The miners were looking for lead and found an enormous underground cave. It was opened to the public in 1932 and has a network of passages and cave formations like a stalactite called St. Peter’s Dome and stalagmites on a stone shelf known as the Cliff Dweller.

You’ll also find a shallow underground Crystal Lake. Lovely flowerlike white crystal clusters hang from the cave ceiling. The deepest point goes down 100 feet. The cave is located five miles from Dubuque. You can take an hour-and-half-long Wild Cave Tour that takes you through unexcavated and unexplored passageways.

Along the Mississippi Riverwalk, you can see ten works of art. People enjoy coming here for walking and jogging, The place where the artwork is located is stroller and wheelchair accessible.

Even if the artwork is sold it remains in place for a year, At the end of the year jurors select a grand prize winner and a People’s Choice favorite voted by the inhabitants of Dubuque.

Sundown Mountain is a resort in Dubuque that has ski and snowboard runs, It is a great place to learn to ski, The resort has 21 runs and four lifts, a ski patrol for safety, and two lodges. This family-resort has man-made snow. There is also wildlife like deer and eagles.

Shot Tower was built in 1856 and is one of the few remaining shot towers in the U.S. It is a National Historic Landmark. Shot towers were used to mass produce lead shot balls, dropping molten lead from a certain height into a basin of water. At the peak of production this tower was making between six and eight tons of lead shot daily for the U.S. Military, The tower stands 120 feet high and is made up of seven stories of stone and three stories of soft red brick.

St. Luke’s United Methodist Church is a historic church and was built in 1896. The church has a collection of religious Tiffany windows. The pipe organ at the time of installation was the largest organ in the area. The church is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Mathias Ham House is a large antebellum estate that was built in 1839. The owner Mathias Ham was involved in local politics and the Underground Railway. Docents in period costumes provide tours of the house and outbuildings like a fur trader's log cabin. Tours include a ten-minute film about Mathias Ham. A popular event is a Fourth of July ice cream social on the grounds.

The Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Garden was established in 1980. It is located in Marshall Park and is a living museum, There are different thematic gardens. The Rose Garden has an award-winning display of old garden roses, hybrids, and miniature and shrub roses, There is also a formal English Garden and a formal Japanese Garden.


About the Creator

Rasma Raisters

My passions are writing and creating poetry. I write for several sites online and have four themed blogs on Wordpress. Please follow me on Twitter.

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  • Alex H Mittelman 2 months ago

    Fascinating! Well written!

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