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Fort Madison

Trip Planner USA  /  Iowa  /  Fort Madison
(4/5 based on 55+ reviews for 2 attractions)
Things to do: sightseeing, museums
Fort Madison is a city in and one of the two county seats of Lee County, Iowa, United States. The population was 11,051 at the 2010 census. Located along the Mississippi River in the state's southeast corner, it lies between small bluffs along one of the widest portions of the river.OverviewFort Madison was the location of the first U.S. military fort in the upper Mississippi region; a replica of the fort stands along the river. Sheaffer Pens were developed and made in Fort Madison for many years. The city is the location of the Iowa State Penitentiary—the state's maximum security prison for men. Fort Madison is the Mississippi river crossing and station stop for Amtrak's Southwest Chief. Fort Madison has the last remaining double swing-span bridge on the Mississippi River, the Fort Madison Toll Bridge. It has a top level for cars and a bottom level for trains; it is also the world's largest. The Fort Madison Downtown Commercial Historic District is a collection of well-preserved historic storefronts from the late 19th century.The Original Fort Madison (1808–1813)The city of Fort Madison was established around the site of the historic Fort Madison, which was the first permanent U.S. military fortification on the Upper Mississippi. Fort Madison was the site of Black Hawk's first battle against U.S. troops, the only real War of 1812 battle fought west of the Mississippi. It was also the location of the first U.S. military cemetery in the upper Midwest. The fort was named for James Madison, fourth President of the United States.
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