HISTORY OF DUBUQUE

1785

Founder Julien Dubuque

1833

Open For Settlement

1856

Historic Shot Tower

1882

Fenelon Place Elevator

1897

Julien Dubuque Monument

1898

Historic Star Brewery Complex

1920

Al Capone in Dubuque

1989

Field of Dreams Movie Site

 
1700

Founder Julien Dubuque

The first permanent settler to Dubuque was a French-Canadian fur trader, Julien Dubuque. He befriended the Mesquakie Indians who occupied the region at the time. After developing close relationships with the Mesquakie, Julien was shown and permitted to mine the many lead deposits. He named the area Mines of Spain, and successfully operated it until his death in 1810.

1700

Founder Julien Dubuque

The first permanent settler to Dubuque was a French-Canadian fur trader, Julien Dubuque. He befriended the Mesquakie Indians who occupied the region at the time. After developing close relationships with the Mesquakie, Julien was shown and permitted to mine the many lead deposits. He named the area Mines of Spain, and successfully operated it until his death in 1810.

1800

Open For Settlement

Under the Black Hawk Purchase Treaty in 1833, the United States Government opened the area up for settlement. It came to be known as Dubuque when it was chartered in 1837.

1800

Open For Settlement

Under the Black Hawk Purchase Treaty in 1833, the United States Government opened the area up for settlement. It came to be known as Dubuque when it was chartered in 1837.

1833

Historic Shot Tower

Dubuque’s Shot Tower was built in 1856 to efficiently produce lead shots for the military. Molten lead was poured through a grate at the top of the tower. Then, the relatively uniform drops that fell from the grate would land in the water below which cooled the lead into its solid state. The tower has been burned (interior only), hit by a train, repaired and renovated to its current state.
(Photo: “Birdseye View of Dubuque,” W. J. Gilbert, 1858 (State Historical Society of Iowa)

1833

Historic Shot Tower

Under the Black Hawk Purchase Treaty in 1833, the United States Government opened the area up for settlement. It came to be known as Dubuque when it was chartered in 1837.
(Photo: “Birdseye View of Dubuque,” W. J. Gilbert, 1858 (State Historical Society of Iowa)

1856

Fenelon Place Elevator

Dubuque Iowa, circa 1882, was an hour and a half town. Over the lunch hour, everything shut down for an hour and a half. Unfortunately for Mr. J. K. Graves, the route to his house required a half hour buggy ride around the bluff. He decided to build a cable car to cut down on his commute. The original cable car was hauled up and down on two rails by a hemp rope, and housed a coal-fired steam engine boiler. After the cable car burned down twice, ten neighbors founded the Fenelon Place Elevator Company. This group eventually upgraded the motor, added a turnstile and replaced the hemp rope with steel cable. In 1977, the cable cars were completely rebuilt.

1856

Fenelon Place Elevator

Dubuque Iowa, circa 1882, was an hour and a half town. Over the lunch hour, everything shut down for an hour and a half. Unfortunately for Mr. J. K. Graves, the route to his house required a half hour buggy ride around the bluff. He decided to build a cable car to cut down on his commute. The original cable car was hauled up and down on two rails by a hemp rope, and housed a coal-fired steam engine boiler. After the cable car burned down twice, ten neighbors founded the Fenelon Place Elevator Company. This group eventually upgraded the motor, added a turnstile and replaced the hemp rope with steel cable. In 1977, the cable cars were completely rebuilt.

1882

Julien Dubuque Monument

80 years after Dubuque’s death in 1810, the Julien Dubuque Monument was erected. Today, this 29 foot high, 12 foot in diameter stone structure is still visible to the public at the Mines of Spain.

1882

Julien Dubuque Monument

80 years after Dubuque’s death in 1810, the Julien Dubuque Monument was erected. Today, this 29 foot high, 12 foot in diameter stone structure is still visible to the public at the Mines of Spain.

1897

Historic Star Brewery Complex

Iowa’s oldest brewery was founded by the Rhomberg family in 1898. The five-story brick brew house was forced to close, along with other breweries, with the beginning of Prohibition & reopened in 1933 with its repeal. The brewery changed hands several more times before being acquired by the City of Dubuque and renovated as part of the America’s River Project in the early 2000s. Today, the Star Brewery Complex features an historical display on its ground floor.

1856

Fenelon Place Elevator

Dubuque Iowa, circa 1882, was an hour and a half town. Over the lunch hour, everything shut down for an hour and a half. Unfortunately for Mr. J. K. Graves, the route to his house required a half hour buggy ride around the bluff. He decided to build a cable car to cut down on his commute. The original cable car was hauled up and down on two rails by a hemp rope, and housed a coal-fired steam engine boiler. After the cable car burned down twice, ten neighbors founded the Fenelon Place Elevator Company. This group eventually upgraded the motor, added a turnstile and replaced the hemp rope with steel cable. In 1977, the cable cars were completely rebuilt.

Sometime around
1898

Al Capone in Dubuque

This hotel has hosted many famous guests but none as notorious as Chicago gangster, Al Capone. When “things were too hot to handle” in Chicago, it is legend that Al Capone would hide out at this historic hotel. He reportedly made use of a nearby underground garage to hide his cars and further conceal his presence in Dubuque. Some say he even owned the hotel at one point. Today, you can live like this prohibition-era gangster by staying in the Capone Suite. Tucked away in a private area of the hotel, this suite offers a vintage theme that is rich with “Old Hollywood glamour.”

Sometime Around
1898

Al Capone in Dubuque

This hotel has hosted many famous guests but none as notorious as Chicago gangster, Al Capone. When “things were too hot to handle” in Chicago, it is legend that Al Capone would hide out at this historic hotel. He reportedly made use of a nearby underground garage to hide his cars and further conceal his presence in Dubuque. Some say he even owned the hotel at one point. Today, you can live like this prohibition-era gangster by staying in the Capone Suite. Tucked away in a private area of the hotel, this suite offers a vintage theme that is rich with “Old Hollywood glamour.”

1898

Field Of Dreams Movie Site

Is this heaven? No, it’s Iowa. This catch phrase got it’s fame from the Academy Award nominated film, Field of Dreams, primarily shot in Dyersville, Iowa.

1898

Field Of Dreams Movie Site

Is this heaven? No, it’s Iowa. This catch phrase got it’s fame from the Academy Award nominated film, Field of Dreams, primarily shot in Dyersville, Iowa.

1989

Dubuque, Iowa Today

Recently voted as the fourth Best American Riverfront by readers of USA Today’s 10Best.com, Dubuque is home to nearly 60,000 residents and has been recognized nationally for it’s redevelopment and reinvention.

1989

Dubuque, Iowa Today

Recently voted as the fourth Best American Riverfront by readers of USA Today’s 10Best.com, Dubuque is home to nearly 60,000 residents and has been recognized nationally for it’s redevelopment and reinvention.

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