Explore Dubuque’s rich history at our unique historic site, the Mathias Ham House. This historic property is owned and operated by the Dubuque County Historical Society and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Mathias Ham House
This stately country villa stands today as a living reflection of its wealthy builder, Mathias Ham. One of Dubuque’s earliest entrepreneurs, Ham build his estate in 1856 with money from his successful lead mining endeavors.
Inside the home, elegant American and European furnishings exemplify the opulent Victorian lifestyle of a booming river town during the Antebellum period. John F. Rague designed this distinctive example of the Italian Villa style of architecture. As architect for the Old State Capitols of Illinois and Iowa, Rague’s buildings were known for their monumental scale and elegance.
Walk the grounds and discover Iowa’s oldest building, an 1833 settler’s log cabin, and visit an authentic one-room schoolhouse. Get a glimpse into life “At the Lead Mines”, stepping back to a time when Dubuque was at the center of a nationally significant lead mining phenomenon. People came from all over the country to mine lead. Living history demonstrators tell that dramatic story at the lead mine and “badger hole” (a lead miner’s dwelling) on the grounds of the Ham House.
Visit the Mathias Ham House
Costumed interpreters provide guided tours through the Mathias Ham House and share the rich history of Mathias Ham, Dubuque, the Mississippi River, and the Victorian era. The 1856 Mathias Ham House historic site is open Wednesday through Sunday from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Hours are 11 A.M. to 4 P.M. (last tour begins at 4 P.M.). The Mathias Ham House is also available for field trips, group visits and private functions at any time by appointment.
Youth (Ages 3-17): $3.50
Children 2 and under admitted free.
Receive a discount when purchasing Ham House tickets in conjunction with a visit to the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium.
Admission is free to members of the Dubuque County Historical Society. Group rates are available.
For information or to inquire about group reservations, please call 563.557.9545
The Mathias Ham House
2241 Lincoln Avenue