Explore Dubuque’s rich history at our unique historic site. Owned and operated by the Dubuque County Historical Society and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this historic property includes the Mathias Ham House, Iowa's oldest log cabin, the Humke Schoolhouse from Centralia, and a historic granary.
Costumed interpreters provide guided tours of the site, sharing the rich history of Mathias Ham, the city of Dubuque, life on the Mississippi River, and life during the Victorian era. Scroll this page to explore the site and purchase tickets!
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Youth (Ages 3-17): $4.00
Children 2 and under admitted free.
Receive a free parking voucher for Eagle Point Park with admission to the Mathias Ham Historic Site!
Admission is free to members of the Dubuque County Historical Society. Group rates are available.
Please know that the Ham Site does not provide ghost tours; regardless of what you may have read through a web search. There have been many tall tales that have taken root over the years, however, the Dubuque County Historical Society and its staff do not take stock in these stories. We'd love to interpret the history of the Ham Site, but we leave the rest to speculation.
The Mathias Ham Historic Site
2241 Lincoln Avenue
Dubuque, Iowa 52001
Site is currently closed for the season; however, the Site will be open for special public events through the fall and winter.
The 1856 Mathias Ham Historic Site is open Wednesday through Sunday from the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day.
Hours are 11 A.M. to 4 P.M. (last tour begins at 3:30 P.M.)
The Mathias Ham House is also available for field trips, group visits and private functions at any time by appointment. For field trips and group tours, contact Melissa Wersinger at 563-557-9545 or email@example.com. For all other questions, contact Victoria Cote, Historic Site Coordinator, at 563-557-9545 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
historic site faq
Halloween themed house tours will detail the rise of Halloween and Halloween traditions as well as today’s fascination with ghost stories. Rumors from the Ham House’s own past will be revisited through the house tours as well. Tours begin at 11 a.m. and take place on the hour with the last tour beginning at 4 p.m.
At noon, a presentation on herb lore, entitled “Witches Brews” will take place at the log cabin. Crafts such as candle making and ghost dolls will be available to all visitors, as will historic games like snap apple and gossip. Hot apple cider will be provided.
At 2 p.m., Zach Mortensen, The Fire Eating Hypnotist, will bring his hypnotic powers to the Ham House for adults and children alike in an hour-long show. Tickets for the hypnotist show are limited and available through the link below.
Hypnotist Show Tickets
Weekends in December 2018 - Christmas at the Ham House
Celebrate an old fashioned Christmas on select dates in December! More details to come!
The staff of the Ham Site invite you and your family to pack a picnic lunch and spread your blanket on the Ham Site grounds any Sunday during our season. The grounds are open to the public and cost nothing. Children can explore the school, log cabin, and miner's dwelling.
Look for a new craft the first Sunday of each month during our summer season! Crafts are just $5 each and guests do not require admission to the Ham Site. Crafts begin at noon and are available while supplies last.
Free tours of the Mathias Ham House; historic games, activities and demonstrations; cannon fire; and great food for purchase! Join us on the Fourth of July for some good old fashioned fun!
This stately country villa stands today as a living reflection of its wealthy builder, Mathias Ham. One of Dubuque’s earliest entrepreneurs, Ham buillt 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. 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.
The 1833 settler’s log cabin is Iowa’s oldest standing building, and was originally located in downtown Dubuque. It was relocated to Eagle Point Park in the early 20th century and moved to the grounds of the Mathias Ham Historic Site in the 1960s.
The Humke Schoolhouse is originally from Centralia in Dubuque County.
Dubuque was once the center of a nationally significant lead mining phenomenon. People came from all over the country to mine lead, and the At the Lead Mines area of the Mathias Ham Historic Site recreates the interior of a lead mine and a badger hole (a lead miner’s shelter).