Tickets & Pricing
Purchase tickets in advance | good for any day
Youth (Ages 3-17): $4.00
Children 2 and under admitted free
Youth (Ages 3-17): $6.00
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 National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, a property of the Dubuque County Historical Society. Group rates are available.
Hours - Public Tours Available During the Summer
The Mathias Ham Historic Site is open Thursdays-Sundays 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Memorial weekend to Labor Day.
Year-Round Private Tours & Events
The Mathias Ham House is available for field trips, private tours, birthday parties, ceremonies, and private functions at any time by appointment.
For field trips and group tours, contact Kaelyn Howe at 563-557-9545 x 222 or email@example.com.
For all other inquiries and information on pricing, contact Heather Green, Historic Site Coordinator, at 563-557-9545 x212 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
historic site faq
The Mathias Ham Historic Site
2241 Lincoln Avenue
Dubuque, Iowa 52001
Historic Site Coordinator: 563-557-9545 x218
Fans of the Paranormal - A Disclaimer
Please note that the Dubuque County Historical Society and its staff do not provide ghost tours or access for paranormal investigators. We'd love to interpret the history of the Ham Site, but we leave the rest to speculation.
Experience life as a pioneer. Step back in time while exploring an authentic one-room schoolhouse, an 1833 settler’s log cabin, a lead miner’s Badger Hut and the historic Mathias Ham House. Along the way, participate in traditional activities from a hard-working pioneer’s daily routine. Roll up your sleeves and grab your washboard to do the laundry, grind corn to make biscuits, or grab your schoolbooks and head to school in this hands-on journey!
Our costumed interpreters provide a two or three hour customized program filled with sessions at multiple stations throughout the site.
Learn More About Pioneer Days
The Ham Chronicles
The history found at the Mathias Ham Historic Site is vast and the tales are plentiful. Here is where we hope some of those stories can live on. Shared from the perspective of our historians, enjoy journeying through the life once lived on Lincoln Avenue.
Learn How to Make a Tasty Treat from Yesterday
Upcoming Ham Site Activities & Events
Audrey Hammer 4th of July Ice Cream Social
July 4, 2023 | 11 AM - 4 PM
The Mathias Ham Historic Site is celebrating Independence Day this year with the Audrey Hammer 4th of July Ice Cream Social, and guests are invited to attend the celebration from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Tuesday, July 4th. Free tours of the historic Ham House, the Humke one-room school, the replica lead mine, and the Arriandeau Log House will be happening, with live demonstrations and thunderous cannon fire adding to the experience of Independence Day.
Visitors can enjoy live music by The Americana Band and purchase picnic foods, cakes, and ice cream. Victorian games will be held in the yard for children including sack races, horse shoes, graces, and more. Crafts will also take place as well throughout the day.
Free-will donations will be accepted with proceeds benefitting the Mathias Ham Historic Site, a property of the Dubuque County Historical Society.
Special thanks to this year’s in-kind sponsors, Prairie Farms and the Americana Band, for providing the ice cream and music for the event, and Tracy & Fred Fischer for also sponsoring the event.
For questions, contact Heather Green, at hgreen@rivermuseum or 563-557-9545 x212.
Featured Ham House Events
Supported by funds from the City of Dubuque Arts and Culture Special Project Grant, Fly-By-Night Productions adapted and performed the beloved Christmas tale, A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, December 2022. The intimate and immersive experience brought guests room by room through the house for a one-of-a-kind performance. Loras College Productions produced a video recording of the play for public viewing following the event.
Watch A Christmas Carol
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 built his estate over the course of many years from 1839 to 1857 with money earned 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.
Settler’s Cabin – Iowa’s Oldest Standing Building
The settler’s log cabin is Iowa’s oldest standing building, believed to have been built in the late 1820s by a French fur trader and later occupied by lead miners. It was originally located on the corner of 2nd and Locusts Streets in downtown Dubuque. It was moved to Eagle Point Park before being moved to the grounds of the Mathias Ham Historic Site in the 1960s. The double room style is known as a “dog trot” cabin.
Humke One Room Schoolhouse
The last one-room school used in Dubuque County, the Humke School was built in 1883 and was used through 1966. It was located on Humke Road, west of Dubuque.
At the Lead Mines
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).
Saved from the path of progress, the 1840s granary building was moved from its original location on Southern Avenue to the Mathias Ham Historic Site when the construction of Highway 61 threatened its destruction in 1989. Nineteenth-century farmers used granaries after threshing to store and protect grain from rats, mice, weevils and grain moths. Granaries were well ventilated to prevent spoilage and waste.
A grant from the Dubuque Racing Association supported the restoration of the granary in 2012, with help from Four Mounds’ HEART Program.