(131 miles to Tassel Ridge Winery)
Activities throughout the weekend include two battle reenactments, a Ladies Tea and Fashion Show, Military Ball, Breakfast with the Troops, Memorial and Church Service at the National Cemetery. A panel of noted historians spoke on various aspects of the struggle for control of the Mississippi River during the Civil War. River cities, such as Keokuk, could not thrive and prosper without free access to the river. When war broke out, tens of thousands of Iowans, many from Keokuk, volunteered and joined the union army. Their primary focus was to preserve the union, and gain open navigation of the Mississippi.
See a bald eagle swoop to the Mississippi River, then soar back up downriver of the lock and dam in Keokuk, Iowa. It’s among the best places in the contiguous 48 to eagle-watch. Visit during Keokuk’s annual Bald Eagle Appreciation Days, the third weekend of each January, and spotters will help you home in on a few of the 400-plus that usually show up.
329 Main St.
Keokuk IA 52632
800.383.1219 or 319.524.5599
One of 12 original national cemeteries designated by the U. S. Congress, the Cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. During the Civil War, the presence of the College of Physicians and surgeons caused the federal government to locate a military hospital in Keokuk. The sick and wounded were transported to the hospitals in Keokuk by river boats on the Mississippi River. Over 600 Union Soldiers and 8 Confederate prisoners of war were buried in what became Iowa’s only National Cemetery. In 1908 when Fort Yates, North Dakota was abandoned, the remains in its post cemetery were moved to Keokuk National Cemetery. In 1948, another post cemetery, in Des Moines, Iowa, also had its remains moved to the National Cemetery.
1701 J. St.
Keokuk, IA 52632
Visitation Hours: Open daily from dawn to dusk.
The Grand Theatre was designed by Merle F. Baker and constructed on the foundation of the Keokuk Opera House (Circa 1880) which burned in 1923. Patterned after Chicago theaters, it was praised as one of the finest theaters in the country at the time. Presently, The Grand Theatre is owned by the City of Keokuk and has been restored to its original stateliness with an art deco style. Used as a performing arts center, it is independently operated by the Grand Theatre Commission and used by various organizations. Contact Patricia Zastrow for guided tours and rental availability. Performance schedules available on the website.
26 N 6th St.
Keokuk, IA. 52632
See website for performing schedule
Built in Dubuque, IA by the U. S. Government in 1927. One of the first steamboats to move barges on the Mississippi from St. Louis MO to St. Paul MN, it was built to revive river transportation. The paddle boat was then known as the S.S. Thorpe until Armco Steel Corp. bought the boat in 1940 and put it into service on the Ohio River, renaming it after the founder of their company, George M. Verity. After being retired from service, it was donated to the City of Keokuk in 1961. This steam-powered, sternwheeler contains photographs and models of river subjects.
117 S Water St.
Keokuk, IA 52632
The museum is open Memorial Day through Labor Day 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors, $2 for children ages 8-18, children 7 & under free.
On the National Register of Historic Places, the three-story, 12-room brick home was built by Samuel Freeman Miller in 1859 at a cost of $13,000. Miller was appointed to the United States Supreme Court by Abraham Lincoln in 1862, and served until his death in 1890. the home’s main floor has carved rotunda entrance with grand hallway graced by portraits of Chief Keokuk and Justice Samuel Freeman Miller, and a lithograph of the City of Keokuk in 1857, front parlor honoring founders of the Medical College and Civil War Generals from Keokuk, back parlor with square grand piano, pump organ, stereopticon and photograph albums, bedrooms with Renaissance Victorian furniture, lawyer’s study, nursery, and Indian artifacts.
318 N 5th St.
Keokuk, IA 52632
Admission is $2.
The Museum is open Memorial Day through Labor Day, Friday–Sunday 1:00– 4:00 p.m.