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Prepare to journey back in time to when Iowa was just entering statehood, native prairie covered over 90 percent of the land, and American settlers and Native Americans vied for ownership of the West. The Fort Atkinson Interpretive Audio Tour provides a glimpse of what daily life was like on the Iowa frontier twenty years before the American Civil War.
Fort Atkinson was an active military post on the frontier of the expanding United States from 1840 to 1849. The purpose of the Fort was to keep the Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) tribe on the Neutral Ground in the Iowa Territory and keep them from escaping back across the Mississippi to Wisconsin. The soldiers at the Fort also kept the peace on the frontier between the Ho-Chunk, Sioux, Sauk, and Meskwaki tribes and Euro-American settlers.
No battles were fought at the Fort and most of the soldiers' time was spent constructing the buildings of the outpost. After the Fort was abandoned it passed into private hands and fell into disrepair. In 1921 the fort was acquired by the State of Iowa and became part of the State Preserves system in 1968.
The audio tour may be downloaded and placed on a personal audio player (.mp3 player) for use at the site. The tour lasts about a half-hour and can be paused for users to explore the site at their own pace. A map accompanies the tour and may be downloaded to aid in locating the various features discussed in the tour. Funding for the tour was provided by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the State Preserves Advisory Board. The tour was created by Genus Landscape Architects.
Steps for use: