OLD SHOT TOWER – Dubuque, Iowa

Shot tower.jpg

Description – This tower was built in 1856 for the molding of lead shot. (It was an excellent source for ammunition during the Civil War.) It is located on the riverfront. It is one of the few similar structures left in the country. The base is constructed of native limestone and the top 40-feet is brick. The structure is 150 feet high and made an excellent fire lookout site.

In the late 1700s and early 1800s lead mines produced valuable ore in the Dubuque area. Lead bullets were produced in a shot tower. Molten lead was dropped from the top of the tower into water at the bottom. Like raindrops, the hot lead would form into perfect spheres, cool and solidify as they fell into the cooling water.

Admission – None (it is only viewed from the outside)

Directions – take 4th Street Extension from U. S. Highways 151, 61

Address:  290 Locust St., Dubuque, Iowa 52001

Hours – dawn to dusk

Credit Cards –None

Phone – None 

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