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Welcome to our past!


We are the North Lee County Historical Society in Fort Madison, Iowa. Located at 810 10th St near the corner of Avenue H, Business Route 61/Iowa 2, and 10th Street.

Find us on Facebook: North Lee County Historical Society

Contact us by e-mail address: nlchs@iowatelecom.net

US Mail address is:         NLCHS                                    P.O. Box 285                             Fort Madison, IA 52627

Museum Office 319-372-7661 Open from 10 AM to 4 PM Mon-Sat and 12 Noon to 4 PM Sunday.

We are a registered 501(c)3 non-profit. We operate on your donations and memberships. Please become a member. Thank you!

NLCHS has special funds set up for Brush College, the Old Lee County Jail, the Historic Center and the steam engine in Riverview park. If you want to specify where your donation goes - you are able to do so.    Volunteers welcome!

Brush College: Was built in about 1877. It is a one room schoolhouse located a short drive north of Fort Madison. We are currently getting the roof repaired so donations to this fund are even more important. If you wish to visit Brush College please call us ahead of time so we can have one of our volunteers be there for you. The schoolhouse is still ready and waiting for students of all ages with desks for all.

Old Lee County Jail: Built in 1867 is the oldest existing jail in Iowa. It is located next to the Lee County Court House in Fort Madison. Again, if you wish to tour this interesting old stone structure please call us ahead of time for a volunteer and your own bunk in a cell. 

Santa Fe Railway 2913 the big and FAST steam locomotive sits in Riverview Park near the entrance. While the city owns the 2913 we have the honor of showing her off to the public. She worked hard for 11 years on the mainline of the Santa Fe Railway from Fort Madison to Los Angeles, California. We have a fund established to help us maintain the 2913 for the city.

Santa Fe Railway RED caboose 999235 served on the mainline on fast freights like the Super C, as well as it's last assignment working as the West Local "Waycar" out of Fort Madison. The Waycar 235 has now been elevated along with the depot complex above the flood level. So we are now making plans to repaint her inside and out and have it open soon for inspection when the walk ramp is restored.

We want to thank those that are able to give their time and money so that we can remain open to all regardless of ability to pay. All are welcome! If you have a special interest and want to volunteer your time and share your experience we need your help.

Looking for that unique gift or souvenir from our area? Don't forget our gift shop! We have a variety of postcards and other souvenirs. 





Meetings: Are held on the 2nd Tuesday each month and are open to the public.

Our next regular monthly meeting will be: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 7 p.m. in the Santa Fe Railway Depot complex near the corner of 10th Street and Avenue H in                Fort Madison, IA.

Special Event: 

Saturday April 12, 2014

Train Show with the Santa Fe Railway Historical & Modeling Society.

  1. Swap Meet, buy, sell, or trade railroad, model railroad, items.         9:00 AM to 4:00PM at the   Pavilion, 902 Riverview Dr in Riverview Park, Fort Madison.
  2. Railroad History 1940 era                Santa Fe Railway programs.           11:00 AM to 4:30 PM at                 Old Fort Players Theater,               725 Avenue G in Downtown       Fort Madison, Iowa.

Train Show Program line-up and registration available as Adobe.pdf on request by e-mail: nlchs@iowatelecom.net


If you would like more information or to become a volunteer, you may stop at the museum or Contact Us.

NLCHS is now on Facebook.

Visit us there, and if you "like" our page, you can follow our updates.


Exhibits of Special Interest

Santa Fe Railway

Railroad Lantern Display

Civil War

Early Fort Madison & Lee County History

Iowa State Penitentiary

Sheaffer Pens

Pioneer Farm Equipment

Silsbee Fire Engine

Ice Harvesting Display

Iowa & Fort Madison Jaycee History

Gift Shop

Brush College, one room school house open for tours by appointment.


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