About 3 miles south of Dubuque, off US-52, is Crystal Lake Cave. It is the longest "living" show cavern in the state of Iowa.
The cave was discovered in 1868 when miners drilled 40 feet into the ground searching for lead. They found little of the metal they sought, although rich veins are nearby. But instead in this particular spot they discovered a beautiful cavern. The cave has no known natural entrance, although an occasional bat inside the cave indicates that there must be at least a small natural opening somewhere.
In 1932, the late Bernard Markus, (one of the original lead miners), opened the cave to the public, naming it Crystal Lake Cave. The name is a bit misleading, since the so called "lake" is very small. However, we still enjoyed exploring the cave. There are no large rooms on the tour. Instead you will walk through a maze of narrow passages. I frequently had to duck to keep from hitting my head on the ceiling, and some of the passages required me to turn sideways to negotiate them. This may not be the best cave for people with claustrophobia.
Promoters call Crystal Lake Cave a "Matchless wonder." That's an optimistic description since Crystal Lake Cave is surpassed by many other caves I have toured. Still there are several interesting formations and we thought it was worth the visit.
Adults - $10
Chilren 4-11 - $5
Children under 4 - Free
Senior Citizen - 10% off
The cave is open daily in season and closed in winter. For current operating hours see the website below.
When Julien Dubuque was exhumed, several other skeltons were found in the site with him. One skeleton was believed to be that of Dubuque's friend and father-in-law, Peosta, chief of the Mesquakie. The remains of Chief Peosta were reburied in a new grave a short distance from Dubuque's new grave site. The nearby town of Peosta, Iowa, was named for the chief.
It is widely thought that Julien Dubuque was married to Cheif Peosta's daughter, Potosa, although there is no historical record that either confirms or denies their marriage.
Chief Peosta's grave is near that of Julien Dubuque's, on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, two miles south of Dubuque. It is a National Historic Landmark.
When Julien Dubuque died in March of 1810 the Mesquakie Indians buried him with tribal honors beneath a log mausoleum at the site of this monument. The Julien Dubuque monument was built in 1897, on a high bluff with commanding views of the Mississippi River. It overlooks the Mines of Spain property in the town that would eventually bear Dubuque's name. The site has been designated as a National Historic Landmark.
The monument is in a parklike setting about two miles south of the city of Dubuque and is reached by following the signs off U.S. Hwy. #52. It can also be seen from the Mississippi River.
You have to go to those cute little houses that are everywhere in town. Typical American houses in which owners sell any kind of thing... Candels, encense, jewellery, coffee, food, antiques...