Mathias Ham Historic Site

2241 Lincoln Avenue, Dubuque, IA 52001 - United States




Smithsonian Affiliate Museum

Explore Dubuque’s rich history at our unique historic site. Owned and operated by the Dubuque County Historical Society and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this historic property includes the Mathias Ham House, Iowa's oldest log cabin, the Humke Schoolhouse from Centralia, and a historic granary.

Costumed interpreters provide guided tours of the site, sharing the rich history of Mathias Ham, the city of Dubuque, life on the Mississippi River, and life during the Victorian era.


Photography: Past, Present & Future
From the start, photography was an expensive and time-consuming hobby that required equipment, chemicals, and dedicated space for storage and development of photographs. However, the public was so fascinated by photography, technology rapidly changed between 1826 and 1900 to make photography methods faster, easier, and more accessible. The photography bug had bitten the American population, and the age of the amateur photographer would soon begin.

This exhibition provides a snapshot of the brief but complex history of photography. Antique cameras, photographs ranging from portraiture to panoramas, and photography equipment will be displayed throughout the room, showcasing the evolution of photography.


Participation in Museum Day is open to any tax-exempt or governmental museum or cultural venue on a voluntary basis. Smithsonian magazine encourages museum visitation, but is not responsible for and does not endorse the content of the participating museums and cultural venues, and does not subsidize museums that participate.