Dubuque, Iowa: Dubuque Shot Tower

Standing over 120 feet high, the Shot Tower is where early bullets were made by pouring lead from the top and letting gravity and surface tension do the rest.

Address:
E. Commercial St., Dubuque, IA
Directions:
East edge of the city, along the Mississippi River. From downtown drive east on E. 7th St., into an industrial district. The road will bend right, then left, and then you'll see the Tower straight ahead.
Admission:
Free
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Shot Tower.

Dubuque Shot Tower

The Shot Tower stands 120.5 feet high. There is strong evidence that some of the originally exposed column base is now buried, as is an estimated 15-20 feet of stone foundation. The load-bearing masonry walls are progressively reduced from a base width of three feet to just one foot at the top of the tower. Lead was melted at the base of the tower, hoisted to the top, poured through screens of different gauges, tumbling smoothly round as it fell into the water vats below. The shot was then sorted and packed. When completed, the tower could produce between 6 to 8 tons daily, but it was rarely operated at full capacity due to being bought by competitor Chadburne and Forster in 1862.

[Sean, 10/05/2015]

"Shot" is the round pellets that were once fired by most guns, and were manufactured in towers such as this one.

Lead Shot Tower

Dubuque's Shot Tower was constructed in 1856 for C.H. Rogers & Co. in order to provide lead shot to the military. The tower stands 120 feet tall at Commercial Street and the Mississippi River. It was added to the National Register of Historic Place in 1976.

[Richard Stockman, 08/03/2010]

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In the region:
The Toy Train Barn, Argyle, WI - 45 mi.

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