Sunday, March 7, 2010

Fort Madison, IA

After a lunch at a small food counter/soda shop tucked away in Ford Hopkins Drug Store in Macomb, Illinois and a nice visit with family, we decided to see what Fort Madison, Iowa had to offer.
Ford Hopkins opened in 1937. Their food counter has a simple menu and makes a mean chocolate malt.

Coming across the bridge into Fort Madison, we soon came past the historic fort, which was the first permanent U.S. military fortification on the Upper Mississippi.
We also admired the architecture of the Iowa State Penitentiary, established in 1839, before Iowa had even become a state.

We drove around to get a feel for the town and saw many beautiful brick homes and buildings.
One of the unique sites in the area, the Daniel McConn barn, a double-decker, Pennsylvania Dutch barn built in 1857, had a large colorful geometric symbol on the side of it. We soon noticed a couple more buildings in the area with similar symbols, so when we saw a gentleman out for a country afternoon stroll, my husband pulled up next to him and asked him about the symbols.
He informed us that the signs are barn quilts, colorful signs displaying quilt blocks, and have just started showing up in the Fort Madison area recently.

The timing of our visit was not perfect, as we found the majority of the downtown area closed at 2 p.m. on a Saturday, and the supper club we were thinking of trying out, The Palms, circa 1962, did not open until 5 p.m.
There were a few neat old signs remaining in the downtown area, including the Fox Theater.

We saw enough dining possibilities for us to make a mental note to come back to Fort Madison some time. We want to check out the interesting looking Parthenon Pizza & Steak House, which seemed to be quite popular during the off lunch hours, and The Fort Diner, a neat little building offering up "Wallyburgers".
The Palms also beckoned to me since we could not see inside, and I'll bet it could be an interesting spot for dinner.

Ford Hopkins Drug Store
118 North Lafayette Street
Macomb, IL 61455