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Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. Please consider reading our editorial policy to understand how and why we publish the resources we do.

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Part of our in-depth series exploring the forts of Northern Early America

Picture at Fort Crawford

Fort Crawford Museum at Prairie du Chien
717 S. Beaumont Road
P.O. Box 298
Prairie du Chien, WI 53821
Phone: 608-326-6960

Fort Crawford Museum is located on the northwest corner of Beaumont Road and Rice Streets. Two blocks north on Beaumont road is Fort Crawford Cemetery, which has 64 burials from 1829 through 1850.

Picture at Fort Crawford Cemetery

Fort Crawford Museum is operated by the non-profit Prairie du Chien Historical Society. The museum boasts more than 50 exhibits in 3 buildings, which reflect the historical society's mission to tell the story of Prairie du Chien with emphasis on Fort Crawford, especially the amazing story of Dr. William Beaumont.

The museum is open May through October. Tours are self-guided. A brochure explaining the exhibits is available in the office. Guided group tours are available by appointment. Plan 30 minutes for each of the three buildings.

The museum is wheel chair accessible. Picnic tables on the spacious grounds, fresh water and restrooms are available.

Admission

$6.00 for adults; $5.00 for seniors; $3.00 for children under 12 and $17.50 for a family.

Hours

May 1 - October 31: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

History

In 1816 just after the War of 1812, the Americans felt that a fort at Prairie du Chien was essential. So Fort Crawford, named for William H. Crawford, Secretary of War, was built on the site of the former Fort Shelby on the mound where the Villa Louis stands today.

In the 1840's Fort Crawford was involved with the removal of the Winnebago from this area, but the frontier had moved faster than anyone predicted. Fort Crawford closed in 1856 and the last US troops left.

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Fort Crawford Museum
In the 1840's Fort Crawford was involved with the removal of the Winnebago from this area, but the frontier had moved faster than anyone predicted. Fort Crawford closed in 1856 and the last US troops left.

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Further reading