Features and Exhibits
The Fort Crawford Museum encompasses three buildings of exhibits on local and medical history, and won the 2013 Museum Exhibit Award from the Wisconsin Historical Society for a new exhibit on the Swift U.S. Army Hospital and the Civil War. Regular tours are self-guided, with information available in the visitor center.
Fort Crawford Military Hospital
The Military Hospital is the only remaining structure from the second Fort Crawford. It offered care for sick and wounded soldiers beginning in 1831. Dr. William Beaumont, the post surgeon, helped found the modern study of medicine when he researched digestion at the fort during the 1830s. Although the fort buildings fell into disrepair in the late nineteenth century, a portion of the hospital building was reconstructed with original materials on its original foundations during the 1930s. It is a registered National Historic Landmark. The building contains several exhibits, including:
- An 1830s Ward Room explaining Dr. Beaumont's experiments
- Artifacts Discovered at the Fort Barracks
- The Military History of Fort Crawford
- The History of Medical Progress
- An antique pharmacy and dentist office.
- Swift United States Army General Hospital and the Civil War (Winner of the 2013 Museum Exhibit Award from the Wisconsin Historical Society!)
The Museum of Prairie du Chien
The Museum of Prairie du Chien is a modern building with exhibits on the historic development of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin's second oldest city. A few of our current exhibit topics are listed below:
- Flood of 1965: 50th Anniversary Exhibit
- Prairie du Chien in the War of 1812
- Prehistoric Fossil Collection from Phil Burgess
- American Indian Artifacts and Spearpoints from Al Reed
- The Arrival of the Railroad in 1857
- Clamming on the Mississippi River, early 1900s
- Historic Local Schools including Campion High & St. Mary's Academy
- Employment and Shopping in early Prairie du Chien
The Visitor Center includes the ticket office, visitor information, and a museum store, which carries a wide variety of gifts and books on local history. The Visitor Center also contains a library with books on medical history.