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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fort Atkinson in Winneshiek County, Iowa — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

The Block House

Strong Defense

 

— Fort Atkinson State Preserve —

 
The Block House Marker image. Click for full size.
August 17, 2017
1. The Block House Marker
Inscription.  Although no battles were ever fought at Fort Atkinson, it was carefully planned and built to withstand an attack. Two block houses (southwest and northeast corners) which held the fort's four cannons projected out beyond the southwest and northeast corners of the stockade so that soldiers could shoot along the outside walls in two directions. The block house on the northeast corner was built specifically to defend the north and east stockade lines, the Military Road, and the outlying buildings to the north.

Notice that the rifle slits are wider on the inside than the outside. This allowed the soldiers to move to the right or left to take aim, while making it harder for someone to shoot in from the outside.

Fort Atkinson had two mountain howitzers and two "six pounder" cannons (a representative 1840s cannon to the left). The cannon portals are wider on the outside so that the cannon could be aimed over a broad area. The cannon openings had wooden covers that were closed while the cannon was being reloaded. The stone floor allowed the heavy cannons to be moved easily.
 
Erected by Iowa Department

The Block House image. Click for full size.
August 17, 2017
2. The Block House
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of Natural Resources.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Forts and Castles. A significant historical year for this entry is 1840.
 
Location. 43° 8.711′ N, 91° 56.424′ W. Marker is in Fort Atkinson, Iowa, in Winneshiek County. Marker can be reached from 2nd Street west of 8th Avenue, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 303 2nd St, Fort Atkinson IA 52144, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sutler's Store and Post Commissary (within shouting distance of this marker); Guard House (within shouting distance of this marker); South Barracks (within shouting distance of this marker); North Barracks (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); East Officers' Quarters (about 300 feet away); Fort Atkinson (about 400 feet away); Constructing Fort Atkinson (about 400 feet away); Powder House (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Atkinson.
 
The Block House interior image. Click for full size.
August 17, 2017
3. The Block House interior
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 26, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 24, 2021. This page has been viewed 29 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 24, 2021. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 12, 2021