A Dubuque tradition returns to the Mathias Ham Historic Site this Independence Day with the annual Audrey Hammer 4th of July Ice Cream Social. The event takes place on July 4 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at 2241 Lincoln Ave. in Dubuque.

Named for long-time Ham Site tour guide in 2022, Hammer’s legacy lives on at an event she volunteered at annually. A former teacher, Hammer had a passion for education and service to community.

Attendees will enjoy live music by The Americana Band. Victorian games will be held in the yard for children including sack races, horseshoes, jacks, and more. Crafts will also take place as well throughout the day. Following the summer’s theme of “Playing Through History,” Games, toys, and other hobbies will be represented for people to experience. Crafts will be handkerchief doll, puppets, and magic lantern slides.

Free tours of the historic Ham House, the Humke One-Room School House, the replica lead mine, and the Arriandeaux Log Cabin will run from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., with live demonstrations including soap-making, hand-weaving, blacksmith demos, caricature art from Silly Sketch, and thunderous cannon fire adding to the experience of Independence Day. Dick McGrane with SuperHits 106.1 will also be onsite for a live radio broadcast.

This is a family-friendly event. Picnic foods, cakes, and ice cream will be available for purchase and free-will donations will be accepted with all proceeds supporting the Mathias Ham Historic Site.

The Mathias Ham Historic Site extends a thank you to its event sponsors: Prairie Farms for the ice cream, the Americana Band, and QueenB Radio. 

Those who cannot attend the Ice Cream Social can visit the house during the summer until Labor Day Friday-Sunday from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. for guided or self-guided tours of the house and grounds. For more information about the house or upcoming events, visit