During the War of 1812, the British had a military installation at Rock Island, about 100 miles north on the Mississippi River. To counter the British presence in the area, the US built two forts on the bluffs above the Mississippi at Warsaw. Neither fort is in existence today, but a monument was erected in 1914 on the bluff site of Fort Edwards.
- built in 1814 by Major (later President) Zachary Taylor
- abandoned soon after
- named for Ninian Edwards, first governor of the state of Illinois
- erected in 1817
- protected movement of supplies up the Mississippi
- US fur trading post from 1818-1822
- from 1822-1832 was part of John Jacob Astor's American Fur Company
Warsaw was surveyed in 1834 by speculators who thought the area would become important in manufacturing and shipping on the Mississippi River. Today, a large section of Warsaw in on the National Register of Historic Places.
Warsaw Brewing Company in Warsaw was the home of Burgemeister Beer.