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The Drive Across Iowa 5/19/2021

by Chris Guenzler

Elizabeth and I woke up at the Best Western Steeplegate Inn and after we did our morning preparations, checked out and drove over to the Machine Shed Restaurant where I had French Toast and sausage patties and Elizabeth had sausage, eggs, hash browns and toast with jam. I drove us to West Liberty and the first stop of the day.

The Rock Island West Liberty station built in 1897. Now we will look at the steam engine that was not here in 2012.

P.T. Clifford and Son 0-4-0ST 2056 built in 1925 which used to be at McMillan Park at Midwest Old Threshers in Mt. Pleasant.

Station scene.

Rock Island caboose 17030 on display. It was built in 1913 as a boxcar, converted to a caboose in 1940 and purchased from a museum in Adair, Iowa.

A crossing frog diamond and a track maintenance flat car.

The sign in front of the station. From here we went to Lone Tree.

The Rock Island Lone Tree station, now a community center. We next drove to the Kalona Historical Society Museum.

I took this picture before we discussed with the director if we could just take pictures of the depot, to which she agreed.

The Rock Island Kalona station built by Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Northern in 1879.

My lovely and intelligent wife and the Kalona station.

The sign for this unique depot. We continued on our journey this morning to Washington.

The Milwaukee Road freight house in Washington.

The Milwaukee Road station in Washington which is now the Hobo Hotel.

The modern Rock Island station here.

Santa Fe caboose 999023 is part of the Hobo Hotel.

At the fairgrounds was the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy station built in 1894. Our next stop was Rubio.

The Milwaukee Road station in Rubio. I drove us next to Hedrick.

The uniquely-shaped Milwaukee Road/Minneapolis and St. Louis Railroad Hedrick station. Next we drove to Hamilton for our first covered bridge in Iowa.

The Hammond Covered Bridge outside of Hamilton over North Cedar Creek and built in 1894. From here we went to Knoxville and Marion County Park.

The Wabash station from Bussey, sixteen miles away, is now restored and on display in Knoxville.

The Bussey depot sign. Now we would find the covered bridge in this park.

The Marysville Covered Bridge built in 1891. It came from Marysville, Iowa, fifteen miles southeast of Knoxville. It is under reconstruction. We were going to try and photograph all seven covered bridges in Madison County. As we neared it, I noticed storms brewing to south moving toward us. I had Elizabeth check the weather and wanting to avoid it, we made the decision to drive straight to Winterset. We stopped the Chamber of Commerce and picked up four bridges of Madison County maps for future use. We then drove to the closest covered bridge in town.

The Cutler-Donahoe Covered Bridge built in 1871, in Winterset City Park.

My unique and loving wife and the bridge. Next we went and found the station in town and as we did this, it started to rain.

The Rock Island Winterset station located at the Madison County Historical Society historic village. We left Winterset and got just north of town when the rain stopped so we were lucky with our plan.

As you can see from these pictures, these storms can be quite nasty with torrential rain. Our next stop was Greenfield.

The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy station from Fontanelle, five miles west of Greenfield, on display at the Heritage Center Museum. Now we went to find the other depot in town.

The storms were heading toward us again.

The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy brick station which has been gutted, in Greenfield. Our last stop of the day was in Carson.

The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy station from Macedonia, 3.4 miles south of Carson. From here I drove us to Council Bluffs where we had dinner at the Texas Roadhouse before we checked into the Best Western Crossroads at the Bluff. After checking our e-mail, we wrote the Celebration Belle story then retired for the night.