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NRHS Cedar Rapids to Newton Steam Eastbound Trip 6/20/2012 Part 2

by Chris Guenzler

The train arrived at Newton and I walked forward to the engine.

Here is the train at Newton. I found Nathan who had been chasing our train today.

NRHS President Greg Molloy accepts a proclamation from the Mayor of Newton. We set up for the Photo Runbys at the east end along the east sidewalk.

Backup move 1.

They had brought in a Minneapolis 20 Horsepower Steam Engine from the Jaspar County Historical Museum.

Photo Runby 1 at Newton.

That Minneapolis 20 Horsepower Steam Engine again.

Back up move 2 at Newton.

Photo Runby 2 at Newton.

Back up move 3 at Newton.

The QJ 6988 is returned to the Newton Steam shop. We then left Newton and started back to Cedar Rapids with me working on the story and then relaxing talking with friends. It was another fantastic trip by our NRHS 2012 Convention Staff for all our passengers. We arrived at Smith-Dow Yard at 5:20 PM.

While I would like to do all events at the NRHS 2012 Convention, certain non rail events always go on during the railroad events. Below is the information for the one that took place during our steam run today.

Cedar Rapids Heritage Tour

Cedar Rapids is a unique city, combining heavy industry, rural farms, ethnic neighborhoods, and historic attractions into a single community. This guided tour introduces you to Cedar Rapids, including stops at Veterans Memorial Park, Brucemore Mansion and Gardens (a National Trust Historic Site), National Czech and Slovak Museum and community, and Usher's Ferry.

Veterans Memorial Park was created by a community election in 1925, and today includes the Veterans Memorial Building, with the Memorial Window, Memorial Auditorium and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Memorial Window was designed by the famed artist Grant Wood, stands 24 feet high and 20 feet wide and is made up of 10,000 small pieces of stained glass fitted together with lead. It depicts the 16-foot tall Lady of Mourning, high in the clouds, with the palm branch of peace in one hand and laurel wreath of Victory in the other. She looks down upon 6 life size figures in uniform of the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish American War and World War I. Insignias of the U. S. Marines, Army and Navy border the window. Around the park can be found memorials to veterans of all wars since the building of the Veterans Memorial Building.

Brucemore, a Queen Anne style mansion known as "Fairhome" when it was built in 1886, is a museum and so much more. As a community cultural center, Brucemore's 26-acre site is alive with concerts, festivals, performances, and activities. Brucemore features exhibits of photographs, artifacts, and home movies to explain the history of the families and servants that lived at Brucemore. Of particular interest is Howard Hall's "behind-the-scenes" footage of the movie Gone with the Wind, thanks to his friendship with Paul Robinson, whose wife Ann was the stand-in for Olivia de Haviland.

The National Czech and Slovak Museum celebrates the lives of the immigrants that moved to Cedar Rapids to work in the mills and factories. While the Museum was severely damaged by the 2008 flooding, its artifacts are on display throughout the community and are still used to explain much of the history of Cedar Rapids.

Ushers Ferry Historic Village features 20 historic buildings that depict life in a small Iowa town between the years of 1890 and 1910. The original Ushers Ferry was not actually a town, but a ferry boat crossing located approximately a quarter of a mile up river from the current village site. The Usher family was among the earliest settlers in Linn County, with Dyer Usher arriving in this valley as early as 1836 to establish a ferry across the Cedar River which operated until the 1860s. Today, Ushers Ferry is operated by the Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Department and is still recovering from the 2008 floods.

That is what we did at the 2012 NRHS Cedar Rapids NRHS Convention on this date.

Nathan picked me up off the train and on the way out of Smith-Dow Yard we spotted something to take pictures of.

Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railroad 122.

Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railroad Slug 125. From here we went to Applebee's where I had a nine ounce steak. After that we drove over to the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railroad Shops.

Overview of the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railroad Shops.

Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railroad 132.

Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railroad Slug 126.

Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railroad 132 and Slug 126.

Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railroad Slug 136.

One more view. We returned to the Motel 6 where I put up the story and called it an early night.