|Great Annual Model A Ride Around Iowa|
GAMARAI XVIII - August 22nd - 25th
Summary of the Trip
The Iowa Gold Star Museum displays the history of military experience of Iowa citizens. It includes a section on the Iowa State Patrol. A major addition has been constructed since our last visit here with interesting new displays. The museum is located at Camp Dodge just northwest of Des Moines. The military training grounds was started in 1909 and played a major role in training troops for WWI. It was an induction site for 118,000 soldiers. Following WWI it became the headquarters for the Iowa National Guard. Today it is the joint maneuver training center and has evolved into one of America’s finest training facilities.
The Dragoon Trail follows the path of the country’s first mounted infantry unit on their historic march in 1835 to scout Iowa after the Black Hawk purchase of 1812. The march led to the establishment of outposts across central Iowa. We will travel part of this 200 mile trail.
Des Moines and areas northwest were rich in coal in the early 20th century. Madrid has a rich coal history and its museum contains an underground replica of a coal mine and other historical artifacts, as well as a collection of more than 1000 dolls and toys.
The Iowa Arboretum has a large and diverse display of plants that are grown in Iowa. Hopefully it will be in full bloom at the time of our visit. We will enjoy our first lunch here.
On our way to Carroll we will see a number of brightly painted barn quilts. Near Carroll we will visit an amazing display of stuffed animals that were hunted by a local man throughout the world. We will spend our first night in Carroll.
On Friday morning we will start our journey on the Lincoln Highway to commemorate the 100th anniversary of America’s first paved transcontinental road, mostly on the original route. We will see original highway markers and the Lincoln Highway association has worked hard the past nine years to mark the route and see that some building have been preserved. We will see old service stations and motor courts. Danger Hill west of Jefferson was known for its steep incline and muddy conditions with a narrow bridge at the bottom.
Grand Junction is one of the most interesting Lincoln Highway towns. The Association has an office here and several early 1900 buildings have been preserved. Just east of the town we will see a series of aligned bridges, two road bridges and a railroad bridge. A new Lincoln Highway park and information center is a must stop.
The Kate Shelly memorial bridge can be seen from our route. Kate was a young girl in 1881, who, during a severe thunderstorm crawled on her hands and knees across a 670 foot long railroad bridge 50 feet above a swollen creek to warn an approaching passenger train of danger ahead. The old bridge she crawled across is no longer there, but the railroad station at Moingona still stands a few miles south of the Lincoln Highway.
In Boone we will visit the birthplace home of former First Lady Mamie Eisenhower. The Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad is a favorite tourist attraction and provides a two hour train ride through some beautiful Des Moines River country. For those who have not been here, it may be a treat. The club has been here several times, but since last time there is a new museum building housing a private collection of railroad artifacts.
Iowa State University has a beautiful campus. We will drive past modern learning facilities, original dormitories, student union and the campanile bell tower. Being an agriculture university and one of the oldest land grant colleges in the U.S., there is a vast variety of trees and plants to enjoy. Ames will be our second night’s stay on the Lincoln Highway.
Niland Corner near Colo is the junction of the Jefferson and Lincoln Highways. We will stop to tour the remodeled Standard gas station, café and motel and a mid- morning coffee break.
State Center is known as the rose capital of Iowa. Watson’s Grocery Store was built in 1885 and served the town for nearly 100 years. The store was boarded up for a decade until a local citizens group raised funds to buy and renovate the store. Inside you will find original furnishings and lots of period grocery items on display, a preserved early 1900s grocery store.
East of Marshalltown is a tree house, not just any tree house, but a 12 level 60 foot high tree house. It is wired for electricity and has a refrigerator, running water and a good sound system. We have been here before, but the structure had grown to new heights and features. There are so many nooks and crannies; you could spend the whole day exploring the decks that have been built over the past two decades. Don’t ever tell your son or grandson he can’t do something. He may prove you wrong, as this man did to his parents.
Tama is best known for its Meskwaki Indian settlement. After the Blackhawk war in 1832, the Indian tribes of central Iowa were forced to move to Kansas. Many did not survive. About 300 Indians remained behind. In 1857 they purchased their first 80 acres from the government along the banks of the Iowa River. Today the Meskwaki Indians own a total of 7000 acres and their own settlement, NOT a reservation. They also built and operate a casino and hotel where we will spend our last night on the Lincoln Highway.
The Lincoln Highway Bridge in Tama was built in 1915. The concrete joists spell out LINCOLN HIGHWAY. There is only one other bridge like it between New York and San Francisco.
The Maxwell museum has two buildings with over 15,000 items. Well worth the stop on Sunday morning. Lunch will be provided here before we head back to Des Moines.
This site was last updated 06/08/13