Office of Location and Environment

Cultural resources - historic publications

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Bowstring Arch Bridges of Iowa (2004)

The graceful form of the bowstring arch bridge is a reminder of the economy and elegance of the bridge technology in the 1870s and '80s. The bowstring arch was popular for a short time and ushered the way to newer, sturdier truss bridge types. Today there are only 20 bowstrings surviving in Iowa. You can find photos and maps to their locations.
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Clinton, Iowa: Railroad Town (2003)

Clinton, Iowa: Railroad Town
Clinton, Iowa: Railroad Town
Large file - 154MB
Clinton, Iowa, one of the first railroad crossings over the Mississippi River, has been a major gateway to the Great Plains and beyond since 1859. For more than 100 years, the railroads employed thousands and supported a good quality of life in Clinton. Railroad activities peaked both nationally and in Clinton during and after World War II. By the 1990s, the Union Pacific was redeveloping their railroad facilities adjacent to Camanche Avenue and U.S. Highway 30. The legacy of the railroad in Clinton has been preserved in this study.
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Hibernia: An Irish Immigrant Neighborhood in Burlington, Iowa (2000)

Hibernia is mostly a memory today as is so many immigrant neighborhoods. However, there are several guideposts to the past that still witness to the history of years gone by, such as St. Patrick's Church, a beacon reflecting the Irish Catholic heritage. Murray Iron Works and the Embalming Burial Case Company and the worker's homes on the surrounding streets witness to the industrial/employee relationship of the past.
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Indian Creek Channel (2010)

Council Bluffs, Iowa, 1936. Plagued for nearly a century by perennial flooding of Indian Creek, the City begins construction on a massive channelization project designed to confine the creek to its banks. Funded largely through a grant from the recently established Public Works Administration (PWA), the Indian Creek Channel, upon its completion two years later, would become the largest PWA undertaking in the State of Iowa. The construction of the Indian Creek Channel reduced both the number and severity of the city's subsequent floods, and profoundly impacted city's sanitary conditions, and both the residential and commercial development in Council Bluffs. The effects of the Indian Creek channelization, both practical and historical, are still realized today.
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Iowa's Historic Automobile Roads (2009)

This thematic study encompasses the components of historic roads related to technology and engineering, materials, construction, identification, and evaluation for Section 106 review purposes.  The overlapping themes outline specific historical, technological, and political periods, trend, and eras relating to highway context evaluation.  The study presents information on how to identify, survey, and document historic roads in Iowa, and evaluate their significance under the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places. 
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Land use within the Loess Hills (2008)

WHEREAS, The Loess Hills of western Iowa represent a resource of significance to the citizens of Iowa and are a recognized land feature of national importance.

WHEREAS, The Loess Hills warrant the highest level of protection oand stewardship by state agencies in carrying out their respective legislative mandates.

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Leading Double Lives: The History of the Double House in Des Moines (2004)

How people choose to live depends on a variety of social and economic circumstances. The double house balances the convenience of an apartment with the psychological comforts of a home. At the turn of the century, double houses were very popular in many cities including Des Moines. This booklet tells the story of such homes in Des Moines.
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Leaner Pork for a Healthier America (2000)

Since 1880, the State of Iowa has been the nation's largest pork producer; however, the popularity of pork throughout the United States has changed over time. The decline of pork among Americans during the 1960s, largely due to changing ideas about diet and the nutritional value of pork, initiated improved breeding practices to produce leaner hogs. By the 1980s, massive marketing efforts promoted pork as a healthy addition to the American dinner table. This booklet tells how the Northeast Iowa Swine Testing Station at New Hampton, Iowa, contributed to this recent chapter in the history of animal husbandry.
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The Lincoln Highway Association's "Object Lessons:" (2004)
The Seedling Mile in Linn County, Iowa

As early as 1913, the Lincoln Highway Association (LHA) proposed a paved roadway from ocean to ocean. There were over a million motor vehicles while the road systems were unreliable, depending upon the weather. Because roadway improvements were initiated at the local level, the LHA encouraged "Seedling Miles" by obtaining corporate sponsors to donate cement to the locals that would pave a one mile segment. This would demonstrate the benefits of hard surface roadways. In 1917, Linn County was assured delivery of 3,000 barrels of concrete for their seedling mile.
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Little Dairy on the Prairie (2005)

Iowa's dairy industry today looks very different from its heritage. Around the turn-of-the-20th century, dairy production moved from homemade cheese and butter production to the industrialization of the dairy farm and opening of cheese factories and butter creameries. The Oneida Cheese Factory in Jones County was archaeologically excavated in 2001. The dairy trends witnessed in Jones County are a microcosm of the larger premier dairy–producing region of northeast Iowa.
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Marsh Rainbow Arch Bridges in Iowa (1997)

The Marsh Rainbow Arch Bridge is a patented bridge design by James Barney Marsh, a graduate of Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (now Iowa State University). Around the turn of the 20 th Century, reinforced concrete was introduced in Iowa as an important new bridge construction material. Marsh used the new technology to encased steel truss arches in concrete to produce a sturdy yet esthetic arch bridge. This booklet touches on the important aspects of Marsh's life, business and industrial contributions.
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Sioux City Grand Avenue Viaduct (2010)

Although nearly 75 years old, the Grand Avenue Viaduct remains an engineering achievement that solved one of Sioux City's worst traffic problems. In the 1930s, Sioux City's new viaduct offered a nearly mile-long colonnade that lifted motorists 28 feet above congested city streets and carried them from one end of the Floyd River industrial valley to the other in a matter of minutes. At a time when urban highways and elevated motorways captivated city planners and the public alike, the Grand Avenue Viaduct brought Sioux City fully into modern automobile age.
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The Wever Bypass Excavations - Highway Archaeology Along the Great River Road in Southeast Iowa (2012)

This is a story about a highway project near the small town of Wever, Iowa, and an American Indian village that existed at the location prior to the Europeans' arrival.  The culture that lived in this village existed in a 10 state region of the Upper Midwest and may have been the ancestors of tribes living in the Midwest when European explorers entered the region. 

An archaeological recovery of information from the site was undertaken by the Iowa Department of Transportation because four-lane construction of U.S. 61 could not be accomplished without destroying most of the site. This site proved to be one of the richest archaeological finds in the State of Iowa.

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Office of Location and Environment | 800 Lincoln Way, Ames, IA 50010
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