Time Machine

The original breweries

The Christian Magnus Eagle Brewery and Bottling Works put out 25,000 barrels of 4.5 percent beer when it was in full production in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
The brewery was built in 1859 by Jacob Wetzel, who hired Christian Magnus, the s [...]

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Remembering Alamo Park C.R.’s first amusement park

Spectators were fascinated by the installation of the $5,000 merry-go-round and Ferris wheel at the new 18-acre Alamo Amusement Park on the west side of Cedar Rapids in 1906. The hilltop installation of the Ferris wheel was designed to give [...]

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Nathan Brown:

Springville´s Revolutionary War connection
The Honorable Horace Nathan Brown contracted with Krebs Bros. in 1886 to create a monument for his family´s plot at the Springville Cemetery.
Krebs Bros. advertised as a “dealer i [...]

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Last passenger trains

When the Minneapolis-St. Louis Rock Island Rocket No. 190 pulled out of the Rock Island Depot shortly after 10 p.m. on April 8, 1967, passenger rail service ended in Cedar Rapids.

The Rock Island had been operating passenger service for Ceda [...]

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Service Above Self: Rotary’s century in C.R.

Rotary in Cedar Rapids officially marks its 100th year in April.
It began with 18 men meeting at the Montrose Hotel for lunch March 23, 1914, to lay out preliminary plans for the Cedar Rapids Rotary Club.
Clubs from Des Moines, Sioux City [...]

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The Davis Hotel

The old Davis Hotel, a long, narrow building on the corner of Washington and Gilbert streets in downtown Iowa City, seems unremarkable. It houses the Full Kit skate shop, offices and apartments. It acquired the name Davis Hotel in the 1950s after [...]

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The town of Kenwood Park

Isaac Carroll brought his family from Hamilton, Canada, in 1839 to become one of Eastern Iowa’s pioneers.

When the Carrolls reached the Cedar River, they built a cabin. The banks of the river were too sandy to grow crops so the family claime [...]

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Cedar Rapids’ first Christmas tree

On the cold, wintry nights surrounding Christmas 1913, passengers on the Milwaukee train pulling into the grand Union Station in Cedar Rapids were treated to a wonderful sight.

There, in the middle of Greene Square, directly opposite the tra [...]

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Beardsley Ruml, author of federal tax deductions

Each time you see the federal tax deduction on your paycheck, think of tax economist and Cedar Rapids native Beardsley Ruml, who authored a method of tax payment called "pay-as-you-go" that was adopted by Congress in the Tax Payment Act of 1943. continue »


Prospect Place: The tale of a West-Side hospital

Real estate broker James Carleton Young saw huge potential for the land when he bought Sam Johnson’s farm on the west side of the Cedar River in the 1880s. He divided the land into lots, subsidized transportation to the area and began promoting th [...]

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The Ellis Boat Harbor

CEDAR RAPIDS — Thomas Kelty wasn’t happy that a man and a group of boys from Time Check had decided to swim nude between the boat landings at his property in the Manhattan area near Ellis Park in the summer of 1901. He purchased several boxes of e [...]

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Cedar Lake: Industry vs. recreation

When spring arrived in 1912, the Milwaukee Railroad began its filling operation on the Cedar Rapids body of water commonly known as the slough, but also called Cedar Lake.

The construction of the Milwaukee yards took more than five years, bu [...]

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‘The Slough,’ aka Cedar Lake

[Editor’s note: First in a two-part series on Cedar Lake. Next week: Cedar Lake recreation versus railroads.]

The marshy lake in the middle of town once played host to American Indians, who found its shores amenable for trapping. It [...]

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Kresge’s to Kmart: A century in Cedar Rapids

Judge N.M Hubbard had just purchased the Waterhouse Building on the corner of First Avenue and South Third Street when he died in June 1902.

The property, known at the time as the Taft Corner, was occupied by the successful John Taft Co. dry [...]

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Airmail comes to the Corridor

With email, texting, Facebook and Twitter, it’s hard to imagine that at one time the fastest way to get a letter from someone was by air.

The United States Postal Service began experimenting with short airmail routes, mainly along the East C [...]

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