Saturday, January 17, 2015

Dubuque, Iowa

On our way to Dubuque, we encountered a little problem.  The bike rack broke.  Luckily, when it fell, it fell back against the tow bar and jeep and it didn't hit the ground.  But it was still difficult to unravel the pieces and get the bikes off the broken rack.  Then what to do with them.  So, inside the MH it was until our next stop.  Our stay in Dubuque actually was extended while we fixed this little problem.

This county courthouse was built in 1891, replacing the earlier 1839 courthouse.  Dubuque, which resides not only on the Mississippi River, but at the corner of Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin, was founded in 1785 by Julien Dubuque, who came to the area to mine lead.

This jail, now a museum, was built in 1857 and has walls which are 18 inches thick.

The Fenelon Place Elevator is actually a 3 ft narrow gauge railroad, said to be the shortest and steepest railway in the world.  It was originally built for private use by local banker and former senator J. K. Graves in 1882.  It was opened to the public in 1884 and they charged 5 cents a ride.  The first few were made of wood, and after several fires they built the current railway in 1893 using steel tracks and a cable car system which is still in use today.  Sadly, the price is no longer just 5 cents, it is now $1.50 one way, or $2.00 RT.

Dubuque Star Brewery was founded in 1898 and except for prohibition, produced beer until 1999.  Over the years several beer companies owned and operated this brewery, including Dubuque Star Beer, Picketts Premium Beer, Rhomberg Beer and Erlanger Beer among others.  It currently is owned by the city and is under renovation.  A winery and several small stores exist in the building now.

They have left much of the old equipment and the original walls and instruments so it also operates as a museum.

This is my favorite picture of Dubuque.  And yes, it is just that steep.  It seems as if every street is on a different level, coming from the bluff above, all the way down to the river.
Nowadays, the city has spread away from the river as it has grown.  Much of the city is on top of the bluff, including most of its shopping areas.  It is one of the fastest growing cities in the midwest due to the 5 centers for higher education (colleges to all the rest of us).  We stayed in a county park just outside of town.  

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