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Monthly Archives: August 2021


“Youth is wasted on the young”. — George Bernard Shaw

There’s a story behind this poster, advertising a band performing at the Yellow Brick Roadhouse — way back in 2010. Wish I’d been able to be there. The graphics, not incidentally, are by friend-of-the-project Jeremiah Johnson.

Le Manoir d’Ango

On the coast of Normandy, not far from Dieppe, is the Manor House of d’Ango, built circa 1530–1545 by Jehan Ango. Italian craftsmen built the house and outbuildings in a style of masonry similar to what I know as Plantagenet masonry from the vicinity of Angers. Apparently they are unrelated.

What interests me, of course, it the aggressive patterning of each style and how they might have been an influence on William Halsey Wood, designer in 1889 of the second Fennimore County courthouse.

And to think that just a few years ago I was within a mile or so of this amazing example of masonry construction. My friend Richard and I were at Varengeville-sur-Mer to see a country house by Sir Edwin Lutyens and literally had to drive by this on the way.

The round thingy, by the way, is a dovecote — filled with guano for fertilizer.

Toward an NITC Timetable

When the Northwest Iowa Traction Co. opened in the Fall of 1909, the line extended from Ft. Dodge (where it connected with the Ft. Dodge, Des Moines & Southern) to Storm Lake, with a projected westward extension that remained unsettled as they negotiated for right-of-way. Eventually they projected an arc southwest to Sioux City.

By late 1910 the company had leased a right-of-way (some an existing rail line and some parallel with a section-line highway) into Cherokee. The trick was avoiding bridge construction over the Little Sioux River. So by New Years Day 1911 the first run made its way from Cherokee to Ft. Dodge, a distance of about eighty-eight miles in slightly less than two hours. If negotiations had progressed, the line would have continued another fifty-one miles to Sioux City.

Barnum and Grou were flag stops; at Fahnstock there was a seasonal spur to “Resort”, the rural community on the east shore of Sturm und Drang. In Agincourt the interurban shared track with the city trolley system, a lopsided figure-eight with two short spurs, one to the cemeteries, the other to the Fennimore County Fairgrounds, where the interurban cars could run when required by charters and for special events.

Depots along the way would have varied — this is me writing in the “now” — with some stops utilizing the existing railway depots but some smaller stops (like the Grou flag stop) would have had custom designs, with luck providing a sort of corporate image. I’ve already designed the “headquarters” facility at Agincourt but the others have yet to come from someone else’s imagination.

Typical timetables could read both up and down, depending which way the car was moving. Both distance and time were noted, which means a lot of interpolation for me based on examples I can find on the web or, possibly, on eBay.

Fort Dodge — 0

Tara — 6.5

Barnum (f) — 3.0

Manson — 9.0

Pomeroy — 7.5

Grou (f) — 5.0

Agincourt — 9.0

Industry (f) — 1.0

Fahnstock — 8.0

<Resort> — 8.0

Newell — 7.5

Storm Lake — 12.0

Alta — 6.0

Aurelia — 6.5

Cherokee — 8.0

Marcus — this and the following stations were only projected

Remsen —

LeMars —

Merrill —

Hinton —

James —

Sioux City —