IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

Northeast Iowa Hills
A Picture Guide to Allamakee and Clayton Counties

by Apple Jack

Page 2

Luana Luana is located on U.S. Highways 18 and 52 between Postville and Monona. Of special interest to the traveler is the little park in the center of town between the highway and railroad tracks. There are two fireplaces and two tables here with water available. Luana has two service stations, one with major mechanical repairs, a cafe, a tavern, 2 churches, Lutheran and Methodist and a hardware store. There are no formal camping facilities in the area. Population in 1960—276.

Luana City Park

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Top: Lock and Dam no. 10 on  Mississippi - Bottom: US Fisheries Aquarium

Guttenberg, Iowa & U.S. Lock and Dam no. 10 on  Mississippi river

Guttenberg—An old German town with an old German name, it contains many of the oldest homes in the two-county area, as well as many of the newest (with the best views). U.S. Highway 52 has been designated the Hiawatha-Pioneer route and Great River Road through Guttenberg. Of particular interest to Guttenberg visitors is the U.S. Lock and Dam no. 10 on the Mississippi where you can watch the heavy barges as they pass through on their way to the Twin Cities to the North, and as far as New Orleans down river. The U.S. Fisheries Aquarium and Hatchery presents a thorough selection of American fresh water fish, live and on free (and cool) display.

Among other things of interest in Guttenberg are the replica of the famous Gutenburg Bible at the Guttenberg Press, and the Import Shop. The area around Guttenberg is a hunter’s and fisher’s paradise, with deer hunting, duck hunting, small game hunting, fishing in the channels and backwaters of the Mississippi in the summer and through the ice in the winter. Boating, water skiing, and river camping offer fun to all.

Left: Import Shop - Right: Public boat launch

North of town on the island is the Municipal Airport, with a 2600 foot N-S runway. lt is lighted and has some storage and fuel available.

Guttenberg has a public dock and launching ramp on the Mississippi in the north end of town. The commercial dock north is Honey’s. They have room for 100 boats under roof and about 25 without roof. There is a restaurant, and fuel, ice and bait for sale. For fishermen, another operator has about 25 boats for rent, and bait etc. for sale.

Guttenberg, without a doubt, has the longest riverfront park anywhere in the two counties. From the north to the south end, I counted 58 picnic tables, many park benches, fireplaces and water. Near the boat dock on the north end is a public park near Lakeside Ballroom, where there are 12 tables, water, telephone and toilets. Camping and trailer parking is permitted near this area.

In Guttenberg there are 7 service stations, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile and Pontiac, Ford Dealers, and a Used Car Dealer. Also there are 3 hardware stores, 2 supermarkets and a grocery store, a drug store, barber and beauty shops, 6 taverns, including Lakeside, 3 motels (on the north hill, the south hill, and in town), a hotel in town, 7 cafes (including the hotel) and 5 churches—Methodist, American Lutheran, Catholic, United Lutheran and Trinity Lutheran. There is a hospital in town, too.

South of town, turn off the hill and there is Hansel’s with 4 cabins for rent, 17 covered wet slips, 10 boats and motors for rent, camping and trailer parking at $1.00 per night. He has soft drinks, bait, tackle and a launching ramp.

Guttenberg waterfront

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Mississippi river bridge at Marquette Marquette

On the Mississippi two miles North of McGregor, in fact, known as North McGregor for many years, Marquette was, at one time, the busiest railroad yards for miles around but is now operating at reduced activity. New on the riverfront are the Pink Elephant Supper Club and New Frontier Motel shown above. The town has a grocery store, drive-in lunch, hardware store, 2 service stations, (one with major repair work), 2 hotels with restaurants, a motel, supper club, two taverns, a sundry store and a lumberyard. Down on the river Joe has room for thirty-two boats in wet slips, regular and marine fuel, light tackle, candy, snacks, soft drinks, bait, block and cube ice and a launching ramp. There is also a public ramp. You can buy American Indian curios from a genuine Indian lady in Marquette. Population 1960—572.

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Littleport is another little town on the Volga River halfway between Mederville and Garber-Elkport. This town was built on the area used by the Indians for pow-wow ceremonies and is reached by traveling the paved county road which intersects Highway 13 three miles South of Elkader. Littleport has two grocery stores, a hardware store, Plymouth-Chrysler-Valiant dealer, and 2 taverns. There is a softball diamond and Lutheran and Catholic churches. The area near the churches and school can be used for picnics. There is no formal camping area. As is the case with all the valley towns the scenery in the surrounding area is terrific.

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McGregor main street

Moody's Museum, McGregor

McGregor grain elevator

McGregor is nestled down between the hills on the Mississippi in Northeast Clayton County. Driving down main street, occasionally one can see the river barges passing at the foot of the street where main street abruptly becomes the river.

Against a rich history of river trade, McGregor offers new interests in boating, water skiing, and fishing. New shops and unique old shops intrigue those who visit here. In McGregor proper there are four park areas—down on the waterfront there are 9 picnic tables, near the center of town behind the library there is a little park with 3 tables and swings, on the west end is a park with 11 tables and three fire grills, and between the riverfront area and the center park is a small area which contains the most complete tourist information booth for miles around.

McGregor is surrounded by park areas. Just west of town is the Clayton County Conservation Commission area with 7 tables, 3 fire grills, and toilet facilities. From McGregor you climb to Pikes Peak State Park south of town, and up to the Heights Summer Area north of town.

In McGregor there are 6 service stations, a body shop, 4 cafes, 1 drive-in, 4 taverns, beauty shops and barber shops, a summer hotel, a regular hotel, 3 motels, cabins for rent at the Heights, coin operated laundry, drug store, 2 marine sales, selling boats and motors. Of particular interest are the shell shop and other special gift shops. There are also a hardware store, and a lumberyard. Churches—Methodist, Lutheran, Catholic and Congregational.

Just North of the new grain elevator and terminal, pictured here, Art’s Boat Lansing has wet slips, bait, fuel, fishing boats for rent, a dock for cruisers, and soft drinks.

McGregor waterfront

McGregor has a public boat ramp. ln addition, Elk Boat Line operates a facility that can take up to 40 on boat rides. They maintain covered wet slips for 35 boats and sell marine and reg. fuel, can dock cruisers, sell soft drinks, block ice and rent fishing boats, motors and sell bait. Elk docks the Boat which carries folks out to Indian Isle, a most interesting supper club located in the center of the Mississippi River. Art Schade maintains wet slips for about a half dozen houseboats, downstream a short distance. Up north, Meyer’s Boatels rent 15 houseboats, has room for 20 more private houseboats, and 12 smaller craft. In addition to the usual facilities he has shower and washer-dryer units.

Moody’s Musical Museum is of interest to young and old on the west end of town.

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Monona city park
Monona, Iowa
Monona is located on U.S. 18 and 52 along the old post road from Ft. Crawford in Wisconsin to Fort Atkinson to the West.

Monona has two grocery stores, five service stations, 2 new car dealers (Ford and Chevrolet) two hardware stores, a drug store, coin operated laundry with dry cleaning, beauty and barber shops, 3 restaurants, a drive-in on the highway, three taverns, motel, lumber yard, a municipal swimming pool on the Southwest side, and four churches—Lutheran, Methodist, EUB, and Catholic. A fifth, Church of the Nazarene, is under construction. Population in 1960—1346.

Monona municipal swimming pool

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Summer scene near Mederville
Mederville is another case of perhaps more "place" than "town". lt is located along the Volga River a few miles off Highway 13.

There is gas available and a tavern in town. There is no park to my knowledge and no formal camping ground.

You cross a photogenic little bridge near the ruins of an old mill on the Volga River at this point.

The scenery is terrific around this town especially up from the river valley to the South. The photo (left, bottom) of a typical summer scene was taken near Mederville in Clayton County.

Ruins of Mederville Mill on the Volga river

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St. Olaf

St. Olaf. Many of the folks in this little town are as Norwegian as smorgasbord which you probably guessed from the name of the town. At Norway Church West of town an annual smorgasbord is an annual event. St. Olaf is a good place to visit for groceries and supplies if you are camping at the Big Spring Fish Hatchery. The town has a grocery store, service station, tavern and hardware store. There is a Lutheran chapel in town and the church mentioned to the West. At the softball diamond on the East side there are two picnic tables and toilets. During the summer camping is allowed on the school ground, (South end of town) and there is playground equipment there. Population in 1960—169.

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Motor Mill, near Communia From this "place", once the center of an early experimental communistic or communal social attempt in the nineteenth century, you can go to Motor Mill.

Communia general store follows the pattern of those in the area. Generally they are open because the folks that run them live there. Mostly they sell gasoline, groceries, soft drinks, beer, and sundries. Communia is located on the county pavement that takes you to Littleport, Elkport and Garber off state 13 South of Elkader.

Near the store at Communia is a picnic table sponsored by the Do-R-Best Club. lt’s a nice spot and the club is to be commended for their effort.


~source: undated booklet, ca1960's, written by "Apple Jack"
~scanned & transcribed by Errin Wilker.


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