Winterset, Iowa
Population: 5,190

“The year 1857 was one of great commercial depression, which brought on a panic that caused disaster throughout the United States. The distressful situation was keenly felt in Winterset and business enterprises of all kinds were brought to a standstill. Many of the pioneer business men were ruined and for some years afterwards the cry of “hard times” was universal. But by the year 1860, the village manifested concrete evidences of recuperation, notwithstanding the dread war clouds that then hovered over the Union. At the expiration of the year six religious societies were holding services in their own churches; there were fourteen lawyers ready to extend their offices to the needy; five implement firms; a bank, book store, barber, three shoe stores, five blacksmith shops, a butcher shop, nine carpenters, a dentist, four drug stores, seven dry goods establishments, twelve groceries, as many as now; three hardware stores, the St. Nicholas and Madison hotels; seven insurance firms, two furniture stores, two firms engaged in real estate deals, a livery stable, three millinery shops, two photograph galleries, ten physicians, two bakeries and restaurants; harness makers, wagon makers, chairniakers, three saloons, Morris Schroeder’s brewery, jewelers, two printing offices, billiard hall, several stone masons, plasterers, brick makers and layers, a tailor, a gunsmith, painters, a veterinary surgeon, so that there was scarcely any article of merchandise needed that the local merchants were not able to supply. The professions were abundantly represented and no one was permitted to go thirsty for lack of a place where stimulants were on tap.”

Road work 2012-04-10 163943 by thejjays on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Traffic jam for at least 1-½ miles just outside of Janesville, Iowa!!! Narrowing to a one-lane road followed by traffic lights is really slowing down traffic during rush hour.

This could go on for a while!!!!!

This phase of the highway work narrows the road to 1 lane. They are taking up the outside lane and will rebuild it to connect to the new road. Then the traffic will be directed there While they tear up the other northbound lane and connect that to the new highway. Then for a short distance everyone going north will use part of the new highway. At the lights they will be directed back to the old highway.


In the Midwest, ‘Construction Season’ is no joke - generally jammed between Spring and Summer. Some say we have so much road work because we get a hard frost with plenty of moisture - which is hard on roads. Personally, I like to think it’s because we all spend so much time driving on 'em to get everywhere, they better be nice otherwise people will complain!


What Will Tomorrow Look Like in Central Iowa? - Presentation by William Fulton and Smart Growth America

Shameless plug for my hometown of Des Moines! I’m immensely happy that the leaders of Des Moines and Central Iowa have undertaken The Tomorrow Plan. As I, and most central Iowans will tell you, the Des Moines area was an incredible place to grow up and a great place to live - but as any urbanist can tell you, there’s always room for improvement. This video shows a presentation by William Fulton - a contributor to Smart Growth America and former mayor of Ventura, CA - to the leaders of The Tomorrow Plan about the future growth in the region.

Bonus: the presentation was held in the newly refurbished Hall of Laureates in downtown Des Moines - a fantastic example of what can happen when passionate citizens care enough to fight for great urbanism in their city.