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Depots in Missouri and Depots and Covered Bridges in Iowa 8/23/2022

by Chris Guenzler

Elizabeth and I woke up at the Depot Inn and Suites, relaxed, and after doing our usual morning Internet browsing, I drove us to Pancake City in Kirksville where we had a very good breakfast. We changed our plans today and headed west from Kirksville where I spotted a caboose I had previously found in 2011.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy caboose 13979 in Novinger, which we do not believe is CB&Q but cannot locate its history. I next drove us to Green City and our first station.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Green City station built circa 1800's and belonged to the Quincy, Omaha and Kansas City Railroad. The Iowa and Saint Louis Railroad was formed in 1901 with the intent to run from Centerville, Iowa to Saint Louis, Misouri. Coal was prolific in the Chariton River Valley; in some cases, it was so close to the ground surface in the valley that most farms had their own mines to extract what they needed and sell the rest. The I&StL was built for this purpose: hauling coal from the Chariton River Valley. Other commodities included timber, general freight and also passenger service. The I&StL reached as far north as Sedan, IA, via trackage rights on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific. The southern end was at Mercyville, Missouri, a half-mile northeast of Elmer, MO, where the Santa Fe had a station.

One of the main facilities of the I&StL was at Novinger, where the railroad crossed tracks with the Quincy, Omaha and Kansas City Railroad. There was a large yard for handling freight cars interchanged with the QO&KC. In addition, several steam locomotives were stationed at Novinger for local runs to both the north and south, as well as switching duties at the yard and the QO&KC interchange. While there was a roundhouse and locomotive shop at Novinger, most of the heavy maintenance was performed at the shops in Milan, Missouri. The I&StL was subsequently bought by the QO&KC; both railroads were finally merged into the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy.

Something I have never seen, a caboose porch. From here, I drove us to Milan.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Milan station built in 1882, also originally belonging to the Quincy, Omaha and Kansas City Railroad.

Burlington Northern caboose 11443 built by the Northern Pacific Railroad at their Brainerd, Minnesota shops in 1954 as Spokane, Portland, and Seattle Railroad 891. When SP&S merged into Burlington Northern in March 1970, it was re-numbered 11443, at which time it was painted BN green and yellow with white lettering. In its final service, it was marked for "local service only" and numbered 61487. In 1984 the caboose was donated to the Sullivan County Historical Society and has been restored and placed on display at the depot which is now a railroad museum.

I then drove us north to Centerville, Iowa for the next station and caboose.

Burlington Northern caboose 11396, orginally Northern Pacific 10050, built in 1954.

Burlington Northern signal.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Centerville station built in 1911. We continued our station hunting and entered the town of Leon.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Leon station built in 1912. Making our way west, Weldon was next.

There is a Chicago, Burlington and Quincy signal here.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy wooden box car of unknown number.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy caboose 13549 built by the railroad in 1954.

Weldon section house.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy station built in 1881. We next went to Osceola.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Osceola station built in 1907, a stop on Amtrak's California Zephyr route. It was now time to finish the covered bridges in Iowa, this set being in Madison County, which we started last year.

St. Charles, Gateway to the Covered Bridges.

Imes Covered Bridge information board.

Imes Covered Bridge, the oldest of the remaining covered bridges, was built in 1870 and is 81 feet in length. It was originally located over the Middle River west of Patterson. In 1887 it was moved to a spot over Clinton Creek southwest of Hanley, then moved again to its present location over a natural ravine just east of St. Charles in 1977. We drove over to the next bridge in logical geographic order.

The Holliwell Covered Bridge information board.

Holliwal Covered Bridge built in 1880 by Harvey P. Jones and George K. Foster, is the longest covered bridge, measuring 122 feet. It remains in its original site over the Middle River southeast of Winterset. I drove us to the Cedar Covered Bridge.

Cedar River Covered Bridge, which was originally built in 1883, moved in 1921 and was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. It was one of the bridges used in the 1995 film "The Bridges of Madison County" and destroyed by arson in 2002. The second covered Cedar Bridge was built in 2004 but was destroyed by arson in 2017. This current version was again rebuilt in 2019.

Our bridge tour continued as we made our way to Hogback Covered Bridge.

Hogback Covered Bridge built in 1884, crossed North River, and was named after a nearby limestone ridge.

The information board for the Hogback Covered Bridge. I drove us out to the last covered bridge in Iowa.

Elizabeth at the Roseman Covered Bridge.

Informational board for the Roseman Covered Bridge.

Roseman Covered Bridge built in 1883 across Middle River was called Oak Grove bridge. We headed north towards Interstate 80 then took Iowa 92 and Iowa 25, crossing the Iowa Interstate tracks and getting lucky at Stuart.

Iowa Interstate Norfolk Southern 8505. Elizabeh then drove us to Council Bluffs where we had dinner at Arby's before ending our day at the Best Western Crossroad Inn.