Showing posts with label Iowa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Iowa. Show all posts

Apr 26, 2013

Idaho and Iowa

It is possibly the only state named due to a hoax. Lobbyist George Willing suggested the name “Idaho” for the new territory claiming it meant 'Gem of the Mountains' in a Native American language. It was later revealed Willing made up the name and the original Idaho territory was re-named Colorado because of it. Eventually the controversy was forgotten, and modern-day Idaho was given the made-up name when the Idaho Territory was formally created in 1863.

Des Moines, Iowa has an even more interesting origin. Two stories persist, the first that it was given the name La Rivière des Moines, literally meaning 'River of the Monks', by early French explorers. The second is that Peoria Indians told the first white settlers their rival tribe living in that area was named the Moingoana, which became the root of Des Moines. 

Indiana University researchers studied the extinct Miami-Illinois language and discovered that Moingoana, translated literally, meant 'shit faces' and agrees with the commonly held notion that the 'Moines' in Des Moines is a French derivation of Moingoana Since neither can be proven, I'll go with the second.

Nov 18, 2011

Fenelon Funicular

The Fenelon Place Elevator in Dubuque, Iowa is an incline railway running 296 feet from bottom to top. It first went into business in 1882, and has been owned by the same family since 1912. It was originally built so workers could get up the hill quickly to go home for lunch. Now visitors take the one dollar ride up the hill for the scenic views.

This year, four inspectors from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) arrived in black vehicles to secure the 'railroad' and conduct inspections and investigations to prevent attacks.

To give you an idea of how far 296 feet is, the farthest baseball throw was 445 feet 10 inches by Glen Gorbous of Canada August 1, 1957 while playing with the St. Louis Cardinals Triple A team.

A funicular is a railway up the side of a mountain pulled by a moving cable and having counterbalancing ascending and descending cars. Yep, that's our government dollars at work. Oh, we are safe. They did not find any security threats or WMDs.

Oct 29, 2010

Land of the Free Land

Some communities need residents. Some need jobs. Some need development. In order to get those things, a few communities will give you free land.

For the most part, the places doing this are rural communities without much in the way of work opportunities, but doesn't the whole world work virtually now,

Several small cities in rural Kansas will give you a land lot if you agree to fashion housing of at least 1,000 square feet on it. If one lot isn’t large enough and you’d like to garden, the city of Marquette, Kansas  would be pleased give you a second lot adjacent to the first, also for free. These are developed lots with water, sewer, and electricity.

Muskegon, Michigan is giving away free land for companies that create new industrial jobs. You get five acres for 25 jobs; create 100 jobs and get 30 acres. The free sites have full utilities and easy access to highways, a deep-water port, railroads, and the Muskegon County Airport.

There are opportunities in Nebraska, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Alaska, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin.