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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Times Gone By

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

First depot - The first depot in Cherokee was built in 1871 on the west side of the tracks between Elm St. and Maple St.
100 years ago

Editor of Times: The Fourth at Cody was somewhat after the pattern of Buffalo Bill's "Wild West show." It was out on a sandy prairie where the performers had acres at their disposal; sun, wind and dust had full sweep. The crowd cheered from start to finish, so it must have been good. Everybody was good natured and obliging and seemed to have plenty of money, but as this was a three day's blowout some may have been short in the wind up. We were well satisfied with the first scene. During the day we met Mr. and Mrs. Newton and accepted an invitation to spend the evening with them. Mrs. Newton was formerly Miss Bushnell, of Cherokee. The two hours spent with them were very pleasant and instructive, as Mr. Newton has been years in the west and is in love with that part of Wyoming. They are in shape to enjoy life, with a nice home in town, a good farm under irrigation near by, which we looked over and saw a few of his fine horses and colts. They also have a ranch on Rattlesnake mountain where he said they had the finest of grass with abundance of good water and thousands of acres for range. They have three lively children. Mrs. Newton said we were the first Cherokee people she had seen in the west.

We loaded up with supplies for ourselves and teams for at least fifteen days. This made a hold in the pocketbook, as we all have fearful appetites. Oats were $2.25 per hundred at Thermopulis, we paid $3.25; butter, thirty-five cents; eggs, forty cents; all canned goods about one-fourth higher than in Iowa. We traded off our heavy dishes and sold part of our furniture, and before long Samantha will be willing to let more of it go.

Old Steam Shovel - Around 1896, where Spring Lake is now, the original hill was about 80 feet above the bottom of the lake. Several railroad beds in the area were built with gravel from there.
We left Cody July 5th, passing around Cedar mountain, then up the Shoeshone valley, had to wade water in front of the team in places to be sure the road was not washed out. At first the mountains were some distance back and small patches of irrigated land on either side of the river. The ditches were giving the owners plenty of grief, as high water played sad havoc at the head of the ditches. There were many rock chimneys that lifted their heads far above the surrounding rocks, also think ledges that looked like a huge broken wall, extending far back on the mountains, they were the remains of stratas the stood perpendicular, and rocks not so hard had crumbled and been washed down during the millions of years that have come and gone. We camped at noon Saturday at the foot of a deep canon. As we entered this on either side of the road was a large mound of stones, in the center a high post with canvas bills tacked on. Upon these were stamped the "thus said Uncle Sam," in regard to individual obligations while passing through the timber reserve, as these monuments marked the eastern boundary line of a vast forest reserve. Here nature had also placed huge monuments of igneous rocks that towered skyward. After a steady climb of forty minutes a point was reached where perpendicular walls rose to dizzy heights. The mules below looked like small colts. We have no means of knowing the height but the fellow who could scale a mountain quicker would be going some. Here we had the finest of roads with a few exceptions and scenery worth going hundreds of miles to see. A river that has a fall of thirty-three feet to every mile, and swollen by the melting snow, rushing wildly down over huge boulders, and roaring at the roadside.

At Napiti Inn, a ranger, (that is a man whose business it is to patrol a certain portion of the road and see that all obey the rules), gave us strict instructions as to the game law, and then said that the deer were so thick he was obliged to drive them out of his pasture in order to have feed for the horses. The water had washed out one approach to the bridge so that our wagons dropped two feet when going off. Things flew lively in the wagons but no great damage was done. Just above this on the north side a broken wall of flint rock towered far above the surrounding rocks, the same strata about ten feet wide could be seen in the solid wall on the south that was hundreds of feet high. We crossed another bridge which men were filling in the approach. Samantha always walks when she sees a bad place, and many a time has she said "You are at the stopping place."

When the wagon dropped off the bridge she yelled "You are a goner this time." But the mules landed everything all right and we camped for the night. The next morning we had been driving two hours when we came to a place where the road had caved off leaving only three feet between the roaring river and a high bank. Had it been stone we would have been left as there was no way of turning back. With two aces, a fire shovel and a piece of galvanized iron six by nine inches, we set ourselves to the task of making Uncle Sam's road. In two hours we had moved a bank four rods long, three feet wide and four feet high. You should have seen Samantha throw the loose dirt with the strip of galvanized iron. If she could be kept excited all the time she would grade forth rods of prairie road in ten days with a t rip of galvanized iron. We all rejoiced when both wagons were safely on the other side as there was no telling how far the water had undermined the bank. The forest grew denser and trees taller some must have been close to 100 feet, as dead ones with tops broken off were twenty-five paces in length. Our artist took fine view, one of chimney rock, the formation all the way through the reserve was igneous rocks composed of a conglomerated mass of boulders, flint and granite, that had been shattered to pieces with the intense heat, one half the mass was cave rounded stone, the remnants of older formations cemented into a mass, and this had been wave washed and water beaten, the more readily dissolved portion blown or washed away, leaving thousands of fantastic forms, many even upon the tops of high mountains.

I.C.R.R. Division Headquarters - This is a picture of the Illinois Central Rail Road Division Headquarters at the Cherokee depot in 1907 . On the left is William Shardlow and on the right is Chief Clerk A.T. Bailey
We camped Sunday night near a logging camp. They were not at work but one man was there to watch the camp. He took us through the bunk house where 80men could sleep.

We camped for the night at the foot of Sylvan Pass. This morning July 9th, the thermometer in the wagon registered 10. Here we began a steady climb of six miles, looped the loop by passing first under a bridge and then over it. Then we came to the snow where we doubled teams and went over a snow bank 15 feet deep. A gang of men was there shoveling and scraping. They said the little mules could do nothing in the deep snow but gave up when they saw them go through. At that point we were 10,000 feet above sea level. We are now in camp one mile down the slope waiting for the new bridge to be finished. Amos and Mr. Coleman have gone on to Sylvan lake and we hope to have fish for supper. We can only give a few of the many interesting incidents and scenes as our letters would be too long. We merely sketch those which we think will interest our many friends most and are giving what we believe or know to be facts. We will not knowingly misrepresent or give too high coloring to anything as many who read these letters may never see the Park or the surrounding territory and some who do see it many not see it in the same way. We only wish that our knowledge of geology was more extensive. We do not wonder that the thorough student of geology says that millions years all too small to count the age of the world in years. If we err in statement we desire to be corrected. Many things are known to be geologically true; others are still speculative. Mother Nature has not cared to preserve an unbroken record. She did not make the world as a carpenter would build a house. She simply evolved and our old world is still under the great law or evolution. We regard physical evolution as the central fact of the universe. The universe is one and man is in it. The universe is one and god is in it, and neither one can get away from it. God has the truth and man should seek to find it. With best wishes for all,

H. M. Ferrin

75 years ago

A new method of robbery that missed working by less than five minutes was reported Wednesday morning by Lee Main, employed in the John Main grocery store.

A well dressed stranger gave Main a sample of a "summer drink" Tuesday evening and a few minutes after escorting the stranger to the door of the store, Main went to sleep. He was there until after 9 o'clock when his brother, John came in and awakened him. Main thinks the drink contained a sleeping potion and that the stranger planned to rob the store after it took effect.

According to Main he was alone in the store a few minutes after 8 o'clock Tuesday night. He had turned out the lights and was preparing to lock the doors when the well dressed stranger entered carrying a brief case. The stranger wanted to talk to the buyer and when Main said he was out, offered to fix him a sample of the "summer drink."

As the stranger busied himself at the fountain mixing the drink, Main went to the front of the store and locked the door. Then he returned and drank the sample offered him.

Main said that the stranger stalled for a time and wanted to talk about the advantages of the beverage, even offering to take him for an automobile ride. Main told him, however, that he was in a hurry and wanted to go home.

Main finally succeeded in getting the alleged salesman out the back way. After closing and locking the back doors and windows, he started toward the front of the store. Then, Main said, he suddenly became so sleepy that he sat down in a chair. He was still there after 9 o'clock when his brother came in.

50 years ago

Cherokee Municipal Airport officials anticipate some 300 to 400 fliers will attend a flight breakfast here August 25.

Weather permitting, breakfasters are expected to come from Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and Nebraska in a 150-mile radius around Cherokee.

Bad weather has plagued the breakfasts for the past few years.

According to Chuck Testroet, airport mechanic, free breakfast will be served to all who fly in for the event.

The public is urged to attend the breakfast along with fliers.

Serving will begin at 6:30 a.m. and a small fee will be charged non-fliers.

Cherokee Flying Club and the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce will sponsor the event.

The club, which meets on the first Friday of each month, was organized in 1947.

Flying Club President is Merle Simonsen, with Vernon Gregg as secretary-treasurer.

Active in this area, the club sponsors a squadron of air scouts-a group of 12 Timesland boys aged 14-18.

The ground school teaching these boys receive shows them the vocational angles of flying, meteorology and rules of navigation.

New radio Equipment and a wind direction and air speed indicator were recently purchased by the flying club.

25 years ago

Price Hike Canceled

The unexpected cancellation of a newsprint price increase and other factors have been cited as reasons why a subscription rate adjustment previously scheduled by the Daily Times has been rescinded.

The in-county annual rate, scheduled to rise to $45 effective Aug. 1, will remain at $39, it was announced. The present rates of $40 for adjoining counties and $42 elsewhere also will remain unchanged.

Newsprint actually did increase, but the settlement of a threatened strike by Canadian woodland workers brought about the cancellation. Additionally, other newspaper-industry material costs have moderated in recent months.


The Cherokee County Conservation Board will meet Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Silver Sioux Recreation Area to discuss the status of the old barn at the recreation area.

The public is encouraged to attend the meeting to offer input on whether the barn should be destroyed or renovated.

In other business, the board is scheduled to review cost estimated for concrete work at the Martin Area Campground.


A fund-raising picnic for U.S. Rep. Berkley Bedell, D-Iowa, will be held from 6-9 p.m. Saturday in Koser Spring Lake Park.

Tickets are $5 per person and are available at the picnic or from Jack Clark, Dennis Green and Mary Ament.

A meal of hot dogs, potato chips and beverage will be served in the large shelter house in the west end of the park.


A meeting of the all RAGBRAI volunteers will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday at the city quonset hut on Lake Street, according to Mark Watts, executive secretary of the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce.

The meeting, for persons who have been contacted about local RAGBRAI activities, is expected to be brief, Watts said.

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