Sunday, April 25, 2010

Streetcar Sunday - Ft. Dodge, Iowa

This card was sent on December 12th, 1907,  the first day of service for the Fort Dodge Interurban, operated by the Fort Dodge, Des Moines and Southern Railroad Co., with service between Fort Dodge and Des Moines. This was the largest interurban service in Iowa, with stops in minor towns (such as Boone) along the way.  The train also carried a lot of freight, particularly gypsum board, which helped keep it in service longer than similar passenger-only services. Oddly enough, the line also made money by selling electricity to farms, industries, and homes. By 1954, the entire line had been converted from electric to diesel. Some of the line still exists today as the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad, a popular tourist service and dinner train.

Here's the back of the card. I almost didn't check on the recipient, but I'm glad I did. C.H. Crooks was the President  of the Ft. Dodge, Des Moines, and Southern Railroad Co.! This card was sent to his wife. I'm not sure who Carrie Holm was, but she may have been married to County Auditor, H.S. Holm.

Find out more about the Fort Dodge, Des Moines, And Southern Railroad Co. and other Iowa interurban trains here.


  1. Gypsum board proper wasn't on any of the early runs since it wasn't invented until +/-1920... I'd actually be surprised if the line carried much before the late 1940's, when gyp board became commonly used in construction to meet the post-war housing demand, up until then plaster was the norm.

  2. Well, anonymouse, you're right that gypsum board came later, but I'm sure they shipped it in loose form before that. Gypsum was also used to make plaster and for agricultural uses. Did you know that the ancient Egyptians used gypsum to plaster the Pyramid at Cheops?

  3. Some subjects just seem to inspire more comments than others, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are less interesting.

  4. Thanks, Postcardy.
    You're right, but I would like to make sure that I'm not just posting these for my own amusement.

  5. Yes, Carrie Holm (born Carrie Antoinette Eddy) was married to H. S. (Harry S.) Holm. She was my great great grandmother. -- Robin Roderick

  6. Robin,
    Thanks so much for your comment. How wonderful.



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