Thursday, July 14, 2011

Storm Lake, IA to Ft. Dodge, IA - 61 miles

Fort Dodge, here we come!

The weather is not is overcast, damp and spitting...Rich G reported that lightning was spotted at the 23 mile mark and as a safety precaution, he had pulled over and was waiting at a house/barn in the vicinity of the Town of Fonda. Subsequent reports informed that the rain had stopped and he was continuing on.
 The rain only stopped for a little bit. Storm Lake was living up to its name.
 The winds got stronger just before the skies opened up.
 A break in the weather allowed this shot of the Storm Lake Lighthouse.
Even in bad weather my mind wanders....can you see the bunny rabbit?
 How about the Koala Bear and the Hippo?
The Fort Dodge Inn [a/k/a The Days Inn], Fort Dodge, Iowa

Marnie R had a rough beginning to her day. She put some air in her tires and took off only to return moments later with a flat. She repaired that flat and while washing up realized she had another one. We [Marnie R, Sue M and I] believe that it was a defective tube. After fixing that flat is when the weather got worse in Storm Lake, so Marnie decided to take a nap and start her day again after the storm had passed and the bicycle store had opened for business so she could replace the tubes she had used.
Fort Dodge - 1850
Fort Dodge traces its beginnings to 1850 when soldiers from the U.S. Army built a fort at the junction of the Des Moines River and Lizard Creek. It was named after Henry Dodge, a U.S. senator from Wisconsin.

The fort was abandoned in 1853 and the next year William Williams, a civilian storekeeper in Fort Dodge, purchased the land and buildings of the old fort. The town of Fort Dodge was founded in 1869. In 1872, the long and continuing history of gypsum production in Iowa started when George Ringland, Webb Vincent and Stillman T. Meservey formed the Fort Dodge Plaster Mills to mine, grind, and preparing gypsum for commercial use. The Company constructed the first gypsum mill west of the Mississippi River, at what is now Gypsum Creek.
The major industries of Fort Dodge are gypsum and limestone mining, drywall manufacturing, trucking and the manufacture of veterinary pharmaceuticals and vaccines.

 The Cardiff Giant was one of the most famous hoaxes in United States history. It was a 10-foot-tall purported "petrified man" uncovered on October 16, 1869 by workers digging a well behind the barn of William C. "Stub" Newell in Cardiff, NY. Both it and an unauthorized copy made by P.T. Barnum are still on display at the Farmer's Museum in Cooperstown, NY; though there are some who claim it is a fake?
The giant was the creation of a New York  tobacconist named George Hull. Hull, an atheist, decided to create the giant after an argument at a Methodist revival meeting about the passage in Genesis 6:4 stating that there were giants who once lived on Earth.

The idea of a petrified man did not originate with Hull, however. In 1858 the newspaper Alta California had published a bogus letter claiming that a prospector had been petrified when he had drunk a liquid within a  geode. Some other newspapers also had published stories of supposedly petrified people.

Hull hired men to carve out a 10-foot-long, 4.5-inch block of gypsum in Fort Dodge, Iowa, telling them it was intended for a monument to Abraham Lincoln in New York. He shipped the block to Chicago, where he hired Edward Burghardt, a German stonecutter, to carve it into the likeness of a man and swore him to secrecy.

Various stains and acids were used to make the giant appear to be old and weathered, and the giant's surface was beaten with steel knitting needles embedded in a board to simulate pores. In November 1868 Hull transported the giant by rail to the farm of William Newell, his cousin. By then, he had spent US$2,600 on the hoax.

Nearly a year later, Newell hired Gideon Emmons and Henry Nichols, ostensibly to dig a well, and on October 16, 1869 they found the giant. One of the men reportedly exclaimed, "I declare, some old Indian has been buried here!"

Gypsum rock is processed into drywall and plaster products at several Fort Dodge manufacturing facilities. Drywall was patented by a Fort Dodge resident, and the gypsum used to create the Cardiff Giant hoax of the late 19th century was mined at Fort Dodge. Currently, National Gypsum Company, Georgia Pacific Corporation, Celetex Corporation and the United States Gypsum Company operate gypsum facilities in and around Fort Dodge.
Fort Dodge is the home of Fort Dodge Animal Health (a division of Boehringer Ingelheim) a major producer of pharmaceuticals and vaccines for veterinarian use, the company's headquarters were moved from Fort Dodge to Overland Park, Kansas in 1995. Two of the company's three USA manufacturing plants are located in Fort Dodge.
The Fort Dodge Correctional Facility, 1,250-bed medium security state prison, opened in 1998.

 Fort Dodge is a major commercial center for North Central and Northwest Iowa. It is located on U.S. Routes 20 and 169. River.

Tomorrow we are off to Iowa Falls, IA

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