Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Local News

May 17, 2013

Springtime with the Buffs

So what are the Rural History Buffs doing now? Spring is here, the hills are green, and little

brown and white Buffs’ signs are popping out all over. There won’t be another official tour for a

few more months but you can create your own tour. Try the RAGBRAI® route between Pella and

Bussey – not during RAGBRAI® – to scan the history of this area from steamboat times.

There’s a sign for the town that never happened, Amsterdam. Back in 1848 when steamboats still plied the Des Moines River, Amsterdam was platted to have 60 blocks, divided into 490 lots, with a public square and a site for a city market! There was even a plan for a North Amsterdam. Briefly, the industries of burning lime and manufacturing brick drew people there, but the flood of 1851 left town plans abandoned. No South, East or West Amsterdam either.

My favorite is the old Wabash Railroad Bridge. On the National Register of Historic Places since 1998, it’s visible from where T-17 turns west. As old iron bridges get more and more rare, it’s a treat to see this one, still reaching clear across the Des Moines River. Built in 1882 for the Wabash Railroad, it was purchased and rehabilitated by the county for vehicular traffic in 1951, but has since been closed to public use. Locally, it’s known as the “One Dollar” bridge. Early settlers used a ferry at this crossing established by David Durham around 1849. For centuries before that the Indians had used this site as a place to ford the Des Moines River.

And a spot where you can actually see one of our rural schools! Drive out south on Highway 14 and cut back on 130th Place to about 1610. There is Brownlee School sitting high in its faded glory, reminiscent of a poem once favored in rural schools: “Still sits the schoolhouse by the road, a ragged beggar sunning ...” No beggars now probably, but a warm memory scene. The Buffs sign was a gift from the children of the late Lorin Harvey.

Text Only
Local News
  • raceway concept drawing.jpg Raceway Rebate passes the House

    Rep. Greg Heartsill reports that the bill to provide up to $2 million in sales tax rebates to the Knoxville Raceway has passed out of the Iowa House of Representatives, 78-15. 

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Construction Trades pic 1 Marion County building permits on the rise

    It's expected to be a busy construction season around Marion County. According to County Zoning Administrator Missy Poffenbarger, her office has issued 17 building permits since March 18. 

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Troy Rider.jpg State responds to gag order request

    Marion County Attorney Ed Bull has filed a resistance, on behalf of the State of Iowa, to a motion made by Troy Neil Rider's defense attorney to restrict law enforcement's ability to comment on the pending case. 

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • PHS FFA 10-73.jpg Pleasantville Greenhouse Plant Sales Begin Soon

    The Pleasantville High School Greenhouse will begin its annual greenhouse sales Saturday, April 19, and will continue through Saturday, May 24.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Burn ban to be lifted at 11 a.m.

    Marion County's burn ban will be lifted at 11 a.m. Monday, April 14. 

    April 14, 2014

  • Reeds.jpg Bussey pair facing several charges

    Two Bussey residents are charged in a pair of thefts in Otley and Pella on April 5 and April 11. 

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Loebsack and Mitchell.jpg Video: Loebsack tours Knoxville Fire Department

    Knoxville Fire Chief Jim Mitchell welcomed Congressman Dave Loebsack and wife, Terry, to the fire station Saturday afternoon, April 12. 

    April 12, 2014 2 Photos 1 Video

  • work on Young field.jpg Video: Young's Park field seeing improvements

    City of Knoxville crews have been busy working on the baseball field at Young's Park, with plans to renovate a forgotten field behind the Kiwanis Miracle Playground. 

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo 1 Video

  • Robinson work 1.jpg Rock Island to be closed

    Rock Island, between Highway 14 and Grant, will be closed for approximately three days for sanitary sewer and street repairs. 

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • supes in Pville.jpg County awaits Pleasantville Memorial Hall proposal

    The Marion County Board of Supervisors met with representatives from the City of Pleasantville and Memorial Hall Commissioners from the Rose City, to discuss the status of transitioning the hall from County ownership to the City. 

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Which service of the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce do you believe is most beneficial for its membership?

Legislative lobbying
Promotional material publication
Educational programs for the community
     View Results