June 14, 2012

The Mighty Mississippi

It never ceases to amaze me the beauty of the Mississippi River. Today we took a drive up to
Savanna and  then crossed the river into Sabula, Iowa. Each town has some wonderful old buildings of early 1900's and many shops that are fun to visit. Sabula is the site of Iowa's only island city.
The Army Corp of engineers constructed many locks and dams on the Mississippi River. The construction of Lock and Dam #13 between Clinton, IA and Fulton, IL in 1939 left Sabula an island  
Sabula is connected to Iowa with a roadway that runs between two lakes and with Savanna, Illinois, with another roadway that leads to a bridge that crosses the Mississippi River.My dad and brothers have fished this area, in year past. . In the late 19th century the principal industries in the community included a large "pearl button" factory—which produced buttons from clam shells harvested from large clam beds located in the river adjacent to the shoreline. As like in many river downs, you often  can still find shells that were discarded after buttons were cut from them., along the shorelines.
Sabula has become a popular vacationing destination during the summer months.We drove to  Maquoketa, Iowa to see the amazing talents by wood carvers of the  44th annual International Woodcarvers Congress , which was held at the fairgrounds.The show is unusual in that it covers all types of woodcarving. As  competitors bring in their pieces for judging, the members  are also given the opportunity to sign up for classes.  A lot of the national instructors that teach woodcarving come here for the week. So not only can they enter pieces in competition, but  can take classes from an expert. It was a nice day and we enjoyed going to Banowetz Antique Mall, Jct. Hwys. 61 & 64.The larger main store has now closed and sits empty, which was sad to see, but  next to it stands a  smaller  building, filled with many wonderful items. Bob nervously held the purse strings but I was pretty good about not spending too much..LOL ( see below my patriotic Christmas ornament..a reproduction but I love it! )

Up in the hills are bluffs of sandstone.
Many eagles nest in this area along the river.

 whimsical carvings of cottages 
by Tom Gow

 Patriotic Christmas Ornament.
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