When a railroad spur was built in 1877 to connect the tracks along the Mississippi River with Waukon, Iowa, this area was transformed from wilderness into, well, something just a little less wild. The community that grew around the spur was first called Adams Junction, in honor of the president of the Waukon Railroad, D.W. Adams. After the tracks were laid, a few houses were built, a post office was established, and the name of the village was changed to Waukon Junction. A hotel went up where you could get two meals and a bed for $1.35. The hotel burned down in the 1920s and was not rebuilt; by the mid-1940s, Waukon Junction was no longer a rail stop and the track to Waukon abandoned; part of it is now a hiking trail through Yellow River State Forest.

Heading upriver? Check out Harpers Ferry.

Heading downriver? Check out Effigy Mounds National Monument.

© Dean Klinkenberg, 2009

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