Thursday, August 20, 2009
US20 In Iowa: Waterloo
US Route 20 passes through the southern side of Waterloo, Iowa. South and east of the city it connects with Interstate 380 and Iowa Highway 27, then crosses US Route 63 as US 20 continues to head west.
Wikipedia gives this information about the early days of Waterloo, Iowa and the naming of the city:
Waterloo was originally known as "Prairie Rapids Crossing". The town was established near two Meskwaki Native American villages alongside the Cedar River. It was first settled in 1845 when George and Mary Hanna and their children arrived on the east bank of the Red Cedar River (now just called the Cedar River). They were followed by the Virden and Mullan families in 1846. Evidence of these earliest families can still be found in the street names Hanna Blvd., Mullan Avenue and Virden Creek.
The name "Waterloo" supplanted the original name, "Prairie Rapids Crossing" shortly after Charles Mullan petitioned for a post office in the town. Since the signed petition did not include the name of the proposed post office location, Mullan was charged with selecting the name when he submitted the petition. Tradition has it that as he flipped through a list of other post offices in the United States, he came upon the name "Waterloo." The name struck his fancy, and on December 29, 1851, a post office was established under that name. The town was later called the same, and Mullan served as the first postmaster from December 29, 1851 until August 11, 1854.
Waterloo is also the county seat of Black Hawk County. It also is home to the Grout Museum District, which is a group of museums that include the Grout Museum of History & Science, the Bluedorn Science Imaginarium, the Snowden House, the Rensselaer Russell House Museum and the Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum.
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