Waterloo, Iowa (My Hometown)

Waterloo was originally known as Prairie Rapids Crossing. The town was established near two Meskwaki American tribal seasonal camps alongside the Cedar River. It was first settled in 1845 when George and Mary Melrose Hanna and their children arrived on the east bank of the Red Cedar River (now just called the Cedar River)



I’ve always been a fan of downtown buildings, bridges and historical relics. I found awesome information in this historical walking guide. Here’s the PDF.

River Plaza Building

Waterloo’s first YMCA was chartered in 1868, just three
months after the incorporation of the city. This art-deco style
building, designed by Mortimer Cleveland and constructed in
1932, is now on the National Register of Historic Places. It
served as a “Y” until 1982, and now houses business offices
and a health club. The “Green Goddesses” are prominently
placed on the roof facing the river. The statues representing
the values of agriculture, justice, knowledge and science are
four of six that originally sat atop the old courthouse.

Waterloo can sometimes get a bad reputation but many of us who graduated from Waterloo schools, live in Waterloo homes and got our first jobs in the heart of downtown know that the city is only as good as the individuals who contribute to it. We all have to put our hands in to make a strong community. Waterloo’s strength is our diversity and history. Many religions, races, classes, ages, professions, and philosophies make up this working class, Midwest, medium-sized, American city. This is beautifully illustrated in a downtown mural.

Information selected from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waterloo,_Iowa and from personal experience. I’m passionate about preserving local history and documenting the changes I see in my city. Photographs were taken by me blastedgoat unless otherwise noted! For more information about the Cedar Valley River Renaissance check out this article. Also visit: http://www.waterloocvb.org/

Thanks for learning more about the place blastedgoat calls home. Tell her about your community or about a culture within a larger community. Better yet submit a link and add a few snapshots!

4 thoughts on “Waterloo, Iowa (My Hometown)


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