Dwight Peck's personal website

Scenes from northern Wisconsin, summer 2017

More annual lakeside fun in the Northwoods

You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.

A few days in Dubuque, Iowa

Summer 2017 -- we've had a pleasant and exhilirating time on the lake in northern Wisconsin, but the summer is more or less over, and we're on another road trip to the east coast, with a stop-off for a few days in Dubuque. That's in Iowa.

The Holiday Inn in the centre of the riverside 'historic district' of Dubuque. Functionality and convenience are the order of the day for us now; we'll put off charm, etc., until we get home. And they take pets. (13 September 2017)

The Fourth Street Elevator, a counterbalanced funicular railway laid on by a banker for his private use in 1882, opened to the public two years later.

The counterbalancing car is coming down to pass us in the middle. After some early fires, the present rig dates from 1893. The fare is negligible. (We've got a similar counterbalanced funiculaire, from the same period, in nearby Les Avants above Lake Geneva.)

Dubuque from atop its riverside bluffs. The city of ca. 58,000, tenth largest in Iowa, sits on the Mississippi River across from the US states of Wisconsin and Illinois, which meet on the far shore about in the middle of this photo.

The Dubuque County Courthouse, in the 'Beaux-Arts' American Renaissance style, dating from 1891, in the centre of the historic city district, along the riverside below the bluffs

Looking down 4th street, past the Holiday Inn in the centre, towards the river, with (in the background) the bridge of Highway 61, which runs on overpasses dead centre southward through the city. Dubuque was sort of founded in 1785 when a Quebecois named Mr Dubuque settled and three years later got permission from the Spanish government, which owned everything west of the Mississippi, and the local Native Americans to dig for the rich lead deposits here.

The Port of Dubuque area, developed mostly for recreational and tourist opportunities, like river tours, a big casino, an events centre, parks, some historic monuments, etc. Control of the lead mining passed to France in 1800 and the USA in 1803, and after Mr Dubuque's death the local Native Americans mined the lead with US government support until 1830, when American prospectors illegally forced them out of the region and took over.

The Highway 20 bridge (the 'Julien Dubuque Bridge') and the tower of St Raphael's Catholic Cathedral, founded in 1833 with the present building dating from 1857-1861, renovated in 1986.

Looking southward down the Mississippi. The city was chartered in 1833, and the Iowa Territory (1838) became a state of the USA in 1846. Upper Mississippi Lock and Dam no. 11 is located just north of the Highway 61 bridge, so this stretch of the river would be considered part of 'Pool 12'.

Very nice houses atop the bluffs. The riverside historic centre features tourist gift and craft shops, urban amenities like hotels and restaurants, theatres, a museum, historic sites, etc., with (when we were there) not very many people. The sprawl of residential neighborhoods, shopping malls, hospitals, and small religious colleges runs out 5 or 6km to the west and north of the bluffs.

Elegant houses atop the bluffs. The circular towers seem to be a hallmark of Dubuque's historic architecture.

Welcome sentiments, in a prosperous neighborhood

A neighborhood consensus, evidently

Back down on Main Street in the early evening

The city hosts a programme called the Voices Mural Project in which artists from all over the USA are commissioned each to paint a mural on a wall -- there are 18 as of August 2017, they're all interesting, and it brightens the whole scene. This is by Christina Angelina of California.

A classic old building on Main Street ('fresh-convenient-local' but unfortunately empty; but a fine canvas for murals on both sides)

Still on Main Street -- the upper one, by Didi from Miami, the lower (on the left) by Amanda Valdes of Florida

The Five Flags Centre on Main Street, across from the Holiday Inn, is home to the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra and a venue for events of many kinds, including basketball and ice hockey in its arena; it was built in 1910 to replace a succession of theatres dating back to 1840. It's been superseded as the city's main convention centre since 2003 by the Grand River Event Center on the riverside.

Gracious living on the bluffs, with river views

Dubuque's iconic Town Clock, in the middle of Main Street. The first one collapsed in 1872; the present clock and tower was put up in 1873 and moved in 1971 onto the new four-column pedestal with a new cupola.

An enigmatic mural by "Werc" from Texas

The Redstone Inn and Suites

Gracious condo living on the bluffs (which in fact elicted a hurried call to the realtor)

The Redstone Inn with its circular tower

Washington Park with gazebo

The Town Clock one block to the east, seen from . . .

The Dubuque Museum of Art -- "The Dubuque Museum of Art, the oldest cultural institution in the State of Iowa, was founded over 140 years ago as the Dubuque Art Association. The Association’s first recorded meeting was on February 24, 1874." The attractive present building dates from 1999.

We're here to see the present exhibition, 'Remnants of the West', chiefly Edward Curtis's photographs of Native Americans in the early part of the 20th century, counterpointed with American West photos by the contemporary Mark James.

Some samples of Edward Curtis photographs

Juxtaposed with an oddly interesting print by Grant Wood, Appraisal (1931)

Back out on the street

A disused department store neatly reconfigured as an everything

Attractive, functional, far from crowded

Back onto Main Street

Local architecture

St Luke's United Methodist Church (it's been recommended) -- the mission was founded in 1833, the present sort-of-Romanesque buildings were dedicated in 1897.

The church has a fine look to it, but its claim to fame is a full set of Tiffany windows, shipped here from New York in the late 19th century.

Backlit stained glass windows don't photograph well . . .

. . . but this one gives the idea: The Good Shepherd, installed here in 1896.

He that keepeth Israel needs to take a closer look, soon.

The organ from 1897, restored in 1992. Nice church.

The unsubtle block of Masonic Lodge #125 ("Free Masonry builds its temples in the hearts of men")

The Fanny Stout House ('a Victorian meeting & event center'). With round tower.

Street scene

The Richards House bed and breakfast (ca. 1883), undergoing welcome repairs

Another street scene

"The Gun Depot (& pawn). Pawnsellt rade. Buy here. Over 499 guns in st ock."

Street scene (Central Ave.)

The Dubuque Dream Center, a "Community Outreach Center committed to mobilizing youth and families to build on Dr. King's Dream". Good on you.

Good on you, too (from the Iowa Department of Public Health)

White Street and East 11th

A little tangle-up between a car and a bicycle (no sense of urgency)

The County Court House, from 1891. The lower building on the left (behind the Pepsi sign) is the historic Dubuque County Jail, built in 1858 in the 'Egyptian Revival' style, later a museum, but since 2016 devoted to county offices.

Very decorative

Dottie's Café ('No-frills, old-school daytime diner'), Central and East 5th, and the Highway 61 overpass

Next, some sightseeing in the region -- and Athens,Ohio

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 14 October 2017.


Wisconsin Northwoods,
June-Oct 2021

Wisconsin Northwoods,
June-Oct 2020

Wisconsin Northwoods,
June-Sept 2019

Virginia and Wisconsin, July-Sept 2018

Wisconsin on the lake, July-Sept 2017

Wisconsin on the lake, July-Sept 2016

Wisconsin on the lake, July-Sept 2015

Wisconsin & road trip, July-Sept 2014

Wisconsin & Virginia, July-Sept 2013

Wisconsin on the lake, July-Sept 2012

Wisconsin 'Northwoods', June-Aug. 2011

Wisconsin on the lake, July-August 2010

August 2009

Boston and Maine, 2007

Marlowe's wedding, 2006

Olympic National Park, 2004