Local History

Sixth Avenue Bridge Collapse, 1965

Recent discussions of the country's failing infrastructure might lead some long-time Des Moines residents to remember April 17, 1965, the day the Sixth Avenue bridge over the Des Moines River collapsed. Shortly after 3 P.M. that Saturday, three cars were on the bridge when the middle section, about 100 feet long and over half the width of the bridge, fell into the river.

Hot times at Beaver Tap

The next time you visit Beaver Tap, at the corner of Beaver and Urbandale, look at the outside north wall and you’ll see the outlines of doors and windows that have since been bricked over. As you’re standing there, imagine a fire truck roaring from that vestigial garage doorway, rushing to extinguish a fire somewhere in the Beaverdale neighborhood.  Due in part to the demands of PTA mothers from Riley and Rice elementary schools concerned for their families’ safety, Station No. 17 was added to the Des Moines Fire Department at that location in the fall of 1928.

Historical Reminiscences of the City of Des Moines, 1857

Newly digitized! Historical Reminiscences of the City of Des Moines, Together with a Full Description of the City and the County, H. B. Turrill, 1857. Update: Well, it looks like Archive.org is either having problems or changing their format. Here is a link directly to the "Read Online" version of Historical Reminiscences. Enjoy.

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