• Melody Lager

Traveling in Wright County


In 1928 Clarion started discussing the need for an airport. It wasn’t until 1940 that a vote carried to build an airport and a new pool. When the airport opened in September, 1941, it was estimated that 6-7,000 people attended!

Meanwhile Dows had their airport dedication in August of 1939 with 3-4,000 people in attendance! Eagle Grove, Belmond, and Clarion still have working airports.

Greyhound bus service became available in May, 1929. Located on Highway 69 north of the highway 3 junction, it was a busy spot for years. To pull in more interest, they held a greyhound race at the location! The picture above is of the greyhound station, known as

At the corner of Highway 3 and 69, where the road curves to the north, used to be a rest stop. A nice shelter was available for travelers when Highway 69 was a major north-south road. Over Labor Day, various groups served coffee, juice, rolls, etc. for 21 years at this rest stop! Churches, boy scouts, Legion, and 4-H clubs were among those who worked the rest stop. 1975 was the last year of the Labor Day service, as by November, 1975, Interstate 35 opened.

Speaking of Interstate 35 – did you know there was quite the controversy over this road passing thru Wright and surrounding counties? Originally, plans had I35 heading directly north on its route from Williams to Minnesota. In 1963 it was announced that Rowan was the closest town to the new interstate, as it would have passed just west of Rowan. By 1965 pressure was on to take a diagonal cut, ending up by Clear Lake (closer to Mason City). Thru much controversy – including farmers refusing to let survey crews on their land and a court fight – the diagonal became a reality. Now the town of Dows is closest to I35, as the interstate is two miles east of town.

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