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Cedar Falls

The first permanent white settlement in Black Hawk County was started in March 1845 by William Sturgis and his brother-in-law, Erasums D. Adams. They named their settlement Sturgis Falls. The two came to the area in search of homes and desirable water power. Upon arriving in the area, Sturgis and Adams were charmed by both the beauty of the area and also by the possibility of a townsite in the area.

Sturgis built a double log cabin on the banks of the Red Cedar River and broke five acres of prairie. This was considered to be the first breaking of prairie land in the county.

The name of Sturgis Falls was changed to Cedar Falls in 1851.

You may travel to historic sites in Cedar Falls on this tour by clicking on numbers on the map or by clicking on the name of the site in the list below. To go to sites in the downtown Cedar Falls area, click on "Cedar Falls Historical Area," which is outlined in red. This map will show you the locations for sites 1-26, 38-39, 42, 49-51, and 53-56. Likewise, to see the locations of historic sites in the University of Northern Iowa area, click on "UNI," which is also outlined in red. This map will show you the locations for sites 32-37.
  1. The Dam and Millrace Site
    Between First Street and the Cedar River
  2. The Broom Factory
    115 West Mill Street
  3. First Store in Black Hawk County (site)
    at First and Main Streets
  4. Regent Theatre
    103 Main Street
  5. The Burr Hotel
    now the Black Hawk Hotel at
    115 Main Street
  6. Rock Island Depot
    at Fifth and Main Streets
  7. First Public Schoolhouse (site)
    at Fifth and Main Streets
  8. Dannervirke Newspaper (site)
    315 State Street
  9. Cedar Falls Pottery/Terra Cotta Works (site)
    312 State Street
  10. Viking Pump Company
    406 State Street
  11. Oldest House in Cedar Falls
    123 East Seventh Street
  12. William Sturgis Cabin (site)
    at First and Franklin Streets
  13. Sheldon Fox House (Odd Fellow and Rebekahs Hall)
    402 West Second Street
  14. Cedar Falls Ice House
    at First and Franklin Streets
  15. George Wyth House and Viking Pump Gallery
    303 Franklin Street
  16. Overman Park
    at Third and Clay Streets
  17. First School Bell in Cedar Falls
    Cedar Falls Historical Society Museum
    308 West 3rd Street
  18. Peter Melendy's Second House
    822 Washington Street
  19. Knapp/Townsend House (Cedar Falls Woman's Club Home)
    West Third
  20. Henry Gilkey House
    903 Washington Street
  1. Victorian Home (Barnum-Bryant-Dempster House) and the Carriage House Museum
    303 Clay Street
  2. Joseph Sartori House
    603 Clay Street
  3. Bess Streeter Aldrich Home (site)
    809 Franklin Street
  4. W.A. DuGane House
    815 Washington Street
  5. Edward Townsend House
    1017 Washington Street
  6. Peter Melendy's First House
    1107 Washington Street
  7. Last Brick Street
    16th Street, from Main Street to Clay Street
  8. Cedar Valley Fairgrounds (site)
    East of Main Street on Seerley Boulevard
  9. Samuel Rownd House
    4119 South Main Street
  10. Rownd Barn
    5118 South Main Street
  11. Fields Brothers Barn
    10530 University Avenue
  12. University of Northern Iowa
    23rd and College Street
  13. Orphans' Home Bell
    UNI Museum, 31st and Hudson Roads
  14. Spanish Cannons
    UNI Campus, 23rd and College Street
  15. UNI Campanile
    UNI Campus, 23rd and College Street
  16. Iowa Soldiers' Orphans Home (site)
    UNI Campus, 23rd and College Street
  17. UNI Museum
    31st and Hudson Road
  18. Daniel Wild House
    501 West First Street
  19. First School in Black Hawk County (site)
    13th Street and Waterloo Road
  20. Pfeiffer Spring Park
    Grand Boulevard and Gibson Street
  1. Litchfield Mansion (The Mandalay)
    1603 Mandalay Drive
  2. St. Patricks Catholic Church
    Seventh and Washington
  3. William Galloway House
    2208 Grand Boulevard
  4. Hartman Reserve Nature Center
    657 Reserve Drive
  5. Illinois Central Depot
    North Main Street
  6. Cedar City
    Junction of East Main Street, Independence Street and Big Woods Road
  7. Cedar City School
    Within the former Cedar City, exact location unknown
  8. Antique Acres
    4-1/2 miles north of U.S. Highway 218
  9. Sessions Home
    1021 Clay
  10. Sawyer Home
    503 West 12th
  11. Old Lincoln (Central) School (site)
    Lincoln School Playground
  12. Hillside Cemetery
    North of East Lone Tree Road
  13. Behrens Rapp Station
    Sturgis Park, First and Clay Streets
  14. Little Red Schoolhouse (Bennington Township School House #5)
    First and Clay Streets
  15. Harris House
    601 West 12th
  16. Forrest House
    415 Walnut
  17. Island Park
    Franklin Street, north of U.S. Highway 57
  18. Stand of Red Cedar Trees
    2410 West Lone Tree Road
  19. Tally Ho House
    1930 Waterloo Road
  20. Riverview Park
    Ellen Street and South Park Road
  21. Homesite of James Brownell (marker)
    4.3 miles west of Junction of Hwys. 20 and 57

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Last updated Thursday, June 3, 2004

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  Cedar Falls Historical Area University of Northern Iowa Historical Area Stand of Red Cedar Trees Riverview Park Island Park Illinois Central Depot Cedar City Cedar City School Pfeiffer Spring Park Last Brick Street Litchfield Mansion Hartman Nature Reserve Hillside Cemetery Tally Ho House William Galloway House Cedar Valley Fairgrounds (site)