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At 509 Center Street in Lansing one will encounter an elegant two-story Greek Revival building. This cruciform structure was built during the years 1863–1864 as a public school (it is now called the Stone School). The walls are of local limestone, 2 feet thick. Within, there are eight schoolrooms with 12-foot-high ceilings. The open wood bell tower over the main entrance has arched openings on each of its eight sides.

At 611 Dodge Street is a substantial two-and-a-half-story French Second Empire house (c. 1875). Its presence on the street is established by its square three-story tower with mansard roof; below, a porch wraps around the front of the house.

About 6 miles north-northwest of Lansing on Iowa 26 is Fish Farm Mounds State Park. Here on the crest of a ridge running parallel to the Upper Iowa River are thirty conical Indian mounds, which were first fully surveyed in 1890 by Cyrus Thomas. Thomas recorded another group of larger mounds on a lower terrace below, one of which contained a circular stone burial vault roofed over by stone in a corbeled fashion. These were built during the Hopewellian phase of the Woodland Culture.

Northeast of Lansing the country is hilly and sprinkled with beautiful groups of farm buildings. One of these, which makes a near-perfect rural picture, can be seen off Iowa 26 on the north side of Allamakee County Road X6A. The farm consists of a red-painted barn with dominant gabled roof, plus four other small outbuildings; to one side, next to a grove of trees, is the white clapboard farmhouse (c. 1900). Further north on Iowa 26, 1.5 miles south of the Iowa-Minnesota border, is a 12-sided red barn (c. 1900). Its double-pitched gambrel roof is sheathed in metal, and at the pinnacle is a small metal cupola.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim

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