NAME: Motor
COUNTY: Clayton
CLIMATE: Variable, cold in winter hot and muggy in summer
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Fall, to view leaves
COMMENTS: Interesting buildings and history. Nice trail behind cooperage, although slightly inaccessable.
REMAINS: Motor Mill, Cooperage, Ice House, Inn, Livery Stable, Iron Bridge
In the early 1860s John Thompson, JP Dickinson and James O. Crosby formed a partnership to build a grist mill, sawmill, farm and town at Hastings Bottom, the site of an earlier sawmill near the Turkey River. For an unknown reason, the town was renamed Motor. Thompson and his associates spent around $50,000 to build the mill and $40,000 for equiptment and outbuildings. The mill and cooperage were built in the late 1860s, and the other buildings in the 1870s. The town of Motor was prosperous for a while, and a railroad was begun that would link it with the town of McGregor on the Mississippi River. But a flood in 1875 washed out the rails and any hopes of rebuilding it. Invasions of insects in 1867, 1871, and 1887 destroyed all the wheat in northeast iowa. The mill ceased operation in the 1880s. The mill was sold for $12,000. After being used as a farm for 80 years by the Klink family, the Clayton County purchased the remains of the town in 1983. A canoe access was addedd nearby, and the old bridge built in 1895 with soon be repaired or replaced to accomodate walkers, bikers, and horses. Submitted by: Jon Specht