Historic Railroad Map of Iowa - 1881

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Railroad Map of Iowa engraved and printed by The Western Litho. Co. for the Board of Railroad Commissioners, 1881.

Iowa was admitted to the Union in 1846. In 1852 the Sioux Indians were the last of the Iowan tribes to cede their land.

Beginning in the 1850's railroad building was planned in the state to transport the valuable resources of Iowa to markets at Chicago and beyond. Towns like Dubuque, Davenport and Burlington organized local railroads. Eventually railroads reached every corner of the state.

The Illinois Central Railroad was prominent in Iowa during this period.

The Chicago & North-Western Railroad reached Council Bluffs in 1867. Council Bluffs was the eastern terminus of the Union Pacific Railroad which was completed in 1869. Iowa was highly covered by railroad networks during this era.

In the 1880's, railroads of Iowa were adapting to the transportation of the state's valued coal reserves. There were nearly 250 coal mines operating in Iowa during this time.

This map lists the various railroads of Iowa and their connections. The railroads are distinguished by color and name. The map shows rivers, towns, cities, county seats, and railroads, both completed and those under construction. Iowa is displayed during its days of much railroad building and local settlement.


Archive Paper

Archive Paper

Premium fine art paper that provides accurate color reproduction with high-contrast, high-resolution print output and maximum image permanence. A high-quality print ready for framing.

  • Museum quality paper for high-quality fine art.
  • Ultra smooth, neutral white matte finish.
  • Heavy-weight 230 gsm, 9.5 mil thickness.
  • Printed with pigment inks for longer print life and enhanced fade resistance.
  • Pigment based Canon LUCIA inks provide smooth tones and rich colors in fine, precise detail.
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Our wall map products are designed and printed on demand by our small team in Seattle, WA using high quality materials and fine art giclee printing.
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