Monday, February 22, 2010

LaGrange Tavern

This article was taken from the Chariton Leader, written in 1929
Recently appeared in the Chariton Leader January 19, 2010
LaGrange was located northeast of Russell.  The cemetery is all that remains

The LaGrange Tavern, The Wayside Inn by the side of the State Road

Old LaGrange, in the pioneer days had the distinction of being the second city in size in Lucas County and was a station on the "State Road" of the overland Stage Company.  Now, the road is paved, known as the Harding Highway, or primary 34, and through it passed daily, the Burlington motor propelled bus - on through landscape where the town used to be - the site is farm land now.

The sweep of the stage horses, to the crack of the drivers whip, are but echoed memories as they halted in front of the Tavern to load and unload passengers.

The Monnyhons, Trowbridges, Linds, Parrs and the others have receded into history - some resting forever in the neglected graveyard not far away, but the majority migrating as pioneer spirits led them, somewhere into forgetfulness.  The two old churches yet stand as monuments to the age, but the old Tavern long since crumbled into decay and no trace of it is left.

However, the window decorator in the J.L. Piper store, Dayton Piper, has seen his imaginations work, and has reproduced the old tavern and stage house, attired in winter, but has departed from the antique in honoring the editor of the Leader as "mine host" which distinction is appreciated, but while youth has long since departed his memory goes back only dimly to the days when LaGrange flourished by the side of the road, and the confession that he never beheld the stage coach as it swung into town.

(If anyone has pictures of the LaGrange Tavern or any other pictures of LaGrange and would be willing to share them, please contact Marilyn at the Russell (Iowa) Historical Society; their link is on this blog) 

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