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In 2017, we launched our Heaviside Digital platform, designed to provide high-quality web, digital marketing, and SEO services to businesses with lower marketing budgets.
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ABOUT Cedar Rapids
The location of present-day Cedar Rapids was in the territory of the Fox and Sac tribes.
The first white settler on the site of the future city was Osgood Shepherd, who built a log cabin (which he called a tavern) in 1837 or 1838 next to the Cedar River (then known as the Red Cedar) at what is now the corner of First Avenue and First Street Northeast. Shepherd was a squatter who claimed the land without legal title and also a reputed ne’er-do-well, who, if he was not a horse thief himself, definitely consorted with them. Early on, it appears that he “jumped the claim” of another squatter, Wilbert Stone, who had built a cabin and platted out a town, some distance south of Shepherd's cabin, that he called Columbus. Shepherd drove Stone across the river, claiming that Stone had built his cabin on Shepherd's land, then sold Stone's cabin to a buyer named Hull. Shepherd later tried the same tactic with perhaps the first settler on the west side of the river, Robert Ellis, but Ellis happened to be chopping wood at the time and warned that someone would be dead if Shepherd did not retreat.
The true founders of the city were George Greene, Nicholas Brown, and a few others. Brown had experience as a miller and Greene had surveyed much of eastern Iowa, so both saw the value of the spot Shepherd had claimed. It was right next to the rapids—a prime spot to build a mill—the last set of rapids on the river before the Cedar fed into the Iowa River, meaning that goods milled on the spot could be carried by boat down river to the Mississippi. In 1841, they formed a partnership that bought out Shepherd's claim and platted out a town they called Rapids City. Brown immediately constructed a primitive dam and then built the town's first mill. His crude dam soon washed away, prompting Greene to induce Alexander Ely, an engineer from Michigan, to build a proper dam that would create a millrace capable of powering several mills.
At this time, the city was confined to the east side of the river. The west bank soon contained a village named Kingston for resident David King who early on operated a rope ferry across the river.
The town was formally incorporated by the Iowa State Legislature on January 15, 1849 as Cedar Rapids, named for the rapids in the Cedar River (the river itself was named for the large number of red cedar trees that grew along its banks). The population was less than 400.
During the 1850s Cedar Rapids grew in size, and it was during this decade that the Czech population became substantial; when the town was reincorporated in 1856, a quarter of its roughly 1600 inhabitants were Czech immigrants. The availability of cheap land in the new state of Iowa happened to coincide with the Revolutions of 1848 in the Austrian Empire that caused a large number of Czechs to flee their homeland and emigrate to the U.S. In 1851 was founded the institution that would eventually become Coe College. The decade also witnessed attempts by local leaders to improve the city's access to distant markets, first through purchase of a steamboat (aptly named Cedar Rapids) and ultimately through investment in a railroad. The first locomotive rolled into town on June 15, 1859.
Railroads were an important factor in the development of the state and the growth of cities along the rail lines. By the end of the 19th century, the 23rd largest state was the fifth largest in track mileage.
In this same decade, "Major" John May, an inventor and land speculator, purchased the island (now called "May's Island") situated between Cedar Rapids and Kingston with the intention of founding a town he called May Island. When that scheme proved impractical due to the island's tendency to flood, he conceived the idea of making his island the center of a larger city that spanned the river and convinced the state legislature to officially name the land he had bought there, just south of Kingston, "West Cedar Rapids."
Cedar Rapids annexed the community of Kingston in 1870 and constructed an iron bridge across the river along the line of the current Third Avenue bridge.
The economic growth of Cedar Rapids increased in 1871 upon the founding of the Sinclair meatpacking company. The plant allowed for year-round meatpacking because ice could be harvested from the Cedar River in winter to chill an icehouse, and within a few years it became one of the largest factories of its kind in the country, employing 400 people. In 1873 was built the oatmeal mill that would ultimately become the flagship operation of the Quaker Oats Company, and the largest cereal mill in the world.
In 1909 the city acquired May's Island for the purpose of making it the seat of government; then, as now, there were ill feelings between east- and west-siders in Cedar Rapids, and the city's leaders hoped that putting City Hall in the "neutral territory" of the island would help ease tensions. In 1919, the residents of Linn County voted to move the county seat from Marion to Cedar Rapids, partially because Cedar Rapids had offered to donate the southern third of the island as a site for a new county courthouse and jail.
In 2010, the Census Bureau reported Cedar Rapids' population as 87.98% white, and 5.58% black.
During the Iowa flood of 2008, the Cedar River reached a record high of 31.12 feet (9.49 m) on June 13 (the previous record was 20 feet (6.1 m)), surpassing the 500-year flood plain. 1,126 city blocks were flooded, or more than 10 square miles (26 km2), and 561 city blocks were severely damaged, on both banks of the Cedar River, comprising 14% of the city's total area. A total of 7,749 flooded properties had to be evacuated, including 5,900 homes and 310 city facilities, among them the City Hall, Central Fire Station, Main Public Library, Ground Transportation Center, Public Works building, and the Animal Control building. It is estimated that at least 1,300 properties had to be demolished in the Cedar Rapids area because of the flood, which caused several billions of dollars in damages. More than 4,000 members of the Iowa National Guard were activated to assist the city. The temporary levees became saturated not only with the flood waters but also with additional rainfall, causing them to fail.
Until the flood, the city's government was headquartered in the Veterans Memorial Building, near the Linn County Courthouse and jail on Mays Island in the Cedar River, making Cedar Rapids one of a few cities in the world, along with Paris, France, with governmental offices on a municipal island.
During the flood of 2016, remnants of Hurricane Paine from the eastern Pacific Ocean via the Gulf of California caused the second highest recorded crest of the Cedar River in Cedar Rapids, reaching 22 feet (6.7 m) on September 27. The inundation of southern Minnesota, central and western Wisconsin, and northeastern Iowa by Hurricane Paine's remnants began on September 21 and 22 and continued until the end of the month. The cresting in Cedar Rapids was below the initial estimate of 25 feet (7.6 m) and the revised estimate of 23 feet (7.0 m), but more than 10 feet (3.0 m) above the flood stage of 12 feet (3.7 m). The flood was above levels considered to have about a 1% chance of occurring in a given year. More than 5,000 homes were affected, causing over 5,000 people to evacuate. The Cedar Rapids Schools were closed for a week.
In 2015, Cedar Rapids approved a $625 million flood protection plan over 20 years for levee improvements. Although the improvement to the levee system in Cedar Rapids had not been completed due to over $80 million in funding not appropriated by the United States Congresses of 2014 and 2016 and the voting down by local residents of a temporary increase in the local sales tax to pay for the levee improvements, out of school students along with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and 412 Iowa National Guard troops filled more than a quarter of a million sandbags in a successful effort to prevent any major flooding of the city outside the evacuation zone. A 9.8-mile (15.8 km) system of Hesco barriers, earthen berms, and over 400,000 sandbags were used to plug the gaps in the levee system. The city of Cedar Rapids purchased additional Hesco barriers from Iowa City for $1.4 million. Numerous upstream cities that had been earlier affected by the September flooding and mandatory evacuations, including Charles City, Greene, Manchester, Clarksville, Shell Rock, Vinton, Janesville, Cedar Falls and Waterloo, sent hundreds of thousands of unused sandbags to support efforts in Cedar Rapids and nearby communities. The remnants of Hurricane Paine did not produce any rain to saturate the temporary earth berms and sandbags, which would have greatly increased the likelihood of breach in the temporary levee structures, causing a much greater flooded area; the river crested during very sunny weather. Additionally, beginning on September 25, 300 to 400 National Guard troops along with the Iowa State Patrol, other law enforcement agencies, and 60 duly sworn law enforcement officials enforced a nightly 8pm to 7am curfew.
On August 10, 2020, an intense derecho formed over the Midwest and moved eastward across Iowa with Cedar Rapids being the hardest hit city. Sustained winds of 60 to 80 miles per hour (97 to 129 km/h), frequent gusts of 110 miles per hour (180 km/h) or greater, and an estimated peak gust of 140 miles per hour (230 km/h) on the south-west side of the city damaged the majority of all residential and commercial buildings in Cedar Rapids, as well as 20 schools, and resulted in the closure of most local businesses. Thousands of trees were downed throughout all 75 square miles of Cedar Rapids. Most of the city's roads became mostly blocked due or impassible to downed trees and blown limbs, power poles along with their lines, and general debris, like large road signs, as well as damaged buildings, homes, and farms. 95% of the city was without power. Trash pickup stopped, cell phone service was very spotty for multiple days, and many gas leaks were reported.Interstate 380 was closed between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.
Hospitals treated over 300 patients for storm related injuries. Professional estimates suggested that cleanup and removal of the city's downed trees could take months. Arborists urged residents not to clear trees on their own, in order to avoid injury.
On Friday, August 14, Governor Kim Reynolds arrived in Cedar Rapids, accompanied by Adjutant General Benjamin Corell of the Iowa National Guard. Gen. Corell said he had not seen a comparable level of damage since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Other city officials described the damage as being even worse than the Iowa flood of 2008.
The Cedar Rapids Metropolitan Statistical Area consists of Linn, Benton, and Jones counties. The MSA had a 2000 census population of 237,230, with an estimated 2008 population of 255,452; Linn County was the only county in the MSA before the MSA was redefined after the 2000 census.
As a growing job center, Cedar Rapids pulls commuters from nearby Marion and Hiawatha. Other towns that have become bedroom communities include Ely, Swisher, Shueyville, Palo, Atkins, Fairfax, Walford, Robins and Bertram.
Based on the 2010 American Community Survey 1 Year Estimates, the median income for a household in the city was $51,186, and the median income for a family was $63,265. Males had a median income of $40,413 versus $26,402 for females. The per capita income for the city is $26,370. About 6.3% of families and 11.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.5% of those under the age of 18 and 4.3% of those 65 or older.
As of the census of 2010, there were 126,326 people, 53,236 households, and 30,931 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,784.3 people per square mile (688.9/km2). There were 57,217 housing units at an average density of 808.2 per square mile (312.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 87.98% White, 5.58% African American, 0.31% Native American, 2.21% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 0.93% from other races, and 2.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.31% of the population.
There were 53,236 households, of which 28.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.8% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.9% were non-families. 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.95.
Age spread: 23.5% under the age of 18, 11.2% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, and 13.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.3 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.4 males.
In the 2000 census, Cedar Rapids was 91.9% non-Hispanic white, with well over half of the population claiming a specific ethnic European ancestry, such as Germans (35.5%), Irish (17.1%), English (9.4%), Czechs (7.8%), Norwegians (5.1%), and French from either France or Canada (3.2%). The city also has a growing minority population: for example, in the three-year period from 2006 to 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that 4.9% of the Cedar Rapids population identified as African Americans, up from 3.7% in the 2000 census.
Known as the "land of 10,000 lakes," Iowa is a southern Midwestern U.S. State. It is synonymous with Midwestern heritage and cuisine. Iowa, a Midwestern U.S. State, sits between the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. It is known for its spectacular landscape of cornfields and rolling plains. Landmark in the capital, Des Moines, are the state capitol building, Pappajohn Sculpture Park, and the historic Des Moines Art Center.
A combination of eastern and western food, music and culture makes Iowa a unique destination. People from all around the world flock to Iowa each year to experience the warm and friendly people. Tourism has become the driving industry of the state and the number of visitors has increased every year since the turn of the millennium. The Des Moines Register ranked fifth in the state for tourist spending.
Iowa is famous for its agriculture and a major corn producer. Corn is used to make ethanol and also for feed. The tourism industry has grown tremendously and thousands of people from out of state come to visit every year. Many celebrities are drawn to Iowa including famed Desperate Housewives star Brandie May. Tourists from across the country visit Iowa to see the state's largest hog farm.
The Hawkeye State is very popular for outdoor activities. Deer hunting is a popular sport here and the hunting season is usually during the spring. People who love to fish enjoy the clean waters of Iowa. Bass, trout and walleye fishing are also popular pastimes. Motorized wheelchairs can be used by handicapped individuals to easily move around.
Iowa has a rich history. The "Iowa Gold Rush" gave rise to the construction of massive huts along the Iowa River. These huts provided easy shelter for settlers and their families. Iowa was an important route of American pioneers. Lincoln county was among them.
Iowa plays an important role in protecting the environment. The state is one of the nation's leading producers of renewable energy. The wind and solar power that the state possesses make use of a large portion of its natural resources. Many farmers depend on the wind and sun to help them grow crops. Tourism also benefits a great deal from the state because it brings in people to visit.
Iowa is extremely popular because of its attractions. The winter tourist season is especially popular. A lot of people go to Iowa during this time because it offers great skiing opportunities. The famous "Big Four" resorts are also located in Iowa.
Iowa is a lovely place to visit and work. There is a lot for people of all ages to do in Iowa. Iowa is a wonderful place for families and people of all ages can experience living in Iowa. You will not be disappointed with your decision to live in Iowa.
Real estate in Iowa is at an all-time high. The real estate prices have stabilized but still continue to rise in Iowa City and other cities around the state. Iowa City is known for its historic downtown area and shopping districts. Areas around Iowa City offer more affordable real estate and good living for less.
Areas around Iowa City and Cedar Falls have become very desirable for people who want to live in Iowa City and its surrounding areas. These areas are rapidly growing and offer some of the best living in the state. The real estate is cheaper than ever before and the schools are outstanding as well. Iowa City makes an excellent choice for a new home or investment property.
You can purchase real estate in Iowa from private, government, and corporate entities. Real estate transactions in Iowa can be complicated. When you purchase real estate in Iowa from a private individual or company it is in the name of that person or company. This makes it difficult for the state to trace the property's ownership and taxes. You may not know who is paying where until you call and ask.
Iowa has strict laws regarding real estate transactions. You must follow these laws if you want to purchase property. You can help protect yourself by having a lawyer represent you. When you purchase real estate in Iowa you have the right to fair market value. If the seller is unwilling to sell you a fair market value, you can ask the court to compel him or her to do so. The courts have the power to make deals that benefit buyers and sellers.