Quiet Walker Lodge Receives 2009 Best of Durango Award

December 17th, 2009

WASHINGTON D.C., June 8, 2009 — Quiet Walker Lodge has been selected for the 2009 Best of Durango Award in the Bed & Breakfasts category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA).

The USCA “Best of Local Business” Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USCA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2009 USCA Award Program focused on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USCA and data provided by third parties.

About U.S. Commerce Association (USCA)

U.S. Commerce Association (USCA) is a Washington D.C. based organization funded by local businesses operating in towns, large and small, across America. The purpose of USCA is to promote local business through public relations, marketing and advertising.

The USCA was established to recognize the best of local businesses in their community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, chambers of commerce and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to be an advocate for small and medium size businesses and business entrepreneurs across America.

SOURCE: U.S. Commerce Association

CONTACT:
U.S. Commerce Association
Email: PublicRelations@us-ca.org
URL: http://www.us-ca.org

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Reflections in the Park

December 14th, 2009

Dubuque IA | Quiet Walker | Bed Breakfasts
Last night I decided to treat myself. I drove over to Murphy Park in Dubuque to enjoy the Reflections in the Park. This lovely display of lights is a part of Dubuque tradition every year. The $8.00 per car donation helps Hillcrest Family Services provide opportunities for our struggling families in Dubuque.

Reflections in the Park does get a lot of people coming through to see the fantastic light displays. Each year, approximately 10,000 cars pass through the park, with somewhere between 40,000 and 50,000 people viewing the lights. Since the program first began in 1995, more than 650,000 visitors have viewed the brilliant display, raising over one-million dollars for the programs and facilities of Hillcrest Family Services.

Reflections in the Park opened Thanksgiving night at Louis Murphy Park and continues daily from 5 to 10 p.m. through January 1, 2010.

One of my favorite displays was the John Deere holiday tractors and construction equipment. These animated vehicles even moved with the Christmas music provided by radio 95.5. The snow on the ground and the clear evening made it even more dazzling as we drove through the park. If you have a chance to see this display, it is worth the time and it helps our community!

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Iowa Blizzard

December 11th, 2009

Winter at Quiet Walker Lodge
Being from California I never have experienced a true blizzard. Oh I had been to the snow in Tahoe and enjoyed a few days at Yosemite, but nothing had prepared me for minus 27 in Iowa!

Our school let us out two hours early on Tuesday and I raced home before the storm hit. I had already put cat litter in the trunk, placed a scrapper and brush on the floor in the back seat, included a blanket, flashlight and granola bar and added a lightweight shovel. So I figured I was prepared.

When the wind and snow started I just watched in amazement! Here in Iowa one really gets to see mother nature up and personal. The trees were bending and the snow was piling up. We ended up with about a foot on the ground.

Thursday morning looked like a Burl and Ives Christmas Card. The trees were outlined in snow and the ground sparkled as the sun bounced off the surface. I learned that I needed to be careful outside with a minus 27 wind chill. After ten minutes outside I raced back into the warmth of our home. I was sure glad school was canceled so I would not be required to drive in to town.

Mike plowed the driveway and Friday I drove back to school. I survived my first Iowa blizzard and was able to enjoy some of the prettiest snow I have ever seen.

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History of Durango

November 22nd, 2009

Miner's cabin | Dubuque IowaI enjoy exploring. I find it always interesting to learn about the place I live. Well here in Durango, population 24, I found it more than a challenge to find out about the history of this little place. I wondered why it was even designated a town when it has no post office and no school.

I searched the internet, but found nothing about the history of Durango. Even the abstracts on the QWL property had no tantalizing tidbits about the area. So I went to the library in Dubuque and looked in the local Iowa history section. There was one small book on Durango.

Durango became a settlement sometime around 1833, when the land west of the Mississippi was opened for settlement. People called it Timber Diggings at that time probably because of the lead miners who settled in the area. The largest mine in the area was owned by Ralph Mollart and was right here on Paradise Valley Road. I am curious to explore this large cave on the property that only can be seen in the winter months. It is at the base of a huge bluff where I walk to enjoy the view at the end. I have not gotten brave enough to check out the cave, but maybe one day I will walk down that bluff to check it out.

At the end of the bluff on the side of the roadway is an old miner’s cabin. It is slowly dissolving into the side of the bluff, but it is a good example of the type of cabins built by the miner’s. The red coloring on the cabin was made from ocher that was dug out of the hill tops. It is a powdery substance that is mixed with linseed oil to make the red paint.

The downfall of the town of Durango came with the failure of the area mines. In 1835 discoveries of minerals, like lead, attracted miners. Large numbers flocked to the area and cabins were erected. Goods and groceries were sold and Durango was thriving. But when the mineral was exhausted, the miners left the place.

Although many miners left the Durango digs, some stayed and began farming. The town became known as Durango and a post office was established in 1837. Preseley Samuel was the first postmaster. He was the brother of Rueben Samuels who was married to Jesse and Frank James mother Zeralda. Jesse James visited Durango in 1863 and stayed at the home of Preseley Samuel. Who knows he might even have been down Paradise Valley Road!

Jesse James was not the only desperado that stayed in Durango. Kaintuk Anderson came to Durango in 1834. He was notorious for his hard drinking and total disrespect for the law. He died on the streets of Durango after threatening one of the Sherrill boys and publicly proclaiming that he would shoot Adam Sherrill on sight. One day when Adam saw Anderson, he shot him dead. He was acquitted by the Justice of the Peace.

When the railroad decided to build tracks from Dubuque to Farley, Durango citizens were ready. A one story depot was built in Durango in 1892. Within a short time, the railroad also built a siding on which farmers could load their animals for market and loggers could load flat cars for shipment throughout the midwest.

Many men were employed in the operation of the railroad and soon stores and other establishments opened for business in Durango. A building on Hwy 52 near the west end of Durango once housed a tavern and a dance hall. It was owned by Jacob and Minne Breitbach. The tavern was on the first floor and the dance hall was on the second. The building is the present home of the Wold’s and has 826 as its address. At the rear of the tavern the Richardsville baseball team cleared the land and built a baseball diamond.

In 1947 the tavern building was bought by Cletus Jameson and he expanded it to include a first floor dance hall. It was known as the Durango Dells. Old timers still talk about the prohibition years when people from Dubuque would come and hide their cars in the local caves to avoid detection from law enforcement as they partied at the local taverns.

Jameson later closed the dance hall and it became a boat dealership and chainsaw business. It later became known as Vacationland.  A cafe was located at Burtons Furnance Road and later changed to a tavern. The Handle Bar is still in existence and is located at the Heritage Trail entrance in Durango.

After a flood wiped out the railroad depot in 1896,  a second depot was built.  But in 1968 the Durango line was no longer needed. The railroad removed the tracks in 1981 and a bike trail was erected which is now called Heritage Trail and is a favorite among our guests. The trail is 26 miles long and goes from Sageville to Dyersville.

Today, few people reside in Durango. But the rich history of this small town can still be seen in the structures left behind. So when you come and visit QWL, stop at the bottom of the hill and look at the old miner’s cabin.

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EATS!

November 22nd, 2009

We are always looking for great places to enjoy a good meal. One of our favorite places is the Fireside Grill at the Diamond Jo in Dubuque. The atmosphere is very romantic and the food is great. Carol enjoyed her birthday this Friday at the grill. She had prime rib. It was so tender it melted in your mouth. She especially liked the asparagus and the variety of breads. It is a little pricey, but well worth it for that special occasion.

Another great place is Breitbach’s Country Dining. This is a causal dining restaurant in the town of Balltown. It is the oldest restaurant in Iowa and has been open since 1852. The Breitbach family has run the place since 1855. They serve Midwestern dishes and German ethnic food. The pies are awesome and were shown on Food Network. Portions are ample and the atmosphere is friendly and casual. Balltown is not far from QWL. So if you are looking for an experience, we suggest stopping by Breitbach Country Dining. It is a favorite of our guests.

If you are looking for a good hamburger, we suggest Champs in Dubuque. The portions are good and the price is reasonable. My favorite is the fish sandwich.

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Festival of Trees

November 20th, 2009

Dubuque Bed Breakfasts | Iowa Bed Breakfasts The Mercy Festival of Trees is in full swing at the Hotel Julien. This is the 26th year that this beautiful community event has been held in Dubuque. From Friday, November 20th to Saturday, November 28th you can view the sparkling trees for no charge. There are many events held during this time to raise money to support the building of a new Intensive Care Unit at Mercy Hospital. Besides the silent auction, they are holding a Festival of Trees Cookie Walk on the 21st. This is a real favorite around here. For $10 you get to fill a bucket of some of the most delicious cookies around. I like to freeze the cookies and then have them for Christmas treats for my family. On Tuesday, November 24th the Tri-State Surgery Center and US Bank are hosting a wine tasting, cake auction and jewelry show at the festival. You get to taste the wines and also purchase bottles of wine at the event. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. There is a viewing of the cakes from 5:30-6:15. This is a very popular event.

So come on up to our neck of the woods and stay at QWL while you visit the Festival of Trees in downtown Dubuque. It is a great way to get into the holiday spirit and help support the building of the Intensive Care Unit at Mercy!

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Welcome

November 20th, 2009

Winter after a light snowfall

Welcome to our new Quiet Walker Lodge Bed and Breakfast blog! Quiet Walker Lodge is located in Durango, Iowa – 8 miles from Dubuque. Our blog will feature historical articles, local attractions and events, great recipes and other interesting information about our area. So grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy the posts.