Clear Lake, Iowa

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Clear Lake, Iowa
City
Historic Downtown Clear Lake
Historic Downtown Clear Lake
Location of Clear Lake, Iowa
Location of Clear Lake, Iowa
Coordinates: 43°8′11″N 93°22′48″W / 43.13639°N 93.38000°W / 43.13639; -93.38000
Latitude and Longitude:

43°8′11″N 93°22′48″W / 43.13639°N 93.38000°W / 43.13639; -93.38000
CountryUS
State  Iowa
County Cerro Gordo
Area
 • Total13.37 sq mi (34.63 km2)
 • Land10.78 sq mi (27.92 km2)
 • Water2.59 sq mi (6.71 km2)
Elevation
1,237 ft (377 m)
Population
 ( 2020)
 • Total7,687
 • Density713.15/sq mi (275.34/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 ( Central (CST))
 • Summer ( DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
50428
Area code 641
FIPS code19-14025
GNIS feature ID0455465
Website www.cityofclearlake.com

Clear Lake is a city in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, United States. The population was 7,687 at the 2020 census. [2] The city is named for the large lake on which it is located. It is the home of a number of marinas, state parks and tourism-related businesses. Clear Lake is also a major stop on Interstate 35 with many restaurants, hotels and truck stops.

History

Clear Lake water tower and shoreline.

The region around the lake that would later be called Clear Lake was a summer home to the Dakota and Winnebago American Indians. During a land survey of northern Iowa done in 1832 by Nathan Boone, the son of the famous explorer Daniel Boone, a map was made showing the lake and other bodies of water in the area. [3]

In 1851, Joseph Hewitt and James Dickirson brought their families to camp on the east side of Clear Lake, soon building a cabin, and began a friendship with the Winnebago natives. By 1853, many more white settlers had also came to settle in the area. By the year 1855, the first Clear Lake school was built as well as the first steam saw mill. In that year a hotel was built by James Crow. [3]

By 1870, the town had 775 residents and by 1871 the streets were graded and sidewalks were made of raised boards, sure signs of a thriving new city. [3] [4] The city of Clear Lake was incorporated on May 26, 1871. [5] The first bandstand in Clear Lake was built in 1877 at the City Park. The town continued to grow and built its first library in 1889. In 1909, Bayside Amusement park opened for the first time. The first North Iowa Band Festival was organized by John Kopecky, among others, in 1932. [3]

In 1933, the Surf Ballroom opened up on the site of the old Tom Tom ballroom that had been destroyed by fire. The opening dance night saw approximately 700 couples attend. In 1947, the Surf Ballroom burned down; a new Surf Ballroom was built across the street the following year. The Bayside Amusement park closed down in 1958. [3]

The Day the Music Died

Monument at crash site

In the early hours of February 3, 1959, a Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft carrying Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper, who had been performing at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, took off from the local runway in nearby Mason City, on its way to the next show in Moorhead, Minnesota.

The plane crashed soon after take off, killing everyone onboard. The event was later eulogized by folk singer Don McLean in his 1971 song " American Pie", which led to the crash being nicknamed "The Day the Music Died".

In June 1988, around 600 people gathered to witness the dedication of the monument to the three musicians. Clear Lake also renamed Second Place North to "Buddy Holly Place". [3]

Geography

Clear Lake is located at 43°8′11″N 93°22′48″W / 43.13639°N 93.38000°W / 43.13639; -93.38000 (43.136479, −93.379927). [6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.44 square miles (34.81 km2), of which 10.80 square miles (27.97 km2) is land and 2.64 square miles (6.84 km2) is water. [7]

Climate

Clear Lake, Iowa has a hot/warm summer humid continental climate (Dfa).

Climate data for Mason City Municipal Airport
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 62
(17)
66
(19)
84
(29)
93
(34)
99
(37)
103
(39)
104
(40)
101
(38)
99
(37)
95
(35)
79
(26)
67
(19)
104
(40)
Average high °F (°C) 25
(−4)
29
(−2)
42
(6)
58
(14)
70
(21)
80
(27)
83
(28)
81
(27)
73
(23)
60
(16)
43
(6)
28
(−2)
56
(13)
Daily mean °F (°C) 16
(−9)
21
(−6)
33
(1)
47
(8)
58
(14)
68
(20)
72
(22)
69
(21)
61
(16)
48
(9)
34
(1)
20
(−7)
46
(8)
Average low °F (°C) 7
(−14)
12
(−11)
24
(−4)
35
(2)
47
(8)
57
(14)
61
(16)
58
(14)
49
(9)
37
(3)
24
(−4)
11
(−12)
35
(2)
Record low °F (°C) −31
(−35)
−32
(−36)
−28
(−33)
6
(−14)
22
(−6)
36
(2)
42
(6)
35
(2)
24
(−4)
12
(−11)
−16
(−27)
−26
(−32)
−32
(−36)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.82
(21)
1.00
(25)
2.23
(57)
3.75
(95)
4.68
(119)
5.14
(131)
4.70
(119)
4.04
(103)
3.27
(83)
2.45
(62)
1.88
(48)
1.24
(31)
35.20
(894)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 10.8
(27)
7.7
(20)
6.0
(15)
2.7
(6.9)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.4
(1.0)
4.3
(11)
9.3
(24)
41.2
(105)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in.) 7.5 7.2 9.2 11.1 12.1 11.2 9.7 9.5 8.7 8.8 8.0 8.5 111.5
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in.) 6.8 5.1 3.5 1.7 0 0 0 0 0 0.5 3.4 7.2 28.2
Source: National Centers for Environmental Information [8] [9]

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870775
18801,09541.3%
18901,1303.2%
19001,70651.0%
19102,01418.1%
19202,80439.2%
19303,0669.3%
19403,76422.8%
19504,97732.2%
19606,15823.7%
19706,4304.4%
19807,45816.0%
19908,1839.7%
20008,161−0.3%
20107,777−4.7%
20207,687−1.2%
Iowa Data Center [4] [2]
The population of Clear Lake, Iowa from US census data
The population of Clear Lake, Iowa from US census data

Clear Lake is part of the Mason City Micropolitan Statistical Area.

2010 census

As of the census [10] of 2010, there were 7,777 people, 3,507 households, and 2,087 families residing in the city. The population density was 720.1 inhabitants per square mile (278.0/km2). There were 4,423 housing units at an average density of 409.5 per square mile (158.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.3% White, 0.5% African American, 0.1% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.2% of the population.

There were 3,507 households, of which 25.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.9% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.5% were non-families. 35.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.78.

The median age in the city was 46.3 years. 20.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.2% were from 25 to 44; 31.9% were from 45 to 64; and 20.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.2% male and 51.8% female.

2000 census

As of the census [11] of 2000, there were 8,161 people, 3,461 households, and 2,239 families residing in the city. The population density was 782.4 inhabitants per square mile (302.1/km2). There were 4,156 housing units at an average density of 398.4 per square mile (153.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.99% White, 0.27% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.92% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.75% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.86% of the population.

There were 3,461 households, out of which 28.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.4% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.3% were non-families. 31.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.86.

Age spread:23.0% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 25.1% from 45 to 64, and 17.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,097, and the median income for a family was $45,589. Males had a median income of $30,266 versus $21,356 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,213. About 5.0% of families and 7.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.0% of those under age 18 and 5.7% of those age 65 or over.

Clear Lake Fire Museum, 2013

Arts and culture

  • Surf Ballroom: Site of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper's last concert, the Surf Ballroom continues to host concerts and can be reserved as a convention hall or reception site. It is also a tourist attraction and holds a tribute to the three rock and roll singers each February.
  • Lady of the Lake: A sternwheeler ferry boat which takes passengers on a scenic cruise around Clear Lake. It has an enclosed lower level and an open upper level. [12]
  • Clear Lake Fire Museum: Designed to resemble an early fire station, this museum's highlights include a 1924 Ahrens-Fox pumper truck, the city's 1883 hand-pulled hose cart, and the original fire bell used by the department. A memorial is dedicated to honor firefighters who have served Clear Lake. [13]
  • Guardian Angel Roadside Chapel: Built by Jack Kennedy, the Guardian Angel Chapel overlooks Interstate 35 and is open to the public daily. [13]
  • Clear Lake Arts Center: This non-profit organization displays local and regional artists' work along with a sales gallery and art classes open to the public. [13]
  • PM Park: Site of the Patriarchs Militant camp (a subgroup of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows). Established in 1914, turned into a historical eating and lodging venue.
  • Central Gardens of North Iowa, Inc. has over 20 themed gardens on nearly 3 acres of land and is the only free public garden within 90 miles of Clear Lake. It is open daily, dawn to dusk, May 1 through October 31 and offers over 50 free activities, events, and programs each year.
  • Lake Theatre: Historic single screen movie theatre showing current titles. Originally an Opera House, converted to movie theatre in 1935. https://www.clearlaketheatre.com
Downtown Clear Lake rowhouses

Education

There are three schools in the local public school district, Clear Lake Community School District. Clear Creek Elementary School hosts preschool, [14] kindergarten, and grades 1–5; Clear Lake Middle School hosts grades 6–8; and Clear Lake High School hosts grades 9–12. [15] Lakeside Alternative, an alternative school program, is run jointly with the Garner–Hayfield–Ventura Community School District in neighboring Ventura, Iowa. [16]

Clear Lake Classical, a preK–8 Classical Christian school, [17] is the only private school in the city.

Infrastructure

Transportation

Clear Lake is located along Interstate 35 approximately halfway between the Twin Cities and Des Moines, Iowa. U.S. Highway 18 runs east–west through the northern side of the city until it meets Interstate 35; at this interchange, Iowa Highway 122 begins and continues to the east. U.S. 18 proper continues to the south, overlapping an approximately 3.5-mile stretch of Interstate 35 and Iowa Highway 27 (part of the Avenue of the Saints). Just south of the city, U.S. 18 and Iowa 27 break from Interstate 35 and continue to the east. [18]

The North Iowa Area Council of Governments operates Region 2 Transit, which provides city and regional demand responsive public bus transit. [19] Jefferson Lines, a private intercity bus service, maintains a stop in Clear Lake with service to locations throughout the Midwest. [20]

Mason City Municipal Airport is located immediately to the east of Clear Lake. [21]

Two freight rail lines run through the city. Canadian Pacific Railway operates a line parallel to U.S. 18, which stops at a minor grain facility; trackage rights are given to the Iowa Northern Railway. Progressive Rail maintains the Iowa Traction Railway, a shortline railroad which runs between Clear Lake and Mason City. [22]

Utilities

The city's electric power and natural gas utilities are provided by Alliant Energy. [23] Since 2004, Alliant Energy has operated a natural gas—fired electricity generation plant southeast of the city. [24]

Sewage treatment is provided by the Clear Lake Sanitary District, a local government entity separate from the city government. Wastewater travels through pump stations within the city before being routed to a treatment plant to the south. There, it is filtered, processed through a sequencing batch reactor, and disinfected with ultraviolet light. Some of the resulting treated effluent is routed to the nearby Alliant Energy plant for cooling purposes. [25]

Telephone, cable television, and internet services are provided by local provider CL Tel [26] and Mediacom. [27]

Water supply services are provided by the city. The city's water is drawn from shallow wells in the Cedar Valley Formation. [28]

Waste collection services are also provided by the city and operated by local company Absolute Waste Removal. [29] Further processing is performed at the Landfill of North Iowa to the east. [30]

Health care

MercyOne Medical Center North Iowa [31] in neighboring Mason City is the nearest hospital. Both MercyOne [32] and Iowa Specialty Hospital [33] operate clinics within the city.

In September 2020, construction began on a wellness center near Clear Lake High School for joint use by Clear Lake Community School District and the community. [34]

Notable people

See also

References

  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "2020 Census State Redistricting Data". census.gov. United states Census Bureau. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Clear Lake Historical Society". Historical events. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Iowa Data Center" (PDF). Clear Lake. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  5. ^ "City Data website". Detailed Profile. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 1, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
  8. ^ "Mason City Municipal Airport climate normals". National Centers for Environmental Information. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  9. ^ "Mason City Municipal Airport daily GHCN data". National Centers for Environmental Information. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  10. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
  11. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  12. ^ Lady of the Lake Cruise
  13. ^ a b c Attractions Archived June 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ McNett, Jared (April 11, 2019). "New preschool in Clear Lake scheduled to open in Fall 2019". Mason City Globe Gazette. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  15. ^ "Schools". Clear Lake Community School District. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  16. ^ "Lakeside Alternative". Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  17. ^ "About". Clear Lake Classical.
  18. ^ Iowa Department of Transportation. Highway and Street Map of Clear Lake, Iowa (PDF) (Map). Clear Lake Iowa: Iowa Department of Transportation. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  19. ^ "Region 2 Transit". Iowa Department of Transportation. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  20. ^ Jefferson Lines. "Buses to Iowa". Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  21. ^ Mason City Municipal Airport. "Home". Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  22. ^ Iowa Department of Transportation. Iowa Grain Facilities Rail Map (PDF) (Map). Iowa: Iowa Department of Transportation. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  23. ^ Alliant Energy. "Communities we serve". Retrieved September 7, 2021.
  24. ^ Horgen, Jan (May 19, 2004). "Power starts flowing from Emery Generating Plant". Globe Gazette. Retrieved September 7, 2021.
  25. ^ Clear Lake Sanitary District. "Treatment". Retrieved September 7, 2021.
  26. ^ CL Tel. "Here for You!". Retrieved September 7, 2021.
  27. ^ City of Clear Lake. "Utility Billing Department". Retrieved September 7, 2021.
  28. ^ City of Clear Lake. "Water Department". Retrieved September 7, 2021.
  29. ^ Absolute Waste Removal. "Absolute Waste Removal". Retrieved September 7, 2021.
  30. ^ Landfill of North Iowa. "About". Retrieved September 7, 2021.
  31. ^ MercyOne. "About Us". Retrieved September 9, 2021.
  32. ^ MercyOne. "MercyOne Clear Lake Family Medicine". Retrieved September 9, 2021.
  33. ^ Iowa Specialty Hospital. "Gabrielson Clinic - Clear Lake". Retrieved September 9, 2021.
  34. ^ Jirgens, Alex (September 16, 2020). "Ground officially broken on Clear Lake's shared school district-community wellness center". KIMT. Retrieved September 9, 2021.
  35. ^ "Richard Hayward Bio". Little Feat. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  36. ^ "KAYNOR, William Kirk". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  37. ^ "Our Founder". McGraw Foundation. Retrieved October 1, 2019.

External links