He couldn’t bear to see it be torn down.

“It just didn’t make sense to me. It really is a beautiful building with an arts-and-crafts, prairie style. It’s amazing,” he said.

The building is now used as a trail-side restroom complete with fresh water, a brick landscape and plenty of wooden benches for trail users to take a break.


Although they had to cancel the depot’s annual birthday party in July with musicians Bob Dorr and Jeff Peterson, Dewater is already gearing up for next year when the depot will be 109 years old.

“It’s not all seriousness and preservation. It’s fun and parties too,” Dewater said.


The WCF&N became inactive in 1975, and the abandoned rail line was ideal for the first large rails to trails project in Iowa. Dick Young, Bob Buckmaster, Carl Bluedorn and Rick Young formed the Old Interurban Trail Inc. for the purpose of buying the old WCF&N’s “Cedar Valley Road.” The line had been abandoned by the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad.

Together with the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, the Old Interurban Trail Inc. provided most of the funds needed to make the Cedar Valley Nature Trail a reality. The trail now runs more than 130 miles from Hiawatha to Evansdale and connects to trails in Waterloo and Cedar Falls.