From Days Gone By
The photo above marks the arrival of the “Hawkeye II” fish car to Cedar Rapids, Iowa from the American Car and Foundry Company of Saint Louis, 110 years ago. To meet her were (from left to right): W.E. Albert (Deputy Game Warden for the Lansing Area), George Lincoln (retired Fish and Game Warden living in the Cedar Rapids area), Elmer Hinshaw (State Fish and Game Warden), and Charles Howard (Game Keeper at the State Game Farm).
She would soon leave Cedar Rapids with W.E. Albert and head up to Lansing where she would spend most of her career (1913-1931) picking up and delivering fish from the Lansing or Sabula Fish Stations to the rest of the State, mostly fish rescue fish from the Mississippi River. Or, in her later years, picking up fish from the Spirit Lake Hatchery to be stocked into State waters. Between 1919 and 1921, Hawkeye II made between 24 and 30 stocking trips annually across the State. Along with her counterparts from the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, the Fish Cars, she made the stocking of fish into Iowa waters possible in the early 1900’s. But by the late 1920’s, trucks capable of hauling fish were becoming more common and the fish cars’ days were numbered. In 1931, Hawkeye II was taken out of service and pulled off on a railroad siding at Lansing. In May of 1933 she made her last trip to the Spirit Lake Hatchery, where she was retired and converted into a dormitory for the drivers of the hatchery trucks that replaced her. In 1944, Hawkeye II was donated to a scrap metal drive for World War II.
Submitted by Vance Polton, Lake Darling Fisheries Management Tech II, Iowa DNR