(1920-July 1, 2003)

Old NORTH End: Stoplight, US 18 and S28, Clear Lake, Cerro Gordo County

Facing north on 107

Facing west on 18

Although S28 goes north from 107's old north end, on the south side of Clear Lake it is S25.

Facing west on 18

Facing east on 18, post-decommissioning

West of this intersection (behind the camera), Clear Lake has recently re-striped part of 18 to be one lane in each direction with a center turn lane, as opposed to two lanes of traffic each way. "To S25" also appears westbound.

IA 107, the highest number in existence by the end of 1920, probably originally ended to the southwest, on North 3rd Street at 7th Avenue North. Iowa Highway Commission minutes refer to a "Division Street," but in comparison with 1930s aerial photos, I think Clear Lake renamed a whole bunch of streets sometime after 1936, and 7th is the logical street to have been US 18 at the time. South of Clear Lake to near B43, 107 left town on what is now gravel Fir Avenue.

Surrounding area information: Junction old IA 106

Facing west on 106/Bus. Loop I-35

The LGS reads "<-State Park 2; <-Thornton 13; Clear Lake->" when Clear Lake, like Cedar Falls at IA 57, is all around us. It's possible this sign dates back to before 1980 when this road was IA 106. But 107 hasn't been here since 1987; it's still further south.

NORTH End: B35/27th Ave. S., Cerro Gordo County

Facing north on 107

Facing north on 107

Just to the lower right of the Clear Lake State Park sign is mile marker 30. Once upon a time (1920-1967) IA 106 went west from here along the south side of the lake. When commissioned it was the highest-numbered intersection in the state.

Facing south on 107

With the "hanging end" is an Iowa rarity: a "BEGIN" sign. Jason Hancock says the signs here were put up in 2000, meaning they lasted less than three years.

Along the route: Leaving Thornton

Facing north on 107

At left is a 107 shield with a mile marker. It's strange that both the destination town and highway would both be listed, especially since they're the same distance away!

I would not have deleted the entire route from the highway system. Instead, I would've sent 107 east of Thornton 1½ miles to I-35, which would involve taking charge of a railroad crossing. That road doesn't directly intersect 107; it ends at the south side of the tracks, and 107 turns on the north side.

Along the route: Splitting up the numbers

Facing north on 107

You can see the curve for 107 under the county road shields. The space now occupied by B65 shields held the shields for 107. The county did everything right here, splitting up the route and signing it accordingly, even taking down the "Jct" above the S14 shields here. (I'm not sure what's up with the different sizes, though.)

Temporary NORTH End (June 2003): City limits of Meservey, Cerro Gordo/Franklin county line

Facing south on 107

Just south of the Cerro Gordo/Franklin line is the south Meservey city limits. In this area was the temporary end of IA 107, probably at the county line although the limits extend a little farther south. The sign at right is visible in the deep background of the left photo, in the lower left corner. All signs north of this point were taken down between May 16 and June 4, 2003; the rest of the route was decommissioned July 1. It is unknown whether any signage was placed for the month it served as the north end. The Cerro Gordo County part of the route was turned over before the Second Great Decommissioning.

At the Cerro Gordo/Franklin line is the south Meservey city limits. In this area was the temporary end of IA 107, as the road was turned over in two segments. The sign at right is visible in the deep background of the left photo, in the lower left corner. All signs north of this point were taken down between May 16 and June 4, 2003; the rest of the route was decommissioned July 1. It is unknown whether any signage was placed for the month it served as the north end. The Cerro Gordo County part of the route was turned over before the Second Great Decommissioning.

And then there was one

The red school district is Meservey-Thornton, created in 1963. The bottom green is Sheffield-Chapin, one of the few districts to include the name of an unincorporated town. While this 2005-06 map shows them as two separate districts, in reality "SCMT" has been in existence since the 1988-89 school year. By the time SCMT became a legal entity in 2007, though, demographics were demanding another change. Rockwell-Swaledale, the top green district, lost 35 percent of its enrollment between 1999-00 and 2006-07 and, as you can see from the map, SCMT made a logical partner. Rather than contribute to acronym overload, they're going with West Fork, named after the branch of the Cedar River running between Thornton and Swaledale. (Sounds downright suburban, doesn't it?) Though SCMT and RS remain separate legally for now, in a quarter-century this area of Cerro Gordo and Franklin counties went from three high schools to one.

SOUTH End: Stop sign/T intersection, IA 3, Franklin County

Facing south on 107 (September 2002 / September 2003)

LGS in above picture (from above pic, at 100%)

Facing east on 3, sign assembly at lower left of LGS (September 2002)

Facing east on 3 (September 2003)

Facing west on 3 (September 2002)

Notice the font difference in the 107s compared to the above.

Facing west on 3 (September 2003)

Last seen: 2003

All pictures by me: First-third, fifth-ninth, and 13th, 3/22/03; fourth, 7/16/05; 10th-12th, 15th, 19th and 21st, 9/5/03; 14th, 16th, 17th, 18th, and 20th, 9/13/02

Sources for school information: "One last visit to M-T"; "Rockwell-Swaledale parents say keep high school there," Mason City Globe-Gazette, Dec. 6, 2007

Page created 12/15/01; last updated 4/21/10

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