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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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Eagle Point Boat Yard for the Diamond Joe Line. Bud Cudmore Mgr. Later helped start Douglas Aircraft Brother in Law of F. H. Roshek. Quarry and Lime Kiln on right. Image courtesy: Tom Roshek
DIAMOND JO BOATYARD. In 1874 Joseph "Diamond Jo" REYNOLDS established a boatyard at EAGLE POINT for constructing wooden-hulled steamers. (1) Employing as many as one hundred workers, the company created an increased demand for lumber, timber, hardware, iron work and castings. (2) Oak timber and lumber used in the boatyard was shipped in from Ohio while all other materials were purchased locally. (3) In 1879 estimates were made that the company spent $150,000 with local merchants. (4) In 1880 under the direction of Ernest M. DICKEY the boatyard paid weekly wages of $600.00 (5)

Boats awaiting repair were anchored in the ICE HARBOR. When work was completed on another boat, the next to be serviced would be brought to the boat yard's drydocks. Replacing a hull and making other improvements could take a team of workmen all winter. (6)

On February 3, 1911 the DIAMOND JO LINE was sold to the Streckfus Company of Rock Island. For $200,000 the Streckfus Company obtained the steamers St. Paul, Quincy, Dubuque and Sidney. In addition it received the wharves, warehouses and boatyards of the company. (7) In 1911 the Dubuque City Directory listed a Streckfus Boat Yard at the end of Lincoln Avenue.

Diamond Jo boatyard at Eagle Point in 1885




1. Hudson, David; Bergman, Marvin; Horton, Loren. The Biographical Dictionary of Iowa. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2008 p. 424

2. River News, Dubuque Herald, Mar. 22, 1882, p. 4. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=FpRCAAAAIBAJ&sjid=LqsMAAAAIBAJ&pg=3146,6260675&dq=dubuque+marine+ways&hl=en

3. "Diamond Jo," Dubuque Herald, January 30, 1880, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18800130&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

4. Ibid.

5. Oldt, Franklin. History of Dubuque County, Iowa. Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880, p. 636

6. "At Eagle Point," Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, October 30, 1901, p. 8

7. "On The River," Online: http://iagenweb.org/history/rivers/W_Blair/01Feb1931.htm