"Fenelon Place Elevator Company" Top 5 Page for this destination Iowa Things to Do Tip by deecat
Iowa Things to Do: 84 reviews and 141 photos
Jill and I had such a good time seeing and riding the Fenelon Place Elevator. We learned that about 1882, a Mr. J.K. Graves [a wealthy former mayor and State Senator] lived in Dubuque on top of the bluffs. However, he worked at the bottom of the bluffs. At that time, everyone had one and a half hours for lunch. He hated spending so much time getting to and from his home. A world traveler, Mr. Graves had seen incline railways in Europe and thought that it would be a great idea to build a cable car. His private cable car was modeled after those in the Alps.
After his original cable car burned down, he had it rebuilt; this time , he opened it to the public and charged 5 cents a ride. Unfortunately, the cable burned again. He did not rebuild; however his neighbors [10 of them] formed the Fenelon Place Elevator Company and used a streetcar motor to run the elevator and used steel cable for the cars. They reconstructed it so that two [funicular] could be operated at the same time.
It was rebuilt in 1977 with a modern gear box and a DC motor. The cable car that we rode is of that era. And the scene of the Mississippi River and the city of Dubuque is excellent. They say that on super clear days, you can see three states: Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin.
The Elevator is open from April 1 through November 30, 8:00 a.m.-10 p.m.
Rates [You pay at the top; you use the rope to ring the bell when you wish to go up]
Adults $1.00 or $2.00 round trip
Children .50 or $1.00 round trip
Bike and rider $1.50
Children under five go for FREE
Address: 512 Fenelon Place, Dubuque, Iowa 52001
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