Lens on History: City came to a Crossroads 80-some years ago
In the early years of the Great Depression, Rochester was at a crossroads. Automobile traffic was making the downtown dangerous.
A plan was made to move U.S. Highways 14 and 55 into the country, south and west of Rochester, creating a beltline around the city. In addition, Broadway Avenue would be extended south, and a new roadbed for Trunk Highway 59 to Stewartville would be built.
This new crossroad was a golden opportunity for Malcolm Graham. In 1934, Graham opened the Crossroads Tourist Cabins, with 15 modern cabins and a Skelly gas station. With the city a mile and half away, weary travelers could enjoy a quiet stay in a pastoral setting.
Today, the intersection of South Broadway and 12th Street is far from a quiet country crossroad. In 85 years, the only thing remaining the same is a right turn will still take you to Lake City.