Albia Man Uncovers Iowa History at Dump Sites

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ALBIA, Iowa- Kerry Stewart has a very unique hobby, collecting old glass bottles, and other relics from 1880 to about 1920. But Stewart doesn’t buy these treasures, he knows where to find them.

“I build bridges for a living, and during the excavation the bottles would always pop up out of the ground, during that time it would be pop bottles,” said Stewart. “They said I should put out an open sign outside and charge people to come see it just like a miniature museum.”

Stewart learned that somewhere out there, items from the 1880’s era could be found, if you know where to look. Talking to some old timers, and looking at old maps, he learned where the trains traveled and where they might have stopped to dump their trash, before they got to the depot.

“Normally they be within a mile, a mile and a half of where the depot would be, they would got into town, they would stop, and sweep the cars out,” said Stewart.

Stewart finds the sites to dig, but keeps them a secret. He does ask permission from the land owners.

Stewart does not show his collection to the public. He doesn’t know how many bottles he has, but estimates around two thousand or more. He has put this collection together over the last four years.

“I like history I love the history on it,he 1800 bottles, I love the cork,” said Stewart.

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