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Believe it or not, our beloved college town had humble beginnings. Containing only 12 blocks and 844 residents when it was incorporated in 1870, Ames now has 58,965 residents including ISU students. In 1864, Ames was chosen as a location for a station stop for the Cedar Rapids and Missouri Railroads. Ames was named by the railroad president for his friend Oakes Ames, who never actually visited the town. The Hub, now a favorite spot for coffee or a quick sandwich, was then a bookstore and waiting area for the Ames College Railway, which connected the town to the college campus. Ames turns 150 this year and quite a few interesting things have happened here—maybe more than you’d expect.



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