After Lake Manawa was formed during an 1881 Missouri River flood a resort grew with a short-line railroad that hauled pleasure-seekers all summer long. By the turn of the 20th century Lake Manawa was the "Mecca of the Midwest" offering amusements aplenty. The "trolley park" closed in 1928 and the lake is now an Iowa State Park. More
The Missouri River floods of 1881 created a new lake south of the railroad town of Council Bluffs, Iowa. The lake was dubbed Manawa and would become a growing pleasure resort that attracted crowds from neighboring Omaha and across the region. Before long, a short-line railroad was constructed from the Union Pacific's Broadway depot south to the lake with its bathing beach and growing number of amusements. A hotel, athletic grounds, and carnival appeared while the streetcar line was converted to electricity. Owned by the streetcar line, the Manawa Park resort would reach its peak of popularity during the early 20th century. After a devastating tornado and other disasters the lake would become, and remains, an Iowa State Park.