Black Triangle/Smokey Row in Waterloo Iowa


Smoke Row: Black Triangle

By 1915, four hundred African Americans lived and worked in Waterloo. Many came from Holmes County, Mississippi, as strike breakers for the Illinois Central Railroad. Many spent their summer in Waterloo living in Boxcars provided by the Railroad. In those days, all African Americans were required to live in Smokey Row, an area in east Waterloo boarded by the Illinois Central railroad lines on the south and west, Douglas Street on the south, Sumner Street on the north, and Mobile Street on the East.

Please provide more information about black Triangle if you have connections with friends whose family were living in the Smokey Row, Waterloo, Iowa.


Map Courtesy: Zillow (

Created and Updated by Joyce Chen and David Jackson
May 20, 2013