Town Sign Project: Audubon County

A couple weekends ago I was able to hit the open road and harvest the town signs of Audubon County. There probably won’t be an easier county to harvest than Audubon County. There are only 5 towns and almost all of those are on Highway 71.

Here are some facts about Audubon County:

+ The population is 6,119.
+ It is the third-least populous county in Iowa.
+ The county seat is Audubon.
+ The largest city is Audubon.
+ Audubon County was formed on January 15, 1851, from sections of Pottawattamie County. It was named after John James Audubon, the naturalist and artist.
+ Major highways include US 71, Iowa 44, and Iowa 173.
+ Adjacent counties are Carroll, Guthrie, Cass, and Shelby.
+ The population peaked in 1900 at 13,626

Audubon County’s courthouse is also ugly. Not as ugly as Guthrie County’s Courthouse but close:

Audubon County Courthouse
Audubon County Courthouse

The Audubon County Freedom Rock is in Kimballton. It is the first one I’ve seen to feature nudity.

Audubon County Freedom Rock

Audubon County Freedom Rock

It is one of the least showcased Freedom Rocks I’ve seen. There is no special park or flags or it isn’t even part of a Veteran’s Memorial. I guess the mermaid mammaries speak for themselves.

Here is the Audubon County Photo Map:

Audubon County Photo Map
Audubon County Photo Map – Boundaries, not even close.

With Audubon knockered out, here is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:

Town Sign Project - 15 Counties

15 counties completed. 15.2% of the Cyclone State conquered!

Here are the Audubon County signs:

Audubon, Iowa
Audubon, Iowa
IA Audubon – Live Large
Population: 2,176

Exira, Iowa
Exira, Iowa
Welcome to Exira – Founded 1857
Population: 840

Kimballton, Iowa
Kimballton, Iowa
Velkommen Til Kimballton – Home of “The Little Mermaid”
Population: 322

Brayton, Iowa
Brayton, Iowa
Welcome to Brayton – Founded 1878
Population: 128

Gray, Iowa
Gray, Iowa
Gray, Iowa – Heritage Rose Garden
Population: 63

With only 5 towns in Audubon County, it really puts the pressure on. I think there are no truly bad town signs, but last place clearly has to go to Brayton. Even though it is the worst in Audubon County, I still respect its stark simplicity.

The pick for the Best in Show for Audubon County is one of the toughest I’ve ever had to determine. The remaining 4 are solid, but none of them are transcendent. I’m going to give it to Audubon:

Audubon, Iowa
Audubon – Best in Show – Audubon County

I’m giving it best in show for the sign being the shape of the state of Iowa, the background being black, and of course for having Albert the Bull on the sign.

There were a couple of alternate signs in Audubon County:

Audubon, Iowa
Audubon Alternate

Audubon, Iowa
Audubon Alternate

Gray, Iowa
Gray Alternate

I really like the second Audubon alternate.

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:

Audubon, Iowa
Best in Show – Audubon County

Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

Coon Rapids, Iowa
Best in Show – Carroll County

Ricketts, Iowa
Best in Show – Crawford County

Dexter, Iowa
Best in Show – Dallas County

Scranton, Iowa
Best in Show – Greene County

Menlo, Iowa
Best in Show – Guthrie County

Stanhope, Iowa
Best in Show – Hamilton County

Ackley, Iowa
Best in Show – Hardin County

Lynnville, Iowa
Best in Show – Jasper County

Haverhill, Iowa
Best in Show – Marshall County

Bondurant, Iowa
Best in Show – Polk County

Collins, Iowa
Best in Show – Story County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Woolstock, Iowa
Best in Show – Wright County


Ricketts, Iowa
#10. Ricketts

Dexter, Iowa
#9. Dexter

Menlo, Iowa
#8. Menlo

Templeton, Iowa
#7. Templeton

Farnhamville, Iowa #3 - East Side
#6. Farnhamville

Haverhill, Iowa
#5. Haverhill

Pilot Mound, Iowa
#4. Pilot Mound

Moingona, Iowa
#3. Moingona

Coon Rapids, Iowa
#2. Coon Rapids

Ackley, Iowa
#1. Ackley

Next time we visit THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT our travels will take us through Franklin County.

5 thoughts on “Town Sign Project: Audubon County”

  1. The perspective on the Audubon one throws me a little off, for some reason? I sort of feel like I’m looking up the bull’s snout?

    I’m going to go with Kimballton. Because it’s a bold move to put boobs on your town sign.

  2. I could make a case for Kimballton and Gray. I gave Audubon the edge because I just don’t like the colors of it. But it would definitely be included in a book of town signs of Iowa. If somebody was thinking of making something like that.

    But I fully support boobs on town signs. More towns should put boobs on signs. Right now it is only one out of like 200 town signs that I have harvested. If I harvest say all 900 Iowa towns, then there should be 7 more boobs out there. I’m pretty sure about my boob math there.

    That is a tricky sign to harvest too. It is on a fairly busy stretch of road with virtually no shoulder. I had to take that town sign really fast to prevent from becoming a statistic. If I wasn’t the driver, I might have had myself dropped off and then driver come back to get me. And maybe psychologically that had something to do with my ranking.

  3. You should absolutely compile a book of town signs of Iowa! I think I also don’t like about the Audubon sign that the part with the bull/words is on a separate background from the rest, and they don’t really merge well. It makes it a little whimsical, but not in a way that’s overly endearing.

    I also like Gray’s, that’s probably my #2 after Kimballton. Boobs definitely win out. In the words of Michael Bluth, “That’s the seventh nipple I’ve seen today.” I wish boob math were a course in college, it would be fascinating.

    I’ve wondered exactly how you get some of the signs. I have had to take photos of our public art, and it is super-tricky on busy corners, places where it’s at a place you can only photograph from in the middle of a road, etc. I can only imagine town signs are worse, as they’re on highways often.

  4. A book is the endgame for THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT. Self-published obviously. I don’t know much about that stuff yet, but I have a friend that has self-published several books. Now they aren’t picture books, so that is a big difference.

    I have a couple more counties in the books, but haven’t come across a third boob yet. But I would have to hit about 13 more counties, before I’m mathematically due a boob.

    The key is finding a safe place to park. Then frequently, you have to get down into a ditch. If there isn’t a good place to park or the ditch isn’t accessible for a variety of reasons, then a telephoto lens is a necessity. Sometimes, due to proximity to roads, like you art problem, then it is a very wide angle lens to the rescue. But a decent place to park is great. Either super wide shoulder or a driveway to a field. Both godsends!

  5. My brother’s wife has self-published a couple of books, but they are wildly unsuccessful soft porn WITHOUT photos, so I might not use her as a resource. Also, it’s a disgusting conversation to have with my brother’s wife. But a book would be fantastic – and I think there’d have to be a large market for it!

    You need a “mathematically due a boob” countdown.

    I am absolutely picturing lots of narrow shoulders on semi-busy highways. That is 100% also the case with our art – we purposely put them in places that are highly visible, which innately makes them more difficult to access. I’m guessing road signs are the same – obviously you want them to be highly visible.

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