Town Sign Project: Guthrie County

I need to start today by wishing Andy a happy birthday. Happy birthday Andy!

May 17, 2016

June 25, 2019

Soup Supper Fundraiser

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Boone County Fair - 2018

I hope your birthday is as amazing as you want it to be!


Last weekend I got to get out and harvest more town signs. This time I hit up Guthrie County.

Here are some facts about Guthrie County:

+ Population: 10,954
+ Guthrie Center is the county seat.
+ Stuart is the largest town, but is partially in Adair County
+ he county was formed on January 15, 1851 and named after Captain Edwin B. Guthrie, who had died in the Mexican–American War.

Guthrie County has one of the ugliest courthouses I’ve ever seen. Right up there with Story County:

Guthrie County Courthouse
Guthrie County Courthouse

The Guthrie County Freedom Rock is located in Guthrie Center.

Guthrie County Freedom Rock

Guthrie County Freedom Rock

Guthrie County Freedom Rock

Here is the Guthrie County Photo Map:

Guthrie County Photo Map
Guthrie County Photo Map – Boundaries, not close, I’m sure.

With Guthrie County knocked out, here is the updated Photography 130 Conquest Map:

Town Sign Project - 14 Counties

14 counties completed. 14.1% of the Cyclone State conquered!

Here are the Guthrie County signs:

Stuart, Iowa
Stuart, Iowa (Partially in Adair County)
The City of Stuart Welcomes You
Population: 1,648

Guthrie Center, Iowa
Guthrie Center, Iowa
Welcome to Guthrie Center
Population: 1,569

Lake Panorama, Iowa
Lake Panorama – Census Designated Place
Lake Panorama
Population: 1,309

Coon Rapids, Iowa
Coon Rapids, Iowa (Mostly in Carroll County
Coon Rapids – In the Heart of Corn Country
Population: 1,305

Panora, Iowa
Panora, Iowa
Welcome to Panora and Lake Panorama
Population: 1,124

Adair, Iowa
Adair, Iowa (Mostly in Adair County)
Adair Iowa – Home of the Bombers – Welcome to Adair – It’ll make you smile!
Population: 781

Bayard, Iowa
Bayard, Iowa
Welcome to Bayard
Population: 471

Casey, Iowa
Casey, Iowa
Welcome to Casey Iowa – Since 1869

Menlo, Iowa
Menlo, Iowa
Welcome to Menlo – A Town of Few & Friend of All
Population: 353

Bagley, Iowa
Bagley, Iowa
Welcome to Bagley – 1882
Population: 303

Yale, Iowa
Yale, Iowa
Yale – Est. 1882 – Not the Biggest, But the Best – Annual July 4th Celebration

Jamaica, Iowa
Jamaica, Iowa
Welcome to Jamaica – Est. 1882
Population: 224

I think there is a chance that some people might consider my picks for Guthrie County to be controversial this week. It turns out my Hardin County picks weren’t controversial, but Guthrie is an entirely different county.

Adair and Coon Rapids are not eligible for Guthrie County awards as they are mostly in other counties.

Guthrie County has a pretty good collection of town signs. However, there are a couple stinkers out there. Stuart’s is awful. But Guthrie Center has one of the worst signs I’ve seen so far.

It was a little harder to pick the best sign. I enjoy the roughness of the Bayard sign. I enjoy the tropical feel of the Jamaica sign. I like the festive nature of Yale’s sign. I like the fun of Casey’s sign. However, it Menlo. Menlo clearly has the best sign in Guthrie County!

Menlo, Iowa
Menlo – Best in Show – Guthrie County

There are a couple of towns that had alternate signs:

Adair, Iowa
Adair Alternate

Menlo, Iowa
Menlo Alternate

The famous White Pole Road runs through Guthrie County. Many of the best signs are on that road.

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:

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

Here is the updated BENNETT POWER RANKINGS:

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

The next county we will visit is Audubon County.

12 thoughts on “Town Sign Project: Guthrie County”

  1. Sorry for the swears, but those first three signs are all crap-ass. Menlo and Casey are my favorites.

  2. At least Stuart’s boring sign looks nice. Guthrie Center really mailed it in. But how boring and awful it is matches how boring and awful their courthouse is. Consistency to the theme of boring and awful.

    I don’t know that Lake Panorama really counts, since it isn’t really a town, technically. There is a little more to it than pictured, but it is more like an entrance to a park or to one of those rich prick neighborhoods that have horrible names like Windswept Plains Estates or Northbrook Farm Manors. You know, the kind that make you pay a HOA fee and then your dog can’t even use the pond.

    I do like Casey’s sign as well. Casey is actually the town with the courtyard mural. Not whatever town I said it was. They also have a sweet old-timey ice cream shop. Casey Creamery. It was too early in the morning to get ice cream when we went through. But, let’s face it, if I had the vaccine, I probably would have had at 9 AM scoop of ice cream or three.

    Menlo and Casey are on the White Pole Road which is a nice little road trip. Menlo has an awesome gas station sign. Probably the coolest these eyes have every seen. Got plenty of pictures of that.

  3. I don’t think I’ve been through Guthrie County at all other than to get to Omaha? So I think we may have stopped at Adair to pee once or twice, but that’s about it. I feel like we maybe played Guthrie Center in sports, but I don’t think I ever went there, so I definitely have never seen these signs. But those top three signs are just antiseptic bullcrap. I am certain the Lake Panorama one was made by the same people as, like, the Windsor Heights sign. What kind of a-holes would make you pay an HOA and you don’t even get dog access to the poop pond?

    Casey’s sounds like a good daytrip! You can sort of tell from the sign that they have a sense of whimsy, which I enjoy. Your description only makes that more so. I miss old-timey ice cream shops. I haven’t been down to Bauder Pharmacy since we were pregnant with one or the other of the children, and I miss it. An old-fashioned malt in a metal canister.

  4. There probably isn’t a ton to see in Guthrie County. I-80 does cut through it, but if you want a scenic and historic little road trip, you can get off I-80 near Dexter and cruise the White Pole Road. It isn’t the best maintained highway, but there are a couple of cute small towns on there, including the fact that Dexter has the best hamburger I’ve ever had in my life.

    It ends in Adair. It is only 26 miles long.

    It even has a website:

    Now I beseech you to go to that website to check out the Stuart town sign. It is amazing and they must have torn that down for the boring ass corporate sign that they have up now. Maybe that sign is still up and I missed it, but I am fairly thorough in looking for town signs in small towns and I found at 2 that look like the corporate sign in this post.

    Looks like Menlo also has a Freedom Rock? Guthrie County has 2 Freedom Rocks? I guess they are fairly close to the original rock.

    But looking at this page, I clearly missed some things in the area I would like to check out.

    Like the Slayton Rock is my kind of tourist thing to go see. I badly want to eat at Zipp’s Pizzaria in Adair, so when I go there, I’m going to go see that Slayton Rock.

    I’m not sure what the deal is with the Casey sign, but it reminds me of Swedish horses. I don’t think that is what they were gong for, but that is the first thought that came to my mind.

  5. That is an entirely worthwhile trip – and I’m in for the best hamburger ever! I assume there’s only one place to get a burger in Dexter, so I’m game!

    I think I’ve seen that sign for Stuart! I specifically remember the “few stinkers” part, and whimsical signs seem endemic to Iowa, so I doubt I saw it anywhere else. Why would they have taken that down? I mean, other than terrible laziness and not wanting to maintain a painted one? There are almost 1600 residents – everyone could surely take a year when they were responsible to touch it up.

    That Freedom Rock dude is CLEANING UP in Guthrie County. Sounds like a Liberty Boulder county to me, we should get the snow chalker over there! That Slayton Rock is huge – you could sure paint a lot of guns on that thing.

    I see the Swedish horses, for sure! Or one of those Swedish quilt squares. It looks like they had a high Swedish population, so maybe thats it?

  6. I don’t know how many restaurants Dexter has, but I’m guessing it doesn’t exceed 3. But the one you want is The Rusty Duck.

    The fact that Stuart spend a small fortune, I mean that granite or whatever sign had to cost several thousand dollars, to so heinously downgrade their sign is a travesty! There should be an investigation!

    The fact that Guthrie County has two Freedom Rocks means that I need to start double checking to make sure counties don’t have two.

    Liberty Stones… not Liberty Rocks. We’re never going to get Tom Selleck if we call them Liberty Rocks. You could definitely paint a ton of guns on that Slayton Rock. Probably a thousand guns at least. Probably enough guns to make somebody forget about the emptiness of their life.

    Glad to see I wasn’t completely off base on the Swedish horse thing. Learned about those from Olivia’s Grandpa Shorty. The biggest little Swede I know.

  7. I see now that you said Liberty Boulder and not Liberty Rock. I think Tom Selleck would also be on board for a Liberty Boulder.

  8. I am going to guess the other two restaurants have names nowhere near as cool as “The Rusty Duck,” so I probably would have ended up there, anyway.

    If I were a voter in the town of Stuart, I’d be demanding an explanation of that sign decision, and then voting out whatever moron made it. The people demand answers!

    Liberty Rock, that’s right – not Boulder! I think they are definitely interchangeable. And Tom Selleck would for sure be on board with a ploy to part vets from their money.

    The Lind side is filled with Swedes, I want to say they’re related to Shorty? But for sure we’ve grown up with Swedish horses around!

  9. One of the things that makes the Rusty Duck burger so great is that it is ground steak. They briefly opened an restaurant in Des Moines. I believe the first year that the Beef Association started copying the Pork Producers and started naming the best burger in Iowa, Rusty Duck won. I can’t confirm that, but it feels right.

    Stuart does need full investigation. Their needs to be public hearings and public executions. The streets will run red! But only with the blood of the stinkers.

    Swedes. How much lutefisk have you eaten in your life. It better be at least a pound.

  10. I think I found the menu for the Rusty Duck:

    I am pretty sure I’d take down the bacon cheeseburger (or, more likely, about a half of it). It looks like they also have a tenderloin! And, this is going to be a totally lame, Mom-ish thing to say – but that’s a solid kids’ menu. It’s not overwhelmingly long, very manageable prices, and it’s got a variety of foods that kids eat, with varying nutritional values. +39 (up in Somerset, closed recently) had a really good kids’ menu, provided your children liked pizza or pasta. It’s also a good incentive to drag one/both of the kids over. The Beef Association isn’t usually wrong – although I would say that Brick City rarely overwhelms me, and I think they won about five years ago or so.

    I have only tried lutefisk! Not a ton of Lind get togethers anymore. I’m almost POSITIVE that Grandpa Lind was related to Shorty.

  11. I probably should try the tenderloin at some point, but I mean that burger is right there, just calling your name.

    Yeah, I was pretty shocked about Brick City. It is an okay burger. It is good. But it certainly isn’t transcendent. I actually like the burger at Hickory Park. It isn’t anything special, but it is what I used to usually get. Not a fan of their barbecue. Although I do like their sausage.

    I still have about one spoonful of lutefisk a year. That is more than enough. There is no such thing as enough ostakka though.

    I wish Boxholm still did its annual Swedish Supper.

  12. I frequently disappoint Jon – I will try different things on menus, but if there is a place we only get to rarely and I LOVE a certain item on the menu, I’m usually going to get that. He’s more adventurous than that and shakes his head at me, but I’m not going to throw away my shot (to Hamilton a meal).

    Honestly, the sides and appetizers at Brick City are the main reason to go there, more so than the burgers. The burgers are good, but definitely not life-changing. I’d say Freddy’s is 100% better. Yeah, Hickory Park is definitely at better than they are at barbecue. I love their barbecue sauce, but the actual barbecue itself is nothing to write home about. It’s not barbecue to me, it’s just smokey. Jon sometimes gets the sausage!

    If I’m going to get a Swedish item, it’s generally a potato pancake!

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