Town Sign Project: Sac County

A few Saturdays back I cruised around Sac County with Teresa harvesting their town signs. I knew Sac County was the home of the Largest Popcorn Ball in the World, but I did not know that popcorn was so huge to the development of the entire region. I found references to popcorn in three towns and one unincorporated town. The next time I fire up the Union Street Theater popcorn maker I will think of Sac County. (Unrelated, but the Union Street Theater has recently been upgraded substantially. If you haven’t stopped by for a show lately, you probably should get on that.)

Here are some facts about Sac County:

+ Population is 9,802 (2019) estimate. Making Sac County the 75th most populous county in Iowa. Behind Montgomery County and above Calhoun County.
+ The county seat and largest town is Sac City.
+ Was formed on January 13, 1846.
+ Named for the Sauk people.
+ Home of the World’s Largest Popcorn Ball.
+ Home of Blackhawk State Park.
+ Major highways are: US-20, US-71, IA-39, IA-110, and IA-175.
+ Adjacent counties are: Buena Vista, Calhoun, Carroll, Cherokee, Crawford, Ida, and Pocahontas.
+ Population peaked in 1930 at 17,641.

The Sac County Courthouse is fair looking, well it was, until they added that horrible addition to it:

Sac County Courthouse
The Sac County Courthouse in Sac City, Iowa.

The Sac County Freedom Rock is located in Sac City, Iowa:

Sac County Freedom Rock

Sac County Freedom Rock

Sac County Freedom Rock

Sac County Freedom Rock

Sac County Freedom Rock

With Sac County conquered, this is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:

Town Sign Project - 29 Counties

29 counties completed. 29.3% of the Cyclone State conquered.

Here are the town signs of Sac County:

Sac City, Iowa
Sac City, Iowa
Sac City
Population: 2,220

Lake View, Iowa
Lake View, Iowa
Lake View
Black Hawk Lake
Population: 1,142

Odebolt, Iowa
Odebolt, Iowa
Established 1877
Population: 1,013

Wall Lake, Iowa
Wall Lake, Iowa
Population: 819

Schaller, Iowa
Schaller, Iowa
Welcome to SCHALLER
Popcorn Capital of the World
Population: 772

Early, Iowa
Early, Iowa
City of EARLY
Established 1882
Population: 557

Auburn, Iowa
Auburn, Iowa
a taste of home.
Population: 322

Nemaha, Iowa
Nemaha, Iowa
Population: 85

Lytton, Iowa
Lytton, Iowa – Also Calhoun County
Population: 315

Ulmer, Iowa - Unincorporated
Ulmer, Iowa – Unincorporated

Sac County has a solid set of signs. I don’t strongly dislike any of them. Put in a position, of having to choose a worst sign, It would have to come down to Early, Lake View, Auburn, and Lytton. My feet to the fire, I give the worst town sign to Early. There is no pithy slogan, which is what saves Auburn. There is no boat, that is what saves Lake View. And Lytton gets points for just throwing their town sign on a big rock.

But who has the best town sign in Sac County. Who gets Best in Show. It really comes down to Wall Lake and Nemaha. The alternate town sign for Schaller would be an underdog for this award, but I only consider primary signs for this award, unless we get into a tie-breaker situation, like we did for Lucas County. With apologies to Andy Williams, my huckleberry friend, I’m going to paddle down this river that is wider than a mile, looking for rainbow’s end, to the town waitin’ around the bend, and give Best in Show to Nemaha.

Nemaha, Iowa
Nemaha – Best in Show – Sac County

A few towns in Sac County have alternate signs:

Wall Lake, Iowa
Wall Lake – Alternate

Schaller, Iowa
Schaller – Alternate

Schaller, Iowa
Schaller – Alternate

Sac City, Iowa
Sac City – Alternate

Sac City, Iowa
Sac City – Alternate

Auburn, Iowa
Auburn – Alternate

You might be sitting there wondering, what makes Schaller the Popcorn Capital of the World? I mean, Sac City houses the World’s Biggest Popcorn Ball, just where does Schaller get off?

I pulled over and asked a guy name Derrick just where Schaller gets off making such a bold claim. Turns out that Derrick is the owner of Bango Haunted Crib. He told me that Schaller used to be the home of 3 popcorn companies. Jolly Time, Bango, and American. Now, the only company left in town is Jolly Time. Some of the people in town turned the old Bango building into a haunted house. I will get into the details of this in a future post of Sac County Auxiliary Images. But you combine that with the fact that Schaller has hosted Pop Corn Days for 70 years now. Now you know.

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:

Fontanelle, Iowa
Best in Show – Adair County

Audubon, Iowa
Best in Show – Audubon County

Norway, Iowa
Best in Show – Benton County

Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

Manson, Iowa
Best in Show – Calhoun County

Coon Rapids, Iowa
Best in Show – Carroll County

Murray, Iowa
Best in Show – Clarke County

Ricketts, Iowa
Best in Show – Crawford County

Dexter, Iowa
Best in Show – Dallas County

Popejoy, Iowa
Best in Show – Franklin County

Scranton, Iowa
Best in Show – Greene County

Beaman, Iowa
Best in Show – Grundy County

Menlo, Iowa
Best in Show – Guthrie County

Stanhope, Iowa
Best in Show – Hamilton County

Ackley, Iowa
Best in Show – Hardin County

Bradgate, iowa
Best in Show – Humboldt County

Lynnville, Iowa
Best in Show – Jasper County

Lucas, Iowa
Best in Show – Lucas County

East Peru, Iowa
Best in Show – Madison County

Pleasantville, Iowa
Best in Show – Marion County

Haverhill, Iowa
Best in Show – Marshall County

Bondurant, Iowa
Best in Show – Polk County

Malcom, Iowa
Best in Show – Poweshiek County

Nemaha, Iowa
Best in Show – Sac County

Collins, Iowa
Best in Show – Story County

Tama, Iowa
Best in Show – Tama County

Creston, Iowa
Best in Show – Union County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Woolstock, Iowa
Best in Show – Wright County

The Next time we check in on THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT we will visit Ida County.

3 thoughts on “Town Sign Project: Sac County”

  1. I agree completely that Early is the worst. Of the primary signs, I think I’d personally like Wall Lake’s just a little more. But Schaller’s alternate IS the best.

  2. Did you know that there are people out their that don’t dig Andy Williams?

    Bad people, obviously. But still.

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