Town Sign Project: Pocahontas County

A few weeks back I cruised around Pocahontas County harvesting their town signs. Some of these I harvested on a trip to northwest Iowa with Teresa. The rest I harvested on a solo trip.

Here are some facts about Pocahontas County:

+ Population is 7,078. It is the 93rd most populous county. Behind Ida County and ahead of Wayne County.
+ The largest town and county seat is Pocahontas.
+ Formed in 1851.
+ Named for the Powhatan “Princess” Matoax. Pocahontas was a childhood nickname and she kept her real name hidden from the colonists that held her hostage. The truth of her story is pretty widely misrepresented by Disney… to say the least.
+ Home of a giant (and terrible) statue of Matoax (Pocahontas).
+ Home to a sweet sculpture of the greatest mascot in all the lands, Cy.
+ Home of Palmer’s boys basketball team (now consolidated) that won 103 straight games in the 1980s.
+ Major highways are: IA-3, IA-4, IA-7, IA-10, and IA-15.
+ Adjacent counties are: Palo Alto, Humboldt, Webster, Calhoun, and Buena Vista.
+ Population peaked in 1940 at 16,266.

The Pocahontas County courthouse is similar to the one in Boone.

Pocahontas County Courthouse
The Pocahontas County Courthouse located in Pocahontas, Iowa.

The Pocahontas County Freedom Rock is located in Rolfe, Iowa:

Pocahontas County Freedom Rock

Pocahontas County Freedom Rock

Pocahontas County Freedom Rock

Pocahontas County Freedom Rock

The Pocahontas County Freedom Rock is right across the street from a sweet sculpture of Cy, so it probably doesn’t get as much attention as the rest of the Freedom Rocks in Iowa.

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

Town Sign Project - 34 Counties

34 counties completed. 34.3% of the Cyclone State conquered.

Here are the town signs of Pocahontas County (population from 2020 Census):

Pocahontas, Iowa
Population: 1,867 (+78)

Laurens, Iowa
Laurens, Iowa
Population: 1,264 (+6)

Fonda, Iowa
Fonda, Iowa
Population: 636 (+5)

Rolfe, Iowa
Rolfe, Iowa
Population: 509 (-75)

Gilmore City, Iowa
Gilmore City, Iowa (Humboldt County)
Population: 487 (-17)

Palmer, Iowa
Palmer, Iowa
Population: 138 (-27)

Havelock, Iowa
Havelock, Iowa
EST. 1881
Population: 130 (-8)

Varina, Iowa
Varina, Iowa
Population: 68 (-3)

Plover, Iowa
Plover, Iowa
EST. 1882
Population: 50 (-27)

I think the town with the worst town sign in Pocahontas County is pretty obvious. It is Fonda. They allegedly used to have a pretty cool town sign, but it is either gone now or in the process of being replaced, cause I combed (with Teresa) pretty much every inch of that town and didn’t find it.

I think it is a two horse race for the best town sign in Pocahontas County. Pocahontas and Rolfe have nice signs, but it really comes down to Plover and Havelock. I’m going to give it to Plover because the backwards “1”s in Havelock’s sign makes me think it is a clue to some kind of New World Order/Masonic Temple conspiracy that might be going down in that town. I actually think Plover’s alternate town sign is even better than their main town sign.

Plover, Iowa
Plover – Best in Show – Pocahontas County

Here are the alternate town signs of Pocahontas County:

Pocahontas, Iowa
Pocahontas – Alternate

Plover, Iowa
Plover – Alternate

Laurens, Iowa
Laurens – Alternate

Laurens, Iowa
Laurens – Alternate

Havelock, Iowa
Havelock – Alternate

Varina, Iowa
Varina – Alternate

Varina, Iowa
Varina – Alternate

Something I find interesting about Pocahontas County is that a couple of the towns are references to things in Matoax’s life. Rolfe (assumptions here) is named after John Rolfe the Englishman that Matoax would marry after she was baptized and changed her name to Rebecca. Varina is named after Varina (another assumption) the farm where Matoax and John Rolfe lived. If you are a fan of the musical HAMILTON (and we probably aren’t friends if you aren’t), Laurens is named after Hamilton’s close friend and critic of slavery John Laurens. And Plover is named for a bird. And Fonda is named because the post office in the day was too incompetent to tell the difference between Manson and Marvin.

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

New Hartford, Iowa
Best in Show – Butler 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

Britt, Iowa
Best in Show – Hancock County

Ackley, Iowa
Best in Show – Hardin County

Bradgate, iowa
Best in Show – Humboldt County

Ida Grove, Iowa
Best in Show – Ida 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

Plover, Iowa
Best in Show – Pocahontas 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

New Virginia, Iowa
Best in Show – Warren County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Woolstock, Iowa
Best in Show – Wright County

The next time we hit the dusty trail with THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT, we will visit Cerro Gordo County.

2 thoughts on “Town Sign Project: Pocahontas County”

  1. Didn’t realize how many small or almost non-existent towns are in Iowa until you started cruizing our great state.

  2. It has been very educational. I ‘ve found so many cool places to visit again in the future!

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