A couple months back I cruised around Buena Vista County harvesting the balance of their town signs. It was a foggy, icy, and excellent trip.

Here are some facts about Buena Vista County:

+ Population is 20,283 making it the 29th most populous county in Iowa. Below Mahaska County and above Carroll County.
+ The largest town and county seat is Storm Lake.
+ Formed on January 15, 1851.
+ Named after the Battle of Buena Vista from the Mexican-American War. It is surprising how many things in Iowa are named after things from that war.
+ Home of Buena Vista University.
+ Major highways are: US-71, IA-3, IA-7, IA-10, and IA-110.
+ Adjacent counties are Clay, Pocahontas, Sac, and Cherokee.
+ Population peaked in 1960 at 21,189.

For a modern looking courthouse, I don’t hate the Buena Vista County Courthouse:

Buena Vista County Courthouse
Buena Vista County Courthouse located in Storm Lake, Iowa.

The Buena Vista County Freedom Rock is located in Albert City, Iowa.

With Buena Vista County conquered, here is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:

Town Sign Project - 61 Counties

61 counties completed. 61.6% of the Cyclone State conquered.

Here are the town signs of Buena Vista County:

Storm Lake, Iowa
Storm Lake, Iowa
Population: 11,269 (+669)

Alta, Iowa
Alta, Iowa
Catch the Energy!
Population: 2,087 (+204)

Newell, Iowa
Newell, Iowa
Population: 906 (+30)

Sioux Rapids, Iowa
Sioux Rapids, Iowa
WELCOME TO Sioux Rapids
IN THE Valley of Beauty
Population: 748 (+27)

Lakeside, Iowa
Lakeside, Iowa
CITY OF Lakeside
Population: 700 (+104)

Albert City, Iowa
Albert City, Iowa
Population: 677 (-22)

Marathon, Iowa
Marathon, Iowa
Population: 230 (-7)

Rembrandt, Iowa
Rembrandt, Iowa
WELCOME TO Rembrandt
A Classic Since 1901
Population: 209 (+6)

Linn Grove, Iowa
Linn Grove, Iowa
Welcome to LINN GROVE
Population: 163 (+9)

Truesdale, Iowa
Truesdale, Iowa
100 USA
Est. 1917
Population: 69 (-12)

I think this is a great collection of town signs. It might be the strongest county I’ve seen so far! The only one I think is a bad sign is Alta. I don’t even think that is terrible. It is just that they seem to have made a sign out of a file that was too small and that has made the sign pixelated and doesn’t look very good.

There are so many town signs I love here and when I put together the book I can see at least two of these being included in it. I don’t know what the exact plan for the book is going to be, but I’m leaning towards including 100 town signs in the book. The 100 best in Iowa. Which means many counties won’t be represented and a few counties like Buena Vista could have several.

I love the Albert City sign. I love the sign for Sioux Rapids, Marathon, and Rembrandt as well. But only one town sign includes a giant lighthouse. That means that Storm Lake gets a rare purple ribbon for a county seat!

Storm Lake, Iowa
Storm Lake – Best in Show – Buena Vista County

There are a couple of alternate town signs in Buena Vista County:

Storm Lake, Iowa
Storm Lake – Alternate

Rembrandt, Iowa
Rembrandt – Alternate

Albert City, Iowa
Albert City – Alternate

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:

Fontanelle, Iowa
Best in Show – Adair County

Nodaway, Iowa
Best in Show – Adams County

Audubon, Iowa
Best in Show – Audubon County

Norway, Iowa
Best in Show – Benton County

Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

Readlyn, Iowa
Best in Show – Bremer County

Storm Lake, Iowa
Best in Show – Buena Vista County

New Hartford, Iowa
Best in Show – Butler County

Manson, Iowa
Best in Show – Calhoun County

Coon Rapids, Iowa
Best in Show – Carroll County

Anita, Iowa
Best in Show – Cass County

Lowden, Iowa
Best in Show – Cedar County

Dougherty, Iowa
Best in Show – Cerro Gordo County

Murray, Iowa
Best in Show – Clarke County

Low Moor, Iowa
Best in Show – Clinton County

Ricketts, Iowa
Best in Show – Crawford County

Dexter, Iowa
Best in Show – Dallas County

Weldon, Iowa
Best in Show – Decatur County

Popejoy, Iowa
Best in Show – Franklin County

Tabor, Iowa
Best in Show – Fremont 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

Modale, Iowa
Best in Sow – Harrison County

Bradgate, iowa
Best in Show – Humboldt County

Ida Grove, Iowa
Best in Show – Ida County

Millersburg, Iowa
Best in Show – Iowa County

Lynnville, Iowa
Best in Show – Jasper County

Anamosa, Iowa
Best in Show – Jones County

Titonka, Iowa
Best in Show – Kossuth County

Springville, Iowa
Best in Show – Linn County

Lucas, Iowa
Best in Show – Lucas County

East Peru, Iowa
Best in Show – Madison County

Leighton, Iowa
Best in Show – Mahaska County

Pleasantville, Iowa
Best in Show – Marion County

Haverhill, Iowa
Best in Show – Marshall County

Malvern, Iowa
Best in Show – Mills County

Onawa, Iowa
Best in Show – Monona County

Melrose, Iowa
Best in Show – Monroe County

Grant, Iowa
Best in Show – Montgomery County

College Springs, Iowa
Best in Show – Page County

Plover, Iowa
Best in Show – Pocahontas County

Bondurant, Iowa
Best in Show – Polk County

Walnut, Iowa
Best in Show – Pottawattamie County

Malcom, Iowa
Best in Show – Poweshiek County

Maloy, Iowa
Best in Show – Ringgold County

Nemaha, Iowa
Best in Show – Sac County

Elk Horn, Iowa
Best in Show – Shelby County

Collins, Iowa
Best in Show – Story County

Tama, Iowa
Best in Show – Tama County

Gravity, Iowa
Best in Show – Taylor County

Creston, Iowa
Best in Show – Union County

New Virginia, Iowa
Best in Show – Warren County

Humeston, Iowa
Best in Show – Wayne County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Buffalo Center, Iowa
Best in Show – Winnebago County

Joice, Iowa
Best in Show – Worth County

Woolstock, Iowa
Best in Show – Wright County

The next time we hit the open road for THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT, we will cruise the roads or Palo Alto County.


  1. I would give Newell the worst. But I love me a town-based pun, so I have to go with either Lakeside or Albert City. The lighthouse is cool, but they aren’t as representative of the town itself. (Unsolicited votes.)

  2. I do take unsolicited votes, but I do worry I will website will end up on Fish Stick Jr.’s show criticizing me of election fraud. Followed by a 10 minute segment praising Putin.

    Newell celebrates Pride Days! I mean in this increasingly backwards hick state, isn’t it nice to see a small town backing the LGBTQIA community? Don’t try to tell me that isn’t what Pride Days in Newell is for.

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