One of my goals for my vacation was to get 20 new town sign pictures for THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT. I thought I would hit this easy, because I had two road trips planned to completely opposite sides of the state. However, on my trip to Mines of Spain, I took zero town sign pictures. I cut that trip shorter than originally intended because of Naima’s leg injury. However, I did get one town sign picture on a small trip on the Tuesday of my vacation. 19 town sign pictures on my trip out west. Then one more for good measure on the Friday of my vacation.
I’m going to start this post though with 4 pictures I took on a trip down to the Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge back in early August.
Colfax, Iowa – Jasper County
Population – 2,093
Mingo, Iowa – Jasper County
Population – 302
Prairie City, Iowa – Jasper County
Population – 1,680
Rhodes, Iowa – Marshall County
Population – 305
My takeaway from these town signs is that on Rhodes has an interesting sign. In some ways, a rather disappointing collection. Another thing of note. Rhodes has a tank in their downtown. One thing I’ve noticed in recent years is how many small Iowa towns have retired military equipment just sitting in the middle of their town.
On Tuesday I took a trip down to Jester Park and to Walnut Woods. I captured one town sign on this trip:
Booneville, Iowa – Dallas County
Booneville is an unincorporated town in Dallas County. It consists of a restaurant, a post office, a Methodist church, and a small RV park.
Then, on my trip to Preparation Canyon State Park, I took 19 town sign pictures. A ton of them in rain, so many of the signs are wet, but not in a flattering way.
Arcadia, Iowa – Carroll County
Arion, Iowa – Crawford County
Population – 108
Boyer, Iowa – Crawford County
Carroll, Iowa – Carroll County – County Seat
Population – 10,103
Carrolton, Iowa – Carroll County
Charter Oak, Iowa – Crawford County
Population – 502
Denison, Iowa – Crawford County – County Seat
Population – 8,298
Dow City, Iowa – Crawford County
Population – 510
Dunlap, Iowa – Crawford County
Population – 1,042
Kiron, Iowa – Crawford County
Population – 279
Lidderdale, Iowa – Carroll County
Population – 180
Moorhead, Iowa – Monona County
Population – 226
Mt. Carmel, Iowa – Carroll County
Ricketts, Iowa – Crawford County
Population – 145
Schleswig, Iowa – Crawford County
Population – 882
Soldier, Iowa – Monona, County
Population – 174
Vail, Iowa – Crawford County
Population – 436
Westside, Iowa – Crawford County
Population – 299
Willey, Iowa – Carroll County
Population – 88
This is not a disappointing collection of signs. I’m in particular a big fan of the Ricketts sign. It has many of the elements I love. It exists. It is fun. It has a slogan. It includes advertising for a town event that happened decades ago.
Then finally, one last sign. I stumbled across this on the Friday of my vacation. It is a town I have been to plenty of times as it is only a few miles from Boone. However, they never had a town sign. Until apparently very recently.
Fraser, Iowa – Boone County
Population – 102
All population figures come from the 2010 census.
On this trip, I realized that I need a slightly new strategy for tackling this project. I ordered an Iowa Gazetteer. I’m going to keep in the car and compile lists of towns in counties before I even leave for these trips. I hope to do an entire county on a trip. Without leaving random towns missed here and there. Right now, I don’t have any counties completely knocked off. Not even Boone County. I don’t even have the Boone sign for this trip. Ames, is another one, you would think is a no-brainer. But I don’t have that one either. You can see, I have plenty of sign hunting to do in just my own back yard.
You can check out all the signs that I have captured so far, you can click on the link below:
There are 121 pictures so far, but I bet I can get that number close to 200 by the end of the year.