Category Archives: Town Sign Project

Marble Beach

Today is Lowell’s birthday… so… happy birthday Lowell!


Day 138 - May 18, 2022

Ironic that this picture was taken on my birthday? Either way, I hope your birthday has adequate amounts of happiness!

+++++++

I count this trip a bit as auxiliary images for THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT. In fact I went camping with Carla and Jason at the Marble Beach State Recreation Area. While I was there I harvested one town sign. It was a town sign that I had harvested before, but I wanted to get a picture of it at night. So I revisited the town sign of Terril, Iowa.


Terril, Iowa
Terril, Iowa – The only town sign in Iowa that is neon.

Marble Beach State Recreation Area

Marble Beach State Recreation Area

Marble Beach State Recreation Area

Marble Beach State Recreation Area

Marble Beach State Recreation Area

Marble Beach State Recreation Area

Marble Beach State Recreation Area

Marble Beach State Recreation Area

Dickinson County - Terril

Emmet County - Estherville

Emmet County - Estherville

Emmet County - Estherville

Emmet County - Estherville

Emmet County - Estherville

Emmet County - Estherville

Emmet County - Estherville

Emmet County - Estherville

Emmet County - Estherville

Emmet County - Estherville

Emmet County - Estherville

The swinging bridge is located in Estherville. Made a special trip just to walk across it. It is hard to put into words how incredibly dark it was on that bridge on that night. The pictures make it look much brighter than it actually was. In fact, crossing a swinging bridge, suspended over a swift Des Moines River, in pitch black conditions was a bit of a rush.

I still have more pictures from this camping trip to share.

Iowa Worst Courthouse Power Rankings

I learned something over the weekend. The architect that build the courthouse in Delaware County, the courthouse I proclaimed to be the most beautiful courthouse in Iowa, was the same architect that built the Boone First United Methodist Church. No wonder I love it!

Pastor Dave dropped that knowledge bomb on me.

But now I’m going to rank the 10 ugliest courthouse in Iowa.

IOWA UGLIEST COURTHOUSE POWER RANKINGS


Allamakee County Courthouse
#10. Allamakee County Courthouse in Waukon

Floyd County Courthouse
#9. Floyd County Courthouse in Charles City

Emmet County Courthouse
#8. Emmet County Courthouse located in Estherville

Butler County Courthouse
#7. Butler County Courthouse located in Allison

Clarke County Courthouse
#6. Clarke County Courthouse located in Osceola

Guthrie County Courthouse
#5. Guthrie County Courthouse in Guthrie Center

Cerro Gordo County Courthouse
#4. Cerro Gordo County Courthouse located in Mason City

Cedar County Courthouse
#3. Cedar County Courthouse located in Tipton

Pottawattamie County Courthouse
#2. Pottawattamie County Courthouse located in Council Bluffs

Story County Courthouse
#1. Story County Courthouse located in Nevada

If you would like to peruse all 100 Iowa courthouses, click on the link below:

Iowa Courthouses

If you are wondering if I’m going to rank the Freedom Rocks next week, the answer is that I am not. I would really struggle on that one. For reasons I best not disclose.

I don’t know what will be here next Tuesday. An update on the book? Possible. Very possible that next Tuesday this post will just be one word. “None.”

Iowa Courthouse Power Rankings

I stated last week that I would give some details about the book this week. Truth is I don’t have a lot of details worked out. In fact, I have virtually no details worked out.

For example I don’t know:
+ The dimensions of the book.
+ How much information will accompany the sign pictures.
+ What information will accompany the sign pictures.
+ I know virtually nothing about self-publishing, but I have a resource.
+ Will there be a forward?
+ Who would write it?
+ The name of the book.
+ I don’t know what I don’t know.

So here is what I do know. This will probably be the part that disappoints many people and drop my pre-orders from 12 to zero. I am going to pick out the 100 (number not set in stone). It is not going to include every town. It isn’t going to include every town sign. If you were to go to the THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT album by clicking on the link below:

The Town Sign Project

You would see that there currently are 1390 town sign pictures in there. 1390 pictures are not going into the book. For a wide variety of reasons.

In a way, the inspiration is “Twentysix Gasoline Stations” by Ed Ruscha. Which probably isn’t a great photo book judged against modern standards, but was heavily influential. It is simply a book of twenty-six pictures of gas station Ed Ruscha photographed between Los Angeles and Oklahoma City.

If you ever see a copy of it in the wild for the cheap, pick it up. I’ve seen it for sale online for anywhere between $1,250 to $36,000 depending on the edition of the book. There are only 3 editions of the book and there are less than 4,000 total.

Don’t be tricked into buying “Twenty-Six Abandoned Gasoline Stations”. Different book. Different photographer.

But that is neither here, nor there. The point is I’m not sure what the book will be, outside of it being only 100 towns signs or so.

As one of the cappers to THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT, I wanted to rank the 10 best courthouse in Iowa, by looks. There are 100 courthouses in 99 Iowa counties.

IOWA PRETTIEST COURTHOUSE POWER RANKINGS


Polk County Courthouse
#10. Polk County Courthouse in Des Moines

Johnson County Courthouse
#9. Johnson County Courthouse in Iowa City

Montgomery County Courthouse
#8. Montgomery County Courthouse in Red Oak

Mahaska County Courthouse
#7. Mahaska County Courthouse in Oskaloosa

Dubuque County Courthouse
#6. Dubuque County Courthouse in Dubuque

Benton County Courthouse
#5. Benton County Courthouse in Vinton

Davis County Courthouse
#4. Davis County Courthouse in Bloomfield

Hardin County Courthouse
#3. Hardin County Courthouse in Eldora

Taylor County Courthouse
#2. Taylor County Courthouse in Bedford

Delaware County Courthouse
#1. Delaware County Courthouse in Manchester

Next week, I’m going to rank the 10 worst courthouses in Iowa.

Town Sign Project: Davis County

A few months back I travelled around Davis County with Teresa harvesting the town signs of Davis County. Davis County was the last county in THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT. It was left for last for a reason. It was left because of some family history in Davis County. The ghost town of Paris is in Davis County. Paris was formed when Jackson Paris donated land for the Rock Island to build a railroad depot there. Why does that matter? Cause Jackson B. Paris was the father of Lewis Marion Paris. Lewis Marion Paris is the father of Matin Henry Paris. Martin Henry Paris is the father of Lyle Ronald Paris. Lyle Ronald Paris was my Mom’s dad. There really isn’t much left in Paris, except some ruins and a cemetery where a bunch of Parises are buried. I wanted this to be the last town of what is principal photography on THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT for symbolic reasons.

Here are some facts about Davis County:
+ Population is 9,138 making it the 81st most populous county in Iowa. Below Emmet County and above Palo Alto County.
+ Largest town and county seat is Bloomfield.
+ Named after Garrett Davis, a politician from Kentucky.
+ Major highways are US-63, IA-2, and IA-202.
+ Adjacent counties are Wapello, Monroe, Van Buren, Jefferson, and Appanoose.
+ Population peaked in 1880 at 16,468.

Davis County has a gorgeous courthouse:


Davis County Courthouse
The Davis County Courthouse located in Bloomfield, Iowa.

The Davis County Freedom Rock is located in Drakesville, Iowa:


Davis County Freedom Rock

Davis County Freedom Rock

Davis County Freedom Rock

Davis County Freedom Rock

With Davis County conquered, here is the updated and final Photography 139 Conquest Map:


Town Sign Project - 99 Counties
PURPLE=COMPLETED

99 counties completed. 100% of the Cyclone State conquered.

Here are the town signs of Davis County:


Bloomfield, Iowa
Bloomfield, Iowa
WELCOME TO BLOOMFIELD
Population: 2,682 (+42)

Pulaski, Iowa
Pulaski, Iowa
WELCOME TO PULASKI PARK
Population: 264 (+4)

Drakesville, Iowa
Drakesville, Iowa
DRAKESVILLE
Population: 164 (-20)

Floris, Iowa
Floris, Iowa
Floris Veterans Memorial Park
Population: 116 (-22)

Paris, Iowa - Ghost Town
Paris, Iowa – Ghost Town
PARIS CEMETERY
FIRST BURIAL
L.B. PARIS
APRIL 20, 1854

You may be wondering what will happen now that principal photography for this project is done. The answer is the next thing I will do is start working on the book. I’m not sure when it will be finished or ready to be published, but it should be sometime next year. The book won’t probably be what you imagine, but I will get into that more in a future post. There still might be a few more Tuesday posts dedicated to THE TOWN SIGN project in our future.

Davis County isn’t loaded up with great town signs. It is a county that only has 4 incorporated towns. They are kinda terrible, but Floris’ town sign isn’t really a town sign, so it is the worst.

But who gets the purple ribbon. I guess I have to give it to Pulaski, even though it is really more of a sign for a park than a town, but at least it is in one piece.


Pulaski, Iowa
Pulaski – Best in Show – Davis County

I should point out that there are lots of ghost towns out there that only have a cemetery to mark they ever existed. I don’t stop and photograph these cemetery signs. I only photographed the Paris sign because of the family connection and the fact that it was the symbolic last town.

There were a couple of alternate town signs in Davis County:


Bloomfield, Iowa
Bloomfield – Alternate

Bloomfield, Iowa
Bloomfield – Alternate

Here is the final list of Best in Shows:


Fontanelle, Iowa
Best in Show – Adair County

Nodaway, Iowa
Best in Show – Adams County

Harpers Ferry, Iowa
Best in Show – Allamakee County

Centerville, Iowa
Best in Show – Appanoose County

Audubon, Iowa
Best in Show – Audubon County

Norway, Iowa
Best in Show – Benton County

Gilbertville, Iowa
Best in Show – Black Hawk County

Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

Readlyn, Iowa
Best in Show – Bremer County

Stanley, Iowa
Best in Show – Buchanan 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

Washta, Iowa
Best in Show – Cherokee County

Fredericksburg, Iowa
Best in Show – Chickasaw County

Murray, Iowa
Best in Show – Clarke County

Rossie, Iowa
Best in Show – Clay County

Strawberry Point, Iowa
Best in Show – Clayton County

Low Moor, Iowa
Best in Show – Clinton County

Ricketts, Iowa
Best in Show – Crawford County

Dexter, Iowa
Best in Show – Dallas County

Pulaski, Iowa
Best in Show – Davis County

Weldon, Iowa
Best in Show – Decatur County

Oneida, Iowa - Unincorporated
Best in Show – Delaware County

Middletown, Iowa
Best in Show – Des Moines County

Terril, Iowa
Terril – Best in Show – Dickinson County
Best in Show – Dickinson County

Rickardsville, Iowa
Best in Show – Dubuque County

Ringsted, Iowa
Best in Show – Emmet County

Clermont, Iowa
Best in Show – Fayette County

Marble Rock, Iowa
Best in Show – Floyd 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

Swedesburg, Iowa - Unincorporated
Best in Show – Henry County

Lime Springs, Iowa
Best in Show – Howard County

Bradgate, iowa
Best in Show – Humboldt County

Ida Grove, Iowa
Best in Show – Ida County

Millersburg, Iowa
Best in Show – Iowa County

La Motte, Iowa
Best in Show – Jackson County

Lynnville, Iowa
Best in Show – Jasper County

Fairfield, Iowa
Best in Show – Jefferson County

Lone Tree, Iowa
Best in Show – Johnson County

Anamosa, Iowa
Best in Show – Jones County

Webster, Iowa
Best in Show – Keokuk County

Titonka, Iowa
Best in Show – Kossuth County

Saint Paul, Iowa
Best in Show – Lee County

Springville, Iowa
Best in Show – Linn County

Morning Sun, Iowa
Best in Show – Louisa County

Lucas, Iowa
Best in Show – Lucas County

George, Iowa
Best in Show – Lyon 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

Riceville, Iowa
Best in Show – Mitchell County

Onawa, Iowa
Best in Show – Monona County

Melrose, Iowa
Best in Show – Monroe County

Grant, Iowa
Best in Show – Montgomery County

Conesville, Iowa
Best in Show – Muscatine County

Paullina, Iowa
Best in Show – O’Brien County

Melvin, Iowa
Best in Show – Osceola County

College Springs, Iowa
Best in Show – Page County

Mallard, Iowa
Best in Show – Palo Alto County

Kingsley, Iowa
Best in Show – Plymouth 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

LeClaire, Iowa
Best in Show – Scott County

Elk Horn, Iowa
Best in Show – Shelby County

Orange City, Iowa
Best in Show – Sioux 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

Bonaparte, Iowa
Best in Show – Van Buren County

Agency, Iowa
Best in Show – Wapello County

New Virginia, Iowa
Best in Show – Warren County

Kalona, Iowa
Best in Show – Washington County

Humeston, Iowa
Best in Show – Wayne County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Buffalo Center, Iowa
Best in Show – Winnebago County

Castalia, Iowa
Best in Show – Winneshiek County

Sloan, Iowa
Best in Show – Woodbury County

Joice, Iowa
Best in Show – Worth County

Woolstock, Iowa
Best in Show – Wright County

There is no county next week. The road trip is over. The car is in the garage. It was a crazy ride.

Town Sign Project: Scott County

A couple months back I went to Scott County to harvest their town signs. It was one of the counties I most dreaded doing because of the large cities that just kind of flow into each other. These kind of towns are usually hard to find a town sign, but it was still a good trip.

Here are some facts about Scott County:
+ Population is 174,170 making it the third most populous county in Iowa. Behind Linn County and above Johnson County.
+ Largest town and county seat is Davenport.
+ Named after General Winfield Scott.
+ Home of St. Ambrose University.
+ Birthplace and girlhood home of Elizabeth Nordeen.
+ Birthplace of Buffalo Bill.
+ Home of Antique Archaeology featured on the television show “American Pickers”.
+ Major Highways are: I-74, I-80, I-280, US-6, US-61, US-67, IA-22, and IA-130.
+ Adjacent counties are: Clinton, Muscatine, and Cedar.
+ Currently at peak population.

Scott County has an okay looking courthouse for being contemporary:


Scott County Courthouse
The Scott County Courthouse located in Davenport, Iowa.

The Scott County Freedom Rock is located in LeClaire, Iowa:


Scott County Freedom Rock

Scott County Freedom Rock

Scott County Freedom Rock

Scott County Freedom Rock

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


Town Sign Project - 98 Counties
PURPLE=COMPLETED

98 counties completed. 99% of the Cyclone State conquered.

Here are the town signs of Scott County:


Davenport, Iowa
Davenport, Iowa
DAVENPORT
Population: 101,724 (2,039)

Bettendorf, Iowa
Bettendorf, Iowa
Bettendorf IOWA
a premier city
Population: 39,102 (+5,885)

Eldridge, Iowa
Eldridge, Iowa
Hometown With A Vision
ELDRIDGE
Welcomes You
Population: 6,726 (+1,075)

LeClaire, Iowa
LeClaire, Iowa
Welcome to Historic LeClaire
Population: 4,710 (+945)

Park View, Iowa - Unincorporated
Park View, Iowa – Unincorporated
Park View Welcomes You!

Durant, Iowa
Durant, Iowa – Also in Cedar County and Muscatine County
welcome to DURANT
Population: 1,871 (+39)

Blue Grass, Iowa
Blue Grass, Iowa – partially in Muscatine County
Welcome to Blue Grass, Iowa
A Great Place to Call Home Since 1853
Population: 1,666 (+37)

Walcott, Iowa
Walcott, Iowa – partially in Muscatine County
WECLOME TO WALCOTT
FOUNDED 1854
Population: 1,551 (-78)

Buffalo, Iowa
Buffalo, Iowa
BUFFALO
Population: 1,176 (-94)

Princeton, Iowa
Princeton, Iowa
PRINCETON
ON THE MISSISSIPPI
Population: 923 (+37)

Long Grove, Iowa
Long Grove, Iowa
Welcome to LONG GROVE
…a place to call home…
Since 1838
Population: 838 (+30)

Riverdale, Iowa
Riverdale, Iowa
Riverdale
Population: 379 (-26)

Donahue, Iowa
Donahue, Iowa
THE CITY OF DONAHUE
WELCOMES YOU
EST. 1871
Population: 335 (-11)

McCausland, Iowa
McCausland, Iowa
McCausland, IA.
WECLOME TO McCAUSLAND
Population: 313 (+22)

Dixon, Iowa
Dixon, Iowa
ESTABLISHED 1854
THE CITY OF DIXON
Welcomes You!
Population: 202 (-89)

Maysville, Iowa
Maysville, Iowa
EST 1856
MAYSVILLE
Welcomes You
Population: 156 (-20)

Panorama Park, Iowa
Panorama Park, Iowa
CITY OF PANORAMA PARK
Population: 139 (+10)

New Liberty, Iowa
New Liberty, Iowa
Welcome to New Liberty
Est. 1886
A Place to Grow

East Davenport, Iowa - Unincorporated
East Davenport, Iowa – Unincorporated
Village of East Davenport
1851

The worst town sign of Scott County is pretty obvious. It is clearly Riverdale. They didn’t even have a sign, I had to use the DOT sign. Although, I’m not sure that Riverdale is a real town. It seems like just a place that was zone for factories that became a “town” so the factories could do whatever they want.

But who gets the purple ribbon? Who gets Best of Show for Scott County. There are several signs I like. Long Grove, Maysville, McCausland, East Davenport, and Blue Grass. But my favorite is LeClaire!


LeClaire, Iowa
LeClaire – Best in Show – Scott County

There are several alternate town signs in Scott County:


Park View, Iowa - Unincorporated
Park View – Alternate

McCausland, Iowa
McCausland – Alternate

Long Grove, Iowa
Long Grove – Alternate

LeClaire, Iowa
LeClaire – Alternate

LeClaire, Iowa
LeClaire – Alternate

LeClaire, Iowa
LeClaire – Alternate

Eldridge, Iowa
Eldridge – Alternate

Bettendorf, Iowa
Bettendorf – Alternate

Bettendorf, Iowa
Bettendorf – Alternate

Blue Grass, Iowa
Blue Grass – Alternate

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:


Fontanelle, Iowa
Best in Show – Adair County

Nodaway, Iowa
Best in Show – Adams County

Harpers Ferry, Iowa
Best in Show – Allamakee County

Centerville, Iowa
Best in Show – Appanoose County

Audubon, Iowa
Best in Show – Audubon County

Norway, Iowa
Best in Show – Benton County

Gilbertville, Iowa
Best in Show – Black Hawk County

Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

Readlyn, Iowa
Best in Show – Bremer County

Stanley, Iowa
Best in Show – Buchanan 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

Washta, Iowa
Best in Show – Cherokee County

Fredericksburg, Iowa
Best in Show – Chickasaw County

Murray, Iowa
Best in Show – Clarke County

Rossie, Iowa
Best in Show – Clay County

Strawberry Point, Iowa
Best in Show – Clayton 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

Oneida, Iowa - Unincorporated
Best in Show – Delaware County

Middletown, Iowa
Best in Show – Des Moines County

Terril, Iowa
Terril – Best in Show – Dickinson County
Best in Show – Dickinson County

Rickardsville, Iowa
Best in Show – Dubuque County

Ringsted, Iowa
Best in Show – Emmet County

Clermont, Iowa
Best in Show – Fayette County

Marble Rock, Iowa
Best in Show – Floyd 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

Swedesburg, Iowa - Unincorporated
Best in Show – Henry County

Lime Springs, Iowa
Best in Show – Howard County

Bradgate, iowa
Best in Show – Humboldt County

Ida Grove, Iowa
Best in Show – Ida County

Millersburg, Iowa
Best in Show – Iowa County

La Motte, Iowa
Best in Show – Jackson County

Lynnville, Iowa
Best in Show – Jasper County

Fairfield, Iowa
Best in Show – Jefferson County

Lone Tree, Iowa
Best in Show – Johnson County

Anamosa, Iowa
Best in Show – Jones County

Webster, Iowa
Best in Show – Keokuk County

Titonka, Iowa
Best in Show – Kossuth County

Saint Paul, Iowa
Best in Show – Lee County

Springville, Iowa
Best in Show – Linn County

Morning Sun, Iowa
Best in Show – Louisa County

Lucas, Iowa
Best in Show – Lucas County

George, Iowa
Best in Show – Lyon 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

Riceville, Iowa
Best in Show – Mitchell County

Onawa, Iowa
Best in Show – Monona County

Melrose, Iowa
Best in Show – Monroe County

Grant, Iowa
Best in Show – Montgomery County

Conesville, Iowa
Best in Show – Muscatine County

Paullina, Iowa
Best in Show – O’Brien County

Melvin, Iowa
Best in Show – Osceola County

College Springs, Iowa
Best in Show – Page County

Mallard, Iowa
Best in Show – Palo Alto County

Kingsley, Iowa
Best in Show – Plymouth 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

LeClaire, Iowa
Best in Show – Scott County

Elk Horn, Iowa
Best in Show – Shelby County

Orange City, Iowa
Best in Show – Sioux 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

Bonaparte, Iowa
Best in Show – Van Buren County

Agency, Iowa
Best in Show – Wapello County

New Virginia, Iowa
Best in Show – Warren County

Kalona, Iowa
Best in Show – Washington County

Humeston, Iowa
Best in Show – Wayne County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Buffalo Center, Iowa
Best in Show – Winnebago County

Castalia, Iowa
Best in Show – Winneshiek County

Sloan, Iowa
Best in Show – Woodbury 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 hit the open roads of Davis County.

Town Sign Project: Dubuque County

Dubuque County is a large county. It has almost the most, maybe the most incorporated towns in Iowa. It is an absolutely beautiful county. Also, of all the “cities” in Iowa, Dubuque is my favorite. It is a river city, but not filthy like most river cities. Plus it has interesting things to do and the natural beauty and the community art is hard to beat.

Here are some facts about Dubuque County:
+ Population is 98,718. Making it the 9th most populous county in Iowa. Below Story County and above Pottawattamie County.
+ Largest town and county seat is Dubuque.
+ Established in 1834 as part of the Michigan Territory. Then became part of the Wisconsin Territory in 1836. Then part of the Iowa Territory in 1838.
+ The city of Dubuque was chartered in 1833. It was the first city in Dubuque.
+ Named for French trader Julien Dubuque, the first European settler of Iowa.
+ Home of Mines of Spain State Park, one of the prettiest stater parks in Iowa.
+ Home of the Fenelon Place Elevator.
+ Home of the Field of Dreams.
+ Home of University of Dubuque, Clarke University, Loras College, Emmaus Bible College and Divine Word College.
+ Major highways are: US-20, US-151, US-52, US-61, IA-3, IA-32, and IA-136.
+ Adjacent counties are: Clayton, Jackson, Jones, and Delaware.
+ Currently at peak population.

Dubuque County has a beautiful courthouse:


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

The Dubuque County Freedom Rock is located in Epworth, Iowa:


Dubuque County Freedom Rock

Dubuque County Freedom Rock

Dubuque County Freedom Rock

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


Town Sign Project - 97 Counties
PURPLE=COMPLETED

97 counties completed. 98% of the Cyclone State conquered!

Here are the town signs of Dubuque County:


Dubuque, Iowa
Dubuque, Iowa
DUBUQUE, IOWA
Masterpiece on the Mississippi
Population: 59,667 (+2,030)

Asbury, Iowa
Asbury, Iowa
CITY OF Asbury
Welcomes You!
Population: 5,943 (+1,773)


Dyersville, Iowa – Partially in Delaware County
Welcome to Dyersville
Population: 4,477 (+419)

Epworth, Iowa
Epworth, Iowa
Welcome To EPWORTH
Population: 2,023 (+163)

Peosta, Iowa
Peosta, Iowa
Welcome to
Peosta
CROSSROADS TO THE FUTURE
Population: 1,908 (+531)

Farley, Iowa
Farley, Iowa
FARLEY
welcomes you
Heart of the Cornbelt
Population: 1,766 (+229)


New Vienna, Iowa
WELCOME TO NEW VIENNA
THE eNVy OF IOWA
Population: 382 (-25)

Worthington, Iowa
Worthington, Iowa
WELCOME TO WORTHINGTON
Population: 382 (-19)

Holy Cross, Iowa
Holy Cross, Iowa
Welcome to Holy Cross
Population: 356 (-18)

Luxemburg, Iowa
Luxemburg, Iowa
Welcome To LUXEMBURG
Where Highways Meet
Population: 245 (+5)

Rickardsville, Iowa
Rickardsville, Iowa
Rickardsville
Welcomes You
Population: 202 (+20)

Sherrill, Iowa
Sherrill, Iowa
Welcome To SHERRILL
Iowa’s Beautiful Hill Top Community
Population: 189 (+12)

Centralia, Iowa
Centralia, Iowa
CENTRALIA
Population: 116 (-18)

Bernard, iowa
Bernard, Iowa
WELCOME To BERNARD
Est. 1880
Population: 114 (+2)

Sageville, Iowa
Sageville, Iowa
SAGEVILLE
Population: 95 (-27)

Zwingle, Iowa
Zwingle, Iowa – Partially in Jackson County
WELCOME To ZWINGLE
Settled 1846
Population: 84 (-7)

Balltown, Iowa
Balltown, Iowa
Welcome To Balltown
Population: 79 (+11)

Graf, Iowa
Graf, Iowa
WELCOME TO GRAF
Population: 76 (-3)

Bankston, Iowa
Bankston, Iowa
BANKSTON PARK RD
Population: 23 (-2)

Durango, Iowa
Durango, Iowa
DURANGO
Population: 20 (-2)

Dubuque has a very solid collection of town signs. The only ones I think are bad are the ones that aren’t real town signs. Like Centralia and Bankston and Sageville. But the worst is clearly Bankston. Best I could find is a street sign that had the town name in it.

The best of show is a little harder. I really like the town signs of Worthington and Sherrill and Farley and Durango and Holy Cross and Luxemburg and even Dubuque. I also love the sign for New Vienna, but I have to give the purple ribbon to Rickardsville!


Rickardsville, Iowa
Rickardsville – Best in Show – Dubuque County

There were a couple of alternate town signs in Dubuque County:


Peosta, Iowa
Peosta – Alternate

Farley, Iowa
Farley – Alternate

New Vienna, Iowa
New Vienna – Alternate

New Vienna, Iowa
New Vienna – Alternate

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:


Fontanelle, Iowa
Best in Show – Adair County

Nodaway, Iowa
Best in Show – Adams County

Harpers Ferry, Iowa
Best in Show – Allamakee County

Centerville, Iowa
Best in Show – Appanoose County

Audubon, Iowa
Best in Show – Audubon County

Norway, Iowa
Best in Show – Benton County

Gilbertville, Iowa
Best in Show – Black Hawk County

Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

Readlyn, Iowa
Best in Show – Bremer County

Stanley, Iowa
Best in Show – Buchanan 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

Washta, Iowa
Best in Show – Cherokee County

Fredericksburg, Iowa
Best in Show – Chickasaw County

Murray, Iowa
Best in Show – Clarke County

Rossie, Iowa
Best in Show – Clay County

Strawberry Point, Iowa
Best in Show – Clayton 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

Oneida, Iowa - Unincorporated
Best in Show – Delaware County

Middletown, Iowa
Best in Show – Des Moines County

Terril, Iowa
Terril – Best in Show – Dickinson County
Best in Show – Dickinson County

Rickardsville, Iowa
Best in Show – Dubuque County

Ringsted, Iowa
Best in Show – Emmet County

Clermont, Iowa
Best in Show – Fayette County

Marble Rock, Iowa
Best in Show – Floyd 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

Swedesburg, Iowa - Unincorporated
Best in Show – Henry County

Lime Springs, Iowa
Best in Show – Howard County

Bradgate, iowa
Best in Show – Humboldt County

Ida Grove, Iowa
Best in Show – Ida County

Millersburg, Iowa
Best in Show – Iowa County

La Motte, Iowa
Best in Show – Jackson County

Lynnville, Iowa
Best in Show – Jasper County

Fairfield, Iowa
Best in Show – Jefferson County

Lone Tree, Iowa
Best in Show – Johnson County

Anamosa, Iowa
Best in Show – Jones County

Webster, Iowa
Best in Show – Keokuk County

Titonka, Iowa
Best in Show – Kossuth County

Saint Paul, Iowa
Best in Show – Lee County

Springville, Iowa
Best in Show – Linn County

Morning Sun, Iowa
Best in Show – Louisa County

Lucas, Iowa
Best in Show – Lucas County

George, Iowa
Best in Show – Lyon 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

Riceville, Iowa
Best in Show – Mitchell County

Onawa, Iowa
Best in Show – Monona County

Melrose, Iowa
Best in Show – Monroe County

Grant, Iowa
Best in Show – Montgomery County

Conesville, Iowa
Best in Show – Muscatine County

Paullina, Iowa
Best in Show – O’Brien County

Melvin, Iowa
Best in Show – Osceola County

College Springs, Iowa
Best in Show – Page County

Mallard, Iowa
Best in Show – Palo Alto County

Kingsley, Iowa
Best in Show – Plymouth 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

Orange City, Iowa
Best in Show – Sioux 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

Bonaparte, Iowa
Best in Show – Van Buren County

Agency, Iowa
Best in Show – Wapello County

New Virginia, Iowa
Best in Show – Warren County

Kalona, Iowa
Best in Show – Washington County

Humeston, Iowa
Best in Show – Wayne County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Buffalo Center, Iowa
Best in Show – Winnebago County

Castalia, Iowa
Best in Show – Winneshiek County

Sloan, Iowa
Best in Show – Woodbury 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 hit the open roads of Scott County.

Town Sign Project: Des Moines County

A couple months back I cruised around Des Moines County harvesting their town signs. It was definitely a good trip and a county I would visit again.

Here are some facts about Des Moines County:
+ Population is 38,491 making it the 16th most populous county in Iowa. Below Marshall County and above Jasper County.
+ Largest town and county seat is Burlington.
+ Formed in September 1834 as part of the Michigan Territory. Became part of the Iowa Territory on July 4, 1838.
+ Named after the Des Moines River.
+ Home of letters written by Anne Frank to a pen pal she had in Danville.
+ Home of the Iowa Ammunition Plant.
+ Home of the “World’s Crookedest Street”. Snake Alley.
+ Major highways are: US-34 and US-61.
+ Adjacent counties are: Louisa, Lee, and Henry.
+ Population peaked in 1970 at 46,982.

Des Moines County has a pretty meh courthouse:


Des Moines County Courthouse
The Des Moines County Courthouse located in Burlington, Iowa.

The Des Moines County Freedom Rock is located in Mediapolis, Iowa.


Des Moines County Freedom Rock

Des Moines County Freedom Rock

Des Moines County Freedom Rock

Des Moines County Freedom Rock

Des Moines County Freedom Rock

With Des Moines County conquered, here is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:


Town Sign Project - 96 Counties
PURPLE=COMPLETED

96 counties completed. 97% of the Cyclone State conquered!

Here are the town signs of Des Moines County:


Burlington, Iowa
Burlington, Iowa
Welcome To Historic Downtown BURLINGTON
Population: 23,982 (-1,671)

West Burlington, Iowa
West Burlington, Iowa
Welcome To BURLINGTON
WEST BURLINGTON
Population: 3,197 (+229)

Mediapolis, Iowa
Mediapolis, Iowa
Mediapolis
Population: 1,688 (+128)

Danville, Iowa
Danville, Iowa
HOME OF THE DANVILLE BEARS
STATE CHAMPIONS
Population: 927 (-7)

Middletown, Iowa
Middletown, Iowa
WELCOME TO MIDDLETOWN
POP. 386 EST. NOV. 1847
HOME OF THE IOWA ARMY AMMUNITION PLANT
Population: 363 (+45)

Des Moines County is one of the weakest collection of town signs out there. None of them are exactly terrible, but none of them are great. If I have to give out a last place, I’ll give it to Danville cause that is more of a school sign than a town sign.

The purple ribbon is pretty obvious. No need for suspense. Best of Show goes to Middletown.


Middletown, Iowa
Middletown – Best in Show – Des Moines County

There was only one alternate town sign in Des Moines County:


Middletown, Iowa
Middletown – Alternate

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:


Fontanelle, Iowa
Best in Show – Adair County

Nodaway, Iowa
Best in Show – Adams County

Harpers Ferry, Iowa
Best in Show – Allamakee County

Centerville, Iowa
Best in Show – Appanoose County

Audubon, Iowa
Best in Show – Audubon County

Norway, Iowa
Best in Show – Benton County

Gilbertville, Iowa
Best in Show – Black Hawk County

Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

Readlyn, Iowa
Best in Show – Bremer County

Stanley, Iowa
Best in Show – Buchanan 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

Washta, Iowa
Best in Show – Cherokee County

Fredericksburg, Iowa
Best in Show – Chickasaw County

Murray, Iowa
Best in Show – Clarke County

Rossie, Iowa
Best in Show – Clay County

Strawberry Point, Iowa
Best in Show – Clayton 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

Oneida, Iowa - Unincorporated
Best in Show – Delaware County

Middletown, Iowa
Best in Show – Des Moines County

Terril, Iowa
Terril – Best in Show – Dickinson County
Best in Show – Dickinson County

Ringsted, Iowa
Best in Show – Emmet County

Clermont, Iowa
Best in Show – Fayette County

Marble Rock, Iowa
Best in Show – Floyd 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

Swedesburg, Iowa - Unincorporated
Best in Show – Henry County

Lime Springs, Iowa
Best in Show – Howard County

Bradgate, iowa
Best in Show – Humboldt County

Ida Grove, Iowa
Best in Show – Ida County

Millersburg, Iowa
Best in Show – Iowa County

La Motte, Iowa
Best in Show – Jackson County

Lynnville, Iowa
Best in Show – Jasper County

Fairfield, Iowa
Best in Show – Jefferson County

Lone Tree, Iowa
Best in Show – Johnson County

Anamosa, Iowa
Best in Show – Jones County

Webster, Iowa
Best in Show – Keokuk County

Titonka, Iowa
Best in Show – Kossuth County

Saint Paul, Iowa
Best in Show – Lee County

Springville, Iowa
Best in Show – Linn County

Morning Sun, Iowa
Best in Show – Louisa County

Lucas, Iowa
Best in Show – Lucas County

George, Iowa
Best in Show – Lyon 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

Riceville, Iowa
Best in Show – Mitchell County

Onawa, Iowa
Best in Show – Monona County

Melrose, Iowa
Best in Show – Monroe County

Grant, Iowa
Best in Show – Montgomery County

Conesville, Iowa
Best in Show – Muscatine County

Paullina, Iowa
Best in Show – O’Brien County

Melvin, Iowa
Best in Show – Osceola County

College Springs, Iowa
Best in Show – Page County

Mallard, Iowa
Best in Show – Palo Alto County

Kingsley, Iowa
Best in Show – Plymouth 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

Orange City, Iowa
Best in Show – Sioux 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

Bonaparte, Iowa
Best in Show – Van Buren County

Agency, Iowa
Best in Show – Wapello County

New Virginia, Iowa
Best in Show – Warren County

Kalona, Iowa
Best in Show – Washington County

Humeston, Iowa
Best in Show – Wayne County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Buffalo Center, Iowa
Best in Show – Winnebago County

Castalia, Iowa
Best in Show – Winneshiek County

Sloan, Iowa
Best in Show – Woodbury 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 hit the open roads of Dubuque County.

Town Sign Project: Louisa County

A couple months back I cruised around Louisa County harvesting their town signs. It was a good trip.

Here are some facts about Louisa County:
+ Population is 10,749. Making it the 67th most populous county in Iowa. Below Cherokee County and above Hancock County.
+ Largest town and county seat is Wapello.
+ Formed on December 7, 1836 as part of the Wisconsin Territory. Became part of the Iowa Territory on July 4, 1838.
+ Either named after Louisa Massey or named after Louisa County, Virginia. I like to think it was named after Louisa Massey cause that would make it one of only a couple of counties named after a woman and because Louisa Massey’s fame came from avenging the murder of her brother by shooting the person that murdered him.
+ Boyhood home of Jorge Rios.
+ Home of the Columbus Junction Swinging Bridge.
+ Major highways are: US-61, UIA-70, IA-78, and IA-92.
+ Adjacent counties are: Johnson, Muscatine, Des Moines, Henry, and Washington.
+ Population peaked in 1900 at 13,516.

Louisa County has a boring looking courthouse. Looks like an elementary school I went to:


Louisa County Courthouse
The Louisa County Courthouse located in Wapello, Iowa.

The Louisa County Freedom Rock is located in Grandview, Iowa:


Louisa County Freedom Rock

Louisa County Freedom Rock

Louisa County Freedom Rock

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


Town Sign Project - 95 Counties
PURPLE=COMPLETED

95 counties completed. 96% of the Cyclone State conquered!

Here are the town signs of Louisa County:


Wapello, Iowa
Wapello, Iowa
WAPELLO
Est. 1856
Population: 2,084 (+17)

Columbus Junction, Iowa
Columbus Junction, Iowa
Welcome to Columbus Junction
Population: 1,830 (-69)

Morning Sun, Iowa
Morning Sun, Iowa
MORNING SUN
Population: 752 (-84)

Grandview, Iowa
Grandview, Iowa
City Of Grandview
WELCOMES YOU
Population: 437 (-119)

Columbus City, Iowa
Columbus City, Iowa
Welcome TO COLUMBUS CITY
EST. 1841
Population: 392 (-1)

Letts, Iowa
Letts, Iowa
Welcome to LETTS
POP. 374
Population: 363 (-21)

Fredonia, Iowa
Welcome to FREDONIA
Est 1836
Home of the Convict Road
Population: 222 (-22)

Oakville, Iowa
Oakville, Iowa
A Peaceful Place BETWEEN TWO RIVERS
OAKVILLE
Population: 200 (+27)

Cotter, Iowa
Cotter, Iowa
COTTER TOWN HALL
Population: 39 (-9)

Cairo, Iowa - Unincorporated
Cario, Iowa – Unincorporated
Welcome Historic CAIRO
1835
THE SPIRIT OF CAIRO LIVES ON IN OUR HEARTS

Louisa County has a solid but not spectacular collection of signs. Last place is pretty obvious, it belongs to Columbus Junction that doesn’t even have a real town sign. Just some banners hanging from their light poles.

I’m a fan of the Fredonia sign. The Cairo sign. The Letts sign. The Grandview sign. But the purple ribbon has to go to Morning Sun!


Morning Sun, Iowa
Morning Sun – Best in Show – Louisa County

There was only one alternate town sign in Louisa County:


Morning Sun, Iowa
Morning Sun – Alternate

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:


Fontanelle, Iowa
Best in Show – Adair County

Nodaway, Iowa
Best in Show – Adams County

Harpers Ferry, Iowa
Best in Show – Allamakee County

Centerville, Iowa
Best in Show – Appanoose County

Audubon, Iowa
Best in Show – Audubon County

Norway, Iowa
Best in Show – Benton County

Gilbertville, Iowa
Best in Show – Black Hawk County

Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

Readlyn, Iowa
Best in Show – Bremer County

Stanley, Iowa
Best in Show – Buchanan 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

Washta, Iowa
Best in Show – Cherokee County

Fredericksburg, Iowa
Best in Show – Chickasaw County

Murray, Iowa
Best in Show – Clarke County

Rossie, Iowa
Best in Show – Clay County

Strawberry Point, Iowa
Best in Show – Clayton 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

Oneida, Iowa - Unincorporated
Best in Show – Delaware County

Terril, Iowa
Terril – Best in Show – Dickinson County
Best in Show – Dickinson County

Ringsted, Iowa
Best in Show – Emmet County

Clermont, Iowa
Best in Show – Fayette County

Marble Rock, Iowa
Best in Show – Floyd 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

Swedesburg, Iowa - Unincorporated
Best in Show – Henry County

Lime Springs, Iowa
Best in Show – Howard County

Bradgate, iowa
Best in Show – Humboldt County

Ida Grove, Iowa
Best in Show – Ida County

Millersburg, Iowa
Best in Show – Iowa County

La Motte, Iowa
Best in Show – Jackson County

Lynnville, Iowa
Best in Show – Jasper County

Fairfield, Iowa
Best in Show – Jefferson County

Lone Tree, Iowa
Best in Show – Johnson County

Anamosa, Iowa
Best in Show – Jones County

Webster, Iowa
Best in Show – Keokuk County

Titonka, Iowa
Best in Show – Kossuth County

Saint Paul, Iowa
Best in Show – Lee County

Springville, Iowa
Best in Show – Linn County

Morning Sun, Iowa
Best in Show – Louisa County

Lucas, Iowa
Best in Show – Lucas County

George, Iowa
Best in Show – Lyon 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

Riceville, Iowa
Best in Show – Mitchell County

Onawa, Iowa
Best in Show – Monona County

Melrose, Iowa
Best in Show – Monroe County

Grant, Iowa
Best in Show – Montgomery County

Conesville, Iowa
Best in Show – Muscatine County

Paullina, Iowa
Best in Show – O’Brien County

Melvin, Iowa
Best in Show – Osceola County

College Springs, Iowa
Best in Show – Page County

Mallard, Iowa
Best in Show – Palo Alto County

Kingsley, Iowa
Best in Show – Plymouth 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

Orange City, Iowa
Best in Show – Sioux 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

Bonaparte, Iowa
Best in Show – Van Buren County

Agency, Iowa
Best in Show – Wapello County

New Virginia, Iowa
Best in Show – Warren County

Kalona, Iowa
Best in Show – Washington County

Humeston, Iowa
Best in Show – Wayne County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Buffalo Center, Iowa
Best in Show – Winnebago County

Castalia, Iowa
Best in Show – Winneshiek County

Sloan, Iowa
Best in Show – Woodbury 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 hit the open roads of Des Moines County.

Town Sign Project: Van Buren County

A couple months back I cruised around Van Buren County harvesting their town signs. Van Buren County is interesting because it is a collection of old villages more than towns. I don’t even know if that makes sense, but that is how they view themselves. Either way, there is lots of cool history in Van Buren County and cool little villages.

Here are some facts about Van Buren County:
+ Population is 7,243, making it the 90th most populous county in Iowa. Below Worth County and above Pocahontas County.
+ Largest town and county seat is Keosauqua.
+ Formed on December 7, 1836 as part of the Wisconsin Territory. Was split off from Des Moines County. Became part of the Iowa territory on July 4, 1838.
+ Named after President Martin Van Buren, who was considered the first forgettable American President.
+ The site of The Honey War. When a bunch of thugs from Missouri tried to invade Iowa and steal honey from Iowa’s delicious honey trees. The Iowans quickly kicked their ass back to their loser state. The conflict (mostly over the border between the state) was mostly decided in 1846 when Congress ruled in Iowa’s favor. Suck it “show me state”.
+ Home of Iowa’s oldest active courthouse. Second oldest in the nation.
+ Major highways are: IA-1, IA-2, IA-16, and IA-98.
+ Adjacent counties are: Jefferson, Henry, Lee, and Davis.
+ Population peaked in 1870 at 17,672.

The Van Buren County Courthouse is okay looking:


Van Buren County Courthouse
The Van Buren County Courthouse located in Keosauqua, Iowa.

The Van Buren County Freedom Rock is located in Stockport, Iowa:


Van Buren County Freedom Rock

Van Buren County Freedom Rock

Van Buren County Freedom Rock

Van Buren County Freedom Rock

With Van Buren County conquered, here is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:


Town Sign Project - 94 Counties
PURPLE=COMPLETED

94 counties completed. 94.9% of the Cyclone State conquered!

Here are the town signs of Van Buren County:


Keosauqua, Iowa
Keosauqua, Iowa
Keosauqua
established 1839
Population: 936 (-70)

Farmington, Iowa
Farmington, Iowa
Welcome To Farmington, Iowa
“Oldest Village in Van Buren County:
Home of The Strawberry Festival
2nd Weekend in June
Population: 579 (-85)

Milton, Iowa
Milton, Iowa
WELCOME TO MILTON
EST. 1851
Population: 380 (-63)


Birmingham, Iowa
BIRMINGHAM
GATEWAY TO SCENIC VAN BUREN COUNTY
Population: 367 (-81)

Bonaparte, Iowa
Bonaparte, Iowa
BONAPARTE
founded 1837
IOWA
WELCOME TO A NATIONAL HISTORIC DIST.
A VILLAGE OF VAN BUREN COUNTY
Population: 359 (-84)


Stockport, Iowa
EST. 1887
Population: 272 (-24)

Cantril, Iowa
Cantril, Iowa
VILLAGE OF CANTRIL
EST. 1872
Population: 224 (+2)

Selma, Iowa - Unincorporated
Selma, Iowa – Unincorporated
SELMA
52588

Leando, Iowa - Unincorporated
Leando, Iowa – Unincorporated
WELCOME TO LEANDO, IA
EST. 1838

Douds, Iowa - Unincorporated
Douds, Iowa – Unincorporated
Welcome to DOUDS IOWA
Est. 1866
Home of DOUDS STONE LLC
Since 1926

Bentonsport, Iowa - Unincorporated
Bentonsport, Iowa – Unincorporated
Welcome to Bentonsport

Van Buren County has a truly great collection of town signs. Definitely a Top 5 County in this respect. I can’t pick a bad one.

But what town gets the purple ribbon? I love so many of them. I love the Milton sign and the Keosauqua sign and the Cantril sign. But I’m going to have to give the Best in Show prize to Bonaparte.


Bonaparte, Iowa
Bonaparte – Best in Show – Van Buren County

There are a few alternate town signs in Van Buren County:


Milton, Iowa
Milton – Alternate

Keosauqua, Iowa
Keosauqua – Alternate

Douds, Iowa - Unincorporated
Douds – Alternate

Cantril, Iowa
Cantril – Alternate

Stockport, Iowa
Stockport – Alternate

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:


Fontanelle, Iowa
Best in Show – Adair County

Nodaway, Iowa
Best in Show – Adams County

Harpers Ferry, Iowa
Best in Show – Allamakee County

Centerville, Iowa
Best in Show – Appanoose County

Audubon, Iowa
Best in Show – Audubon County

Norway, Iowa
Best in Show – Benton County

Gilbertville, Iowa
Best in Show – Black Hawk County

Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

Readlyn, Iowa
Best in Show – Bremer County

Stanley, Iowa
Best in Show – Buchanan 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

Washta, Iowa
Best in Show – Cherokee County

Fredericksburg, Iowa
Best in Show – Chickasaw County

Murray, Iowa
Best in Show – Clarke County

Rossie, Iowa
Best in Show – Clay County

Strawberry Point, Iowa
Best in Show – Clayton 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

Oneida, Iowa - Unincorporated
Best in Show – Delaware County

Terril, Iowa
Terril – Best in Show – Dickinson County
Best in Show – Dickinson County

Ringsted, Iowa
Best in Show – Emmet County

Clermont, Iowa
Best in Show – Fayette County

Marble Rock, Iowa
Best in Show – Floyd 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

Swedesburg, Iowa - Unincorporated
Best in Show – Henry County

Lime Springs, Iowa
Best in Show – Howard County

Bradgate, iowa
Best in Show – Humboldt County

Ida Grove, Iowa
Best in Show – Ida County

Millersburg, Iowa
Best in Show – Iowa County

La Motte, Iowa
Best in Show – Jackson County

Lynnville, Iowa
Best in Show – Jasper County

Fairfield, Iowa
Best in Show – Jefferson County

Lone Tree, Iowa
Best in Show – Johnson County

Anamosa, Iowa
Best in Show – Jones County

Webster, Iowa
Best in Show – Keokuk County

Titonka, Iowa
Best in Show – Kossuth County

Saint Paul, Iowa
Best in Show – Lee County

Springville, Iowa
Best in Show – Linn County

Lucas, Iowa
Best in Show – Lucas County

George, Iowa
Best in Show – Lyon 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

Riceville, Iowa
Best in Show – Mitchell County

Onawa, Iowa
Best in Show – Monona County

Melrose, Iowa
Best in Show – Monroe County

Grant, Iowa
Best in Show – Montgomery County

Conesville, Iowa
Best in Show – Muscatine County

Paullina, Iowa
Best in Show – O’Brien County

Melvin, Iowa
Best in Show – Osceola County

College Springs, Iowa
Best in Show – Page County

Mallard, Iowa
Best in Show – Palo Alto County

Kingsley, Iowa
Best in Show – Plymouth 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

Orange City, Iowa
Best in Show – Sioux 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

Bonaparte, Iowa
Best in Show – Van Buren County

Agency, Iowa
Best in Show – Wapello County

New Virginia, Iowa
Best in Show – Warren County

Kalona, Iowa
Best in Show – Washington County

Humeston, Iowa
Best in Show – Wayne County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Buffalo Center, Iowa
Best in Show – Winnebago County

Castalia, Iowa
Best in Show – Winneshiek County

Sloan, Iowa
Best in Show – Woodbury 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 visit Louisa County.

Town Sign Project: Lee County

A few weeks back I travelled to Lee County to harvest their town signs. Lee County is the southernmost county in Iowa. So it is a jaunt, but it was a good trip.

Here are some facts about Lee County:
+ Population is 33,215 making it the 22nd most populous county in Iowa. Below Marion County and above Boone County.
+ Largest town is Fort Madison.
+ Has two county seats: Fort Madison and Keokuk. The only county in Iowa with two county seats.
+ Lee County was formed on December 7, 1836 as part of the Wisconsin Territory and became part of the Iowa Territory on July 4, 1838.
+ There is no consensus on who the county is named after. It is either the company Marsh, Delevan & Lee a company with extensive interests in the area. Or perhaps it was the traitor Robert E. Lee who surveyed the Des Moines Rapids, or it was named after Albert Lea who helped explore the area.
+ Sit of the first U.S. military fort in the upper Mississippi region.
+ Was home of A “Half-Breed Tract” which was about as racist as it sounds.
+ Home of the Iowa State Penitentiary.
+ Major highways are: US-61, US-136, US-218, IA-2, IA-16, and IA-27.
+ Adjacent counties are Henry, Des Moines, and Van Buren.
+ Population peaked at 44,207 in 1960.

Lee County has two county seats, therefore it has two county courthouses.


Lee County Courthouse - Fort Madison
Lee County Courthouse #1 located in Fort Madison, Iowa.

Lee County Courthouse - Keokuk
Lee County Courthouse #2 located in Keokuk, Iowa.

The Lee County Freedom Rock is located in West Point, Iowa:


Lee County Freedom RockLee County Freedom Rock

Lee County Freedom Rock

Lee County Freedom Rock

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


Town Sign Project - 93 Counties
PURPLE=COMPLETED

93 counties completed. 93.9% of the Cyclone State conquered!

Here are the town signs of Lee County:


Fort Madison, Iowa
Fort Madison, Iowa
FORT MADISON WELCOMES YOU
Population: 10,270 (-781)

Keokuk, Iowa
Keokuk, Iowa
Make It Yours
KEOKUK IOWA
WELCOME
Population: 9,900 (-880)

West Point, Iowa
West Point, Iowa
Welcome to…
WEST POINT
Home of the Sweet Corn Festival
Population: 921 (-45)

Donnellson, Iowa
Donnellson, Iowa
Welcome To DONNELLSON
Population: 885 (-27)

Montrose, Iowa
Montrose, Iowa
MONTROSE
INCORPORATED SINCE 1857
HISTORIC – SCENIC
Population: 738 (-160)

Houghton, Iowa
Houghton, Iowa
WELCOME TO
FOUNDED 1881
Houghton
Population: 141 (-5)

Franklin, Iowa
Franklin, Iowa
WELCOME TO THE VILLAGE OF FRANKLIN
EST. 1840
Population: 131 (-12)

Saint Paul, Iowa
St. Paul, Iowa
St Paul
WELCOMES YOU
Population: 109 (-20)

Denmark, Iowa - Unincorporated
Denmark, Iowa – Unincorporated
WELCOME TO HISTORIC DENMARK
1836

Argyle, Iowa - Unincorporated
Argyle, Iowa – Unincorporated
Welcome TO – ARGYLE
Hwy 218 Straight Ahead
6 Miles
1888-1988

Lee County has a solid but not spectacular collection of town signs. It is pretty clear which one is the worst one in the county though. It is Donnellson and there town sign thrown at the bottom of a billboard for Pilot Grove Savings Bank.

There are several town signs that I really like in Lee County. I like the West Point sign. I like the Montrose sign. I like the Fort Madison sign. I like Denmark sign. But it really comes down to the Argyle sign and the St. Paul sign. I’m going to give the purple ribbon to St. Paul though. By a nose.


Saint Paul, Iowa
St. Paul – Best in Show – Lee County

There are a few alternate town signs in Lee County:


Montrose, Iowa
Montrose – Alternate

Keokuk, Iowa
Keokuk – Alternate

Fort Madison, Iowa
Fort Madison – Alternate

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:


Fontanelle, Iowa
Best in Show – Adair County

Nodaway, Iowa
Best in Show – Adams County

Harpers Ferry, Iowa
Best in Show – Allamakee County

Centerville, Iowa
Best in Show – Appanoose County

Audubon, Iowa
Best in Show – Audubon County

Norway, Iowa
Best in Show – Benton County

Gilbertville, Iowa
Best in Show – Black Hawk County

Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

Readlyn, Iowa
Best in Show – Bremer County

Stanley, Iowa
Best in Show – Buchanan 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

Washta, Iowa
Best in Show – Cherokee County

Fredericksburg, Iowa
Best in Show – Chickasaw County

Murray, Iowa
Best in Show – Clarke County

Rossie, Iowa
Best in Show – Clay County

Strawberry Point, Iowa
Best in Show – Clayton 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

Oneida, Iowa - Unincorporated
Best in Show – Delaware County

Terril, Iowa
Terril – Best in Show – Dickinson County
Best in Show – Dickinson County

Ringsted, Iowa
Best in Show – Emmet County

Clermont, Iowa
Best in Show – Fayette County

Marble Rock, Iowa
Best in Show – Floyd 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

Swedesburg, Iowa - Unincorporated
Best in Show – Henry County

Lime Springs, Iowa
Best in Show – Howard County

Bradgate, iowa
Best in Show – Humboldt County

Ida Grove, Iowa
Best in Show – Ida County

Millersburg, Iowa
Best in Show – Iowa County

La Motte, Iowa
Best in Show – Jackson County

Lynnville, Iowa
Best in Show – Jasper County

Fairfield, Iowa
Best in Show – Jefferson County

Lone Tree, Iowa
Best in Show – Johnson County

Anamosa, Iowa
Best in Show – Jones County

Webster, Iowa
Best in Show – Keokuk County

Titonka, Iowa
Best in Show – Kossuth County

Saint Paul, Iowa
Best in Show – Lee County

Springville, Iowa
Best in Show – Linn County

Lucas, Iowa
Best in Show – Lucas County

George, Iowa
Best in Show – Lyon 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

Riceville, Iowa
Best in Show – Mitchell County

Onawa, Iowa
Best in Show – Monona County

Melrose, Iowa
Best in Show – Monroe County

Grant, Iowa
Best in Show – Montgomery County

Conesville, Iowa
Best in Show – Muscatine County

Paullina, Iowa
Best in Show – O’Brien County

Melvin, Iowa
Best in Show – Osceola County

College Springs, Iowa
Best in Show – Page County

Mallard, Iowa
Best in Show – Palo Alto County

Kingsley, Iowa
Best in Show – Plymouth 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

Orange City, Iowa
Best in Show – Sioux 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

Agency, Iowa
Best in Show – Wapello County

New Virginia, Iowa
Best in Show – Warren County

Kalona, Iowa
Best in Show – Washington County

Humeston, Iowa
Best in Show – Wayne County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Buffalo Center, Iowa
Best in Show – Winnebago County

Castalia, Iowa
Best in Show – Winneshiek County

Sloan, Iowa
Best in Show – Woodbury 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 visit Van Buren County.