Last weekend the weather finally cooperated enough for me to get out on the open road and doing some good old fashioned town sign harvesting. On Saturday. The weather immediately went back to being terrible on Sunday. But on Saturday, it didn’t snow and the temperature was above -30 degrees wind chill. Some of the back roads were still a little rough and the ditches were definitely overflowing with snow, but it was good enough for me to get out there and harvest some signs!
Here are some facts about Hardin County:
+ Population: 17,534 (2010)
+ County Seat is Eldora.
+ Largest town is Iowa Falls.
+ Hardin County was formed in 1851. It was named after Colonel John J. Hardin, who died in the Mexican–American War.
I’ve recently decided to share a picture of the County Courthouse and the Freedom Rock for each county, if I find both. I decided to do that AFTER I returned home, so the pictures of both are not as good as they will be in the future:
Hardin County Courthouse
Hardin County Freedom Rock
I have shown the photo map of several counties, but not of the whole state of Iowa, so here is the Iowa Photo Map:
Iowa Photo Map as of February 24, 2021
Here is the Hardin County Photo Map:
Hardin County Photo Map – Boundaries Probably not even close.
With Hardin County knocked out, here is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:
13 counties completed. 13.1% of the Cyclone State conquered!
Here are the Hardin County Signs:
Iowa Falls, Iowa
Welcome to the Scenic City – Iowa Falls – Home of Ellsworth Community College
Iowa River Greenbelt Community – Eldora
Ackley, Iowa (Partially in Franklin County)
Welcome to Alden – Best Town by a Dam Site
Welcome to Radcliffe – Farms, Families, & Friends
Welcome to Union – Est. 1872
Steamboat Rock, Iowa
Steamboat Rock – The Valley of Friendliness
New Providence, Iowa
Welcome to New Providence – Est. 1855
Welcome to Whitten Iowa – Since 1882
Welcome to Buckeye – The End of the Line on 359
Garden City, Iowa
Welcome to Rebel Country
Welcome to Owasa
Welcome to Gifford – Established in 1875
I was recently told that my picks for best town signs was controversial. That this person was holding back, but they wouldn’t be holding back any longer. I also will not hold back on my opinions.
Hardin County has maybe the strongest collection of town signs to date. There aren’t any that I would consider bad. But the worst town sign in Hardin County is Eldora. While it isn’t a conventionally terrible sign, it isn’t even a real town sign. Union has almost an identical sign in front of their town hall. Owasa’s sign is a little weak. Garden City’s sign isn’t even a town sign. It is a sign for the school district. It shouldn’t even be on this list.
Who has Best in Show for Hardin County? Now normally, this might be a battle. There are some really good signs in there. Then Ackley shows up with a bull statue as part of their sign. Checkmate Hardin County!
Ackley – Best in Show – Hardin County
There were a couple towns with alternate town signs:
Ackley – Alternate
Alden – Alternate
New Providence – Alternate
The Union town sign is the sign I think about the most. I don’t understand the picture of the tar heel on their sign. My research as only found that Union holds a Tar Heel Days town festival, but I don’t know why. If somebody knows, let me know and then I’ll let the people know.
Here is the current list of Best in Shows:
Best in Show – Boone County
Best in Show – Carroll County
Best in Show – Crawford County
Best in Show – Dallas County
Best in Show – Greene County
Best in Show – Hamilton County
Best in Show – Hardin County
Best in Show – Jasper County
Best in Show – Marshall County
Best in Show – Polk County
Best in Show – Story County
Best in Show – Webster County
Best in Show – Wright County
Here is the updated BENNET TOWN SIGN POWER RANKINGS:
#4. Pilot Mound
#2. Coon Rapids
That’s right! A new number 1! I now stand and wait for the opinions on my rankings to be brought!
I think Alden’s sign is close to breaking into the rankings. Steamboat Rock and Buckeye also have great signs!
I’m not sure what county I will visit next, but I’m hoping to get out on the road again this weekend!