Keokuk, Iowa is a city of about 10000 people in Southeastern Iowa. It is named after the Sauk chief Keokuk, who is commemorated with a statue and thought to be buried in the Rand Park on the edge of the Mississippi River.
There is a fine display of historic architecture in Keokuk’s downtown area, although quite a lot of buildings have seen better days and were seemingly no longer occupied especially the shops on the ground floor.
Mark Twain’s brother Orion was a long-time resident of Keokuk and Twain wrote about Keokuk in his Life On The Mississippi book, which is one of my favorite books of his.
Creston is a city of about 8000 people and located about 70 miles southwest of Des Moines, Iowa
Stanton is a small town in Montgomery County, about 65 miles east of Omaha/Council Bluffs with a population of around 700 people. It was known as the ‘Little White City’ when all houses were painted white. That apparently isn’t the case nowadays, but most of the houses I saw on my brief visit to Stanton were. It was settled mainly by Swedish immigrants in the 19th century. It’s also ‘famous’ for being the one-time home of a family that was killed onboard the Titanic, and one of them, whose body was recovered, is buried in Stanton.
Quite possible the best, but certainly the most unexpected, find on last March’s Illinois/Missouri/Iowa trip, I completely stumbled upon this by (lucky) accident. Staunton, about 40 miles north of St. Louis wasn’t on my schedule at all, but I decided to check the town out on my way from Lincoln, IL to Belleville, IL. After driving and walking around the town for a bit, I saw that Route 66 led through here once and of course I had to check it out and drive on it for a short way.
Then I found this. Clearly a labor of love and a decidedly low-key affair, which is all the more reason for me to love it, plus the weather was nice, cold and sunny after a harsh blizzard the day before , so I was very happy to have found it. Unfortunately it wasn’t open the morning I went, as a handwritten note informed me the owner was at the local library on a computer course. Otherwise I probably would have kissed him (well, most probably not that, but I would have loved to congratulate him on the good work he’s doing, and would have bought a few souvenirs). He (or she perhaps?) made my day.
Patagonia is a small town of under 1000 people in southern Arizona, about 20 miles from Nogales (and Mexico). I read about it in my trusted Rough Guide and didn’t regret going there. Unfortunately, I went on Thanksgiving Day, as a European I wasn’t aware of how much of a big thing it is in the US, I knew it was a holiday, but there was absolutely nothing open in Patagonia I could get a bite to eat (but I have learned from that experience and am always taking something other than just mineral water with me now). I wanted to take the road all through the mountains back to Tucson originally, but had to abandon that idea as I was absolutely starving, so I had to get back onto the Interstate at Nogales. But the extremely beautiful setting in the mountains and the frontier town feel of Patagonia made me like it a lot and wishing I could have stayed longer.
I am not professing to be a big fan of theirs or anything like this and the last time I really listened to their music was a long time ago, but they were important in their time period, so here’s my tribute to them at the time of Phil Everly’s passing. What else to post on here then Wake Up Little Susie from 1957.
I stumbled upon one of their childhood hometowns in which they lived for a number of years and in which their dad had a radio show on a local station, Shenadoah, Iowa on a recent trip to Iowa. That house is tiny!
Towanda is a village of about 500 people about 125 miles Southwest of Chicago and close to Bloomington-Normal. To read more about Towanda click here
This is the 2nd post from Eldon, Iowa on this blog (the first one’s about The American Gothic House can be found here ). My main reason for visiting this part of Iowa initially was watching the documentary Hacklebarney Tunes The Music Of Greg Brown (see the related post here), as he grew up partly in and around Eldon. As I read about the American Gothic House being located in Eldon I had all the more reason to make this a stop on my trip. I went on a warm, sunny Sunday morning so there wasn’t a lot going on in the town.
Selma, Iowa is a little town/village in Southeastern Iowa, located about 20 miles south of Fairfield and 5 miles east of Eldon, site of the American Gothic House. One of my favourite singer/songwriters, Greg Brown, grew up partly in this area.