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Eastern Iowa Roadtrip

These photos are from a recent road trip in the Eastern section of Iowa. We tend to stay away from the main road and interstates in favor of seeing the unknown or occasional roadside attraction. I like to use the site when hunting for points of interest.

This trip spanned three days and the photos below show the main point of our interest and may include photos from the road along the way. Day 3 included a stop to Cedar Rock, a Frank Lloyd Wright House. These photos deserve their own post which can be located here: Cedar Rock.

Day 1 - September 15th - Des Moines to Keokuk

Grave of Curtis King.

Pvt. Curtis King. Oldest Union Civil War solider. Joined the 37th Iowa Volunteer Regiment known as the "Gray Beards" at the age of 80.

Location: US Hwy 63, Chillicothe, IA. About a half mile west of the turnoff for Chillicothe. Look for a brown historical marker sign.

Mars Hill Church & Cemetery

Built in 1856, Mars Hill is the largest and oldest log cabin church west of the Mississippi. The church includes a cemetery and was used as a hiding place as part of the Underground Railroad.

Location: 100th Ave., Bloomfield, IA. Down a long gravel road.

American Gothic House

"cardboardy frame houses on Iowa farms" American Gothic house built in 1882 painted in 1930 by Grant Wood

Location: 300 American Gothic St., Eldon, IA

Maharishi Golden Domes & Vedic Observatory.

The Maharishi Patanjal dome - for men's meditation. The Bagambhrini Golden Dome for women's meditation and the Maharishi Tower of Invincibility. Maharishi Vedic Observatory.

Location: Domes: 1 Golden Dome Way, Fairfield, IA

Observatory: Observatory DrMaharishi Vedic City, IA

Lock & Dam No. 19

Opened in 1913 the lock and damn obliterated the Des Moines Rapids which had been limiting northbound traffic on the Mississippi.

Location: Keokuk Riverfront, Keokuk, IA

Day 2 - September 16th - Keokuk to Waukon

Snake Alley

Built in 1894 Snake Alley has sharper turns than its rival Lombard Street. The street was built to mimic the vineyard paths in France and Germany. It was to connect the downtown business district with neighborhood shopping.

Location: 611 N 6th St, Burlington, IA (one way entrace next to First United Church of Christ.)

Dala Horse & Swedish Heritage Museum

World's Largest Dala Horse outside of the Swedish Heritage Museum.

Location: 107 James Ave, Swedesburg, IA

Future Birthplace of James T. Kirk & Museum

Location: Birthplace : 51 W. 1st St., Riverside, IA

Museum: 361 W. 1st St., Riverside, IA

Mississippi Harvest

"Mississippi Harvest" is a statue of a river clammer that pays tribute to the once thriving clamming and pearl button industry in Muscatine. 100 years ago, Muscatine produced 1.5 billion pearl buttons annually.

Location: Harbor Drive, Muscatine, IA

Chief Black Hawk

Chief Black Hawk porcelain coated metal sign 50+ years old. It once guarded the now demolished Watch Tower Plaza. Chief Black Hawk and his people were chased away by American-European settlers in 1831.

Location: 3830 11th St., Rock Island, IL

Fenelon Place Elevator

The world's shortest, steepest scenic railway. Opened in 1882 the elevator was initially for private use by the local banker to get from his home atop the bluff to his bank at the bottom.

Location: 512 Fenelon Place, Dubuque, IA

Dubuque Shot Tower

Built in 1856 the tower provided lead shot for the military. Lead was melted at the base, hoisted to the top, poured through screens and formed into spheres as it tumbled into the water below.

Location: E. Commercial St., Dubuque, IA

Delbert W. Meier Residence - Frank Lloyd Wright

Delbert W. Meier Residence - Frank Lloyd Wright. Completed in 1917 this house results from a partnership between Wright and American System-Built Homes. These were prefab homes customers could choose from.

Location: 402 N Page St, Monona, IA

Day 3 - September 17th - Waukon to Des Moines

Muffler Man

Muffler Man and Long Horn Steer. These roadside fiberglass men were created in the 60s & 70s by a company called International Fiberglass. They were sold as attention getters for retail stores.

Location: Rossville Rd, Waukon, IA

St. Anthony of Padua Chapel & Cemetery

St. Anthony of Padua Chapel 1885. Johann Gaertner's mother made a vow to build a chapel if her son, serving under Napoleon, returned safely from the Russian campaign.

Location: Little Church Rd, Festina, IA

Twister Movie House

"Wow look at that. It didn't take the house." House from final scene in Twister.

Location: Avenue Y, Eldora, IA

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