Thursday, August 22, 2013

Mahaska County

Hands down Oskaloosa had the best town square of any city we've been to so far. It was jumping with people and activity (for a Sunday morning). It had what looked like a lot of nice restaurants, coffee shops and stores, and most importantly it had an absolutely beautiful band stand. I had a massive urge to get up on it and promise a chicken in every pot.  A+ to the people of Oskaloosa on a revitalization well down.

The Mahaska County Courthouse.

The super cool bandstand.

Chief Mahaska is chillin' in the square.

This place is called "Wangs". Hi I'm 12 years old

Wapello County

The first town we visited in Wapello County was the county seat of Ottumwa. It was an interesting town. It's an industrial (for Iowa) center with lots of meat packing as well as a John Deere factory. You can tell the city was not exactly in it's glory days but it had a quirky character I rather liked. It's downtown still had a little life in it and didn't seem as run down as some other industrial towns.

Here's the Courthouse. You can't see it here but we were being attacked by wasps.

This is a cool church in the town square

The American Gothic House   

The Twins

You can see what Grant Wood saw in the house.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Monroe County

Southern Iowa sure is prettier than northern Iowa (even if the farmland is not as good). The rolling hills, forests and valleys are just so picturesque. Monroe County is easy to overlook but Albia seemed like a nice little town. The  square was revamped a bit more than most and the Courthouse was charming. Apparently they really do it up for Christmas. I'd like to see that.

Lucas County

A lot of these county seats with the classic town squares have done a pretty good job over the years of revitalizing the squares. They're all complete ghost towns on Sunday afternoons though. I don't think I saw a single other person or even a car drive by when we were at the courthouse.

The clock tower used to have a spire on top of it. That would have been a cool addition to an already cool courthouse.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Clarke County

By the time we got to Clarke County on this trip we were pretty tired. Although the courthouse was a derpy 1950's building, the town square was nice. It even had a bandstand where a real life band was setting up.

Clark County Courthouse

There was also a hardware store with these nice mannequins wearing dresses made of paint sample cards.

Who's ready for a montage?!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Warren County

We visited Warren County during the National Balloon Classic.   The kids loved it but the smaller ones were running out of steam at the end of the day. They do "night burns" which sounds pretty cool. We plan on going back next year and staying for that.

The courthouse is a nice solid classical architecture with some cool details. Not as lavish as some but better than the modern ones for sure.

The courthouse also has this nice lady.

This store is empty but man what a sign! I want to open a 1950's diner or night club in it.