Sunday, September 28, 2014

Adair County

The Adair county seat of Greenfield is one of those quintessential Iowa towns. So much so that Hollywood once filmed the Dick Van Dyke comedy "Cold Turkey" here. The town square is still vibrant and interesting, and the courthouse is charming. I'm starting to notice that all the nice small towns don't have a Wal-Mart

Also they make a pretty good tenderloin at the bowling alley.

The bowling alley is not a fan of Nebraska


Union County

The Union County seat of Creston was build by the railroad and named because it's at the "crest" of elevation between the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. It's like the continental divide...but for Iowa. The courthouse isn't much but it has a very cool railroad depot. After visiting we had a picnic at nearby Green Valley State Park.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Hancock County

As luck would have it we just happened to be visiting Hancock county on the same day as the National Hobo Convention in Britt! The kids got to see real live hobos in their natural habitat. This is education folks!

The County seat is in Garner. Seems like a nice town. Not enough hobos though.

Kossuth County

Supposedly Algona Iowa has the largest Cheeto in the world but we couldn't find it.

Palo Alto County

The Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend Iowa is amazing. It's the largest man made grotto  in the world and the work of just a few individuals starting with Father Paul Dobberstein. You don't have to be Catholic (or even religious) to appreciate it.

The stones that make up the Grotto have been valued at over $4,000,000
The kids had no idea what this was, but we all fit in it.


Humboldt County

You might be surprised to learn that Humboldt is not the county seat of Humboldt County. It's actually Dakota City whose city limits are right up against Humboldt.

Humboldt is one of those towns where a charismatic leader brought a bunch of people into the middle of nowhere to live a life devoted to chastity, abstinence, and a flavorless mush he called rootmarm. It has a pretty interesting history:,_Iowa


That's Maddy's Finger. I have no idea what Reenie is doing.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dubuque County

On our way back from Chicago we stopped in Dubuque. I really love this town and I really think it's one of the nicest and coolest places in Iowa. If you have kids I highly recommend the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium  It's really a first rate facility; I actually like it better than the Shed in Chicago.

The Dubuque County Courthouse

The Fenelon Place Elevator

Reenie at the wheel

Hanging with Marky Mark
Mines of Spain

If you build it something something

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Monona County

Laura's parents live in the Monona County Seat of Onawa. So we're here quite a bit. These pictures are from Memorial day weekend. We come every year for the ceremonies at the cemeteries and then a family picnic.

It's a unique courthouse. I haven't seen many like it.

Posing with some of the cousins.

The kids love this tree stump "with a hat" at Lewis & Clark State Park. 

Memorial day ceremonies at the cemetery in Blencoe    

I love old movie theaters.

The Onawa library is awesome. It's recognized as once of the best examples of prairie school architecture in the country.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Harrison County

Laura's family is from the Loess Hills region of Iowa that stretches along the Missouri river, so we've driven these beautiful highways many times. If you're ever in the area I highly suggest getting off of I-29 and heading up the roads that make up the Loess Hills National Scenic Byway and stop at some of the great state and county parks.

Harrison County is located smack in the middle of hills region, just north of Council Bluffs. It's seat is Logan.

This is "Murray Hill" located just outside of Little Sioux Iowa

Cass County

I wish we had been able to spend a little more time in the Cass County seat of Atlantic. It seems like a nice town with a beautiful main street. Unfortunately it was a dreary and cold Sunday morning so nothing was going on. Perhaps we'll revisit on our way to see the Villisca axe murder house.

The courthouse has a cool art-deco facade 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Shelby County

The county seat of Shelby County is Iowa high school athletic powerhouse Harlan. As well as this handsome courthouse.

I love small town movie theaters. Nice sign.

Audubon County

Audubon Iowa is a quirky little town. I could have spent all day there taking photographs of all the slightly "off" things. From the black squirrels to the building with a deer head poking around a third floor window. It comes off like the kind of town they would use to make a show like Northern Exposure or Gilmore Girls.

This is "Albert the Bull". Why is there a 30 foot tall bull on the way into town? Who cares!

Another "blocky" courthouse.

an interesting clock

full view

Guthrie County

Guthrie County is home to the last exurbs beyond Des Moines's western suburbs. Panora is a nice little community and home to the summer camp I attended as a child and that my own kids now attend. A little west of Panora is the county seat of Guthrie Center. Typically 1960's courthouses are pretty blah but this one manages to have a little character with it's Bauhaus leanings.

The building was designed by Dougher, Frevert, and Ramsey who later would morph into Frevert Ramsey Kobes and employ my father (Charles Bergman) as an architect for some projects.

Looks like a lab building from Iowa State Univerisity