Historically interesting places
Toolesboro Mounds Group
On the northern bank of the Iowa River is the Toolesboro Mounds Group, a historic conservation area made up of numerous archaic earthworks and hills, near the small town of Toolesboro in Louisa County. The history of the mounds in this area dates back to 200 BC when the earthworks were owned by the Havana Hopewell, a people of Native Americans. These buried their dead under the hills and their dowries and the first remains were found around 1800 and partially preserved. Some interesting artifacts and two of the seven remaining mounds can be viewed at the visitor center.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Find common acronyms associated with Iowa. Also see top 10 cities by population in Iowa.
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Herbert Hoover National Historic Site
The Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, or Herbert Hover’s birthplace, is a historic location in West Branch in Cedar and Johnson County, administered by the United States National Park Service and commemorating the 31st President of the United States. The National Historic Site includes the small hut where Herbert Hoover was born in 1874, his father’s smithy, a prayer house, a classroom, a presidential library, the Herbert Hoover Museum and his grave. The site can be visited daily.
Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail
The Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail is a 2,092 km long path that Mormon pioneers walked in the mid-19th century to gain religious freedom. It leads through the states of Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming and finally ends in Utah, where numerous Mormons still live today. Her path once led through the state of Iowa and through a dozen of its smaller towns. Traces of Mormons can be found especially in the town of Council Bluff, because they have camped there for a long time and left several traces. There are numerous information blocks, monuments and museums in the city to commemorate it. Council Bluffs is the administrative headquarters of Pottawattamie County.
Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
The Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail is one of the major historic itineraries and trails in the United States. The trail is maintained and managed by the National Park Service. The historic route began in Illinois in 1804, where Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set out with around 50 men to explore the Pacific. They received personal funding from the then President Thomas Jefferson, who wanted to expand his power to the east. In Iowa, the route runs exactly along the Missouri River on the Nebraska border. There is a large visitor center in Nebraska’s capital, Omaha.
The Meskwaki Settlement or simply The Sett is an unincorporated area that is located not far from the small town of Tama in the county of the same name in Central Iowa. The settlement is home to a substantial community of Meskwaki Indians, a North American Indian people known as the Fox. The name Meskwaki comes from the same word, which means “people of the red earth”. The 800-man settlement consists of approximately 32 km² of land, on which there is a tribal school, a tribal court, a department for public work and even a guard. A total of approximately 4,000 meskwaki still live in the United States, many of them in Iowa.
The Amana Colonies are colonies of the Amana, a Christian denomination that has its roots in Germany and has been based in Iowa since around 1855. The Amana Colonies today consist of several independent settlements or villages around Iowa City, in which they practice agriculture, among other things. They see themselves as the community of true inspiration and continue to speak some kind of German dialect to preserve their culture. Nonetheless, unlike the Amish people, the Amanas have kept pace with technical progress and have set up shops and hotels in their villages in order to make a living from tourism and use the interest in their culture as something positive for themselves. Tourism is sometimes their main source of income.
The Brucemore Mansion is a beautiful old villa in Cedar Rapids, which is now a listed building and is used for cultural and philanthropic purposes. It was built in Victorian style in 1886 and is located on a 110,000 m² site, which also houses several orchards, playgrounds, a pond, forests and pools. It was home to three very wealthy families in Iowa, among others, and is also known as the House of Strong Women, whose personal history plays a major role in the history of the house. Among other things, the villa belonged to the Douglas family, founder of the Quaker Oats Company. Today tours are offered by the Community Cultural Center in Cedar Rapids.
In northeast Iowa is the small but important and historic village of Fort Atkinson, which was built in 1840 to protect the Ho-Chunk. The Ho-Chunk, also known as Winnebago, are a Sioux tribe who sought shelter in Iowa in the mid-19th century because they were driven from their home colonies in Wisconsin and were at war with other tribes. The construction of the fort took a total of 2 years and to date the 24 barracks built from sandstone can be inspected. Furthermore, the Hoard Historical Museum has opened in Fort Atkinson, which provides information about the formation of Fort Atkinson and the further history of the small community.
Special buildings and structures
State Capitol of Des Moines
The State Capitol of the State of Iowa is located in the capital Des Moines and is the seat of the legislature and the Supreme Courts. Its construction lasted 15 years from 1871 to 1886. The Iowa State Capitol is the only one in the USA that consists of five domes. It is located between East 9th Street and Grand Avenue right on the top of a hill and offers an excellent panorama of downtown Des Moines. The exterior and, above all, the stylish interior have been repeatedly praised by numerous architects since its construction. While from the outside it strongly reminds of the appearance of the State Capitol in Washington, from the inside you have the feeling that you are in a living museum. Almost 30 different types of marble were used for the construction and it is said
Terrace Hill, also known as the Hubbell Mansion, is the governor’s seat in Iowa. It is located in the capital Des Moines and is an excellent architectural example of the style of the Second Empire, which originated in the Second Empire in France. The 1,600 m² brick-red house was built between 1866-1869 and designed by the famous architect William W. Boyington from Chicago. The property is located on a hill – the so-called Terrace Hill – that affords an excellent view of the city of Des Moines. A climb in the 27 m high tower of the house is definitely worth it. Terrace Hill can be visited during the week.
Old Capitol Building
The Old Capitol Building in Iowa City was once the state government building and is now on the University of Iowa campus – right in the center. The listed building with the golden dome was built in 1842 in the Greek Revival style. It only functioned as a government building for 10 years and became the first university building after Des Moines became capital city. Between 2001 and 2006 the building was closed to the public due to a fire. Since then, the building has no longer been used for lectures, but instead only talks and important meetings take place in the Old Capital Building.
The Davenport Skybridge is a modern cable-stayed bridge that serves as a pedestrian crossing and leads over River Drive in Des Moines. It connects LeClaire Park and Rhythm City Casino. Its construction was completed in 2005. The approximately 175 m long and 15.3 m high bridge underlines the urban charism of the city of Davenport and annually attracts numerous visitors who want to enjoy the view from the bridge, especially the Mississippi River. A visit is particularly worthwhile at night, because then the bridge is illuminated with neon-colored LED lights from the inside, which gives it a special ambience.
KCAU TV Tower
At almost 680 feet, the KCAU TV Tower in Sioux City is the tallest building in the state of Iowa and one of the tallest structures in the United States. The mast was built in 1965 and is Iowa’s oldest guyed television station. Today he belongs to the Citadel Communications group.
1UpTravel.com – Maps of Iowa
Browse a collection of state, city, national park, and historical maps of this US state.
Iowa – Iowa Counties Map Room
Large collection features regional and historical maps of Iowa. Discover maps of flood damage and Iowa counties.
Iowa – National Geographic Map Machine
Hawkeye State was acquired by the United States through the Louisiana Purchase. Features a shaded-relief map and an economic overview.
Iowa – University of Texas Library
Collection of state maps includes topographic city maps, historical maps of Des Moines and Waterloo, and a detail of Lake Macbride State Park.
Iowa – US Census Bureau Map
Information includes a state profile, county population estimates and a list of state data centers. Click on a county name for more information.