Iowa History and more

Iowa became a state in 1846.

When European explorers were discovering Iowa the Ioway(Baxoje) Native Americans lived in the N.W. part of the state and later in the 18th and 19th century around 1840 several Sioux Tribes were noted in or near the area.  Many more tribes in very early time periods called Iowa home.

The first railroad lines were laid in 1850.

The 31st President of the USA was from West Branch, Iowa where his birthplace has been made into the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library.

Immigrants escaping religious discrimination in Germany established seven historic colonies known as the Amana Colonies on 26,000 acres of land in east-central Iowa located near Iowa City, Iowa.   This occurred in 1855.  They lived a communal life until the 1930’s.  They were listed as a historical landmark since 1965 and is a major tourist attraction with restaurants, craft shops, woodworking shops, wine shop, and even a brewery called Millstream.

Loess Hills were formed from wind-deposited loess (luss) soils.  They run above flat plains for 200 miles NW to SW.  There are nature lookouts and opportunities to hike and get a closer look at these amazing hills, as well as visitor centers to get more history about the hills.  You can also check out this website for more information about them.

Arnold’s Park set in the Iowa Great Lakes region in N.W. Iowa – it is the oldest amusement park west of the Mississippi and home to the “The Legend” rollercoaster, one of the top 10 wooden roller coasters in the world.  A huge tourist attraction each summer kicking off on Memorial Day weekend and running to Labor Day Weekend, the sleepy town comes alive and increases in size during the summer months.  There are many recreational activities to enjoy, small shops line the main road and some are off the beaten path, there is the Lakes Art Center, Iowa Great Lakes Maritime museum with the excursion boat called Okoboji Queen II that takes trips out on the lake and tells of the history of the area, and has the Okoboji Summer Theatre, which holds live performances throughout the summer months.  Lots to see and do for the whole family!

Here are some famous people born in Iowa:

Johnny Carson – entertainer, John Wayne – actor, Herbert Hoover – 31st President, Tom Arnold – actor, Janet Dailey – author, Cloris Leachman – actress, Donna Reed – actress,  William (Buffalo Bill) Cody – buffalo hunter, entertainer, and pony express rider, Marjorie Holmes – author, Dorothy Garlock – author, Dear Abby – columnist, Robert Schuller – evangelist, Andy Williams – singer, Glenn Miller – musician, Frederick L. Maytag – founder of Maytag, Henry A. Wallace – US Vice President, Robert James Waller – author.  There are many more!!


4 thoughts on “Iowa History and more

  1. I used to work at a lumber yard in Ames, Iowa a number of years ago. I used to drive a truck to Des Moines to pick up materials. I noticed that there was a Leachman Lumber business in Des Moines. I have always wondered if they were related to Cloris Leachman.

  2. No. The last time I lived in Iowa (Ames) was back in 2001. The last time I hitchhiked through Iowa was back in 2008. Right now I am staying with some friends in Idaho.

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