Friday, April 17, 2015

The Real Iowaville


Long time readers will know that in the past, when I've written about my hometown where I grew up, I have used the name Iowaville to preserve a bit of anonymity. I didn't however just pull the name Iowaville out of a hat because there actually was a town of that name years ago. Above you see some of the former residents of Iowaville where they are buried on a steep knob overlooking the river valley.

Indians were the first occupants of Iowaville until the land was purchased by white settlers. They platted out the town and were going to name it Iowa City but that name had already been taken so they settled on Iowaville. The town flourished until the mid 1850's when the railroad went by further north and it gradually declined never seeing a population of greater than 200 residents. Eventually it disappeared until there is nothing left along the river.

Sign on the fence next to the cemetery
 Where Iowaville once stood is now mostly farm land and the grove of trees seen below. If you look closely there is an old barn amidst all those trees though I'm fairly certain it was built after Iowaville disappeared. Only a plaque mounted to a post along the gravel river road is left to tell future occupants of this world that Iowaville once existed.


4 comments:

ErinFromIowa said...

Well! I learned something new today! I bet the graveyard has a few heirloom plants!

Ed said...

Erin - Unfortunately I was on my way to someplace so I couldn't really poke around. I did notice that it was still an active cemetery as there were some people buried within the last decade there.

sage said...

Reading this I was curious as to the name "Iowa" and stumbled across this: http://patch.com/iowa/cedarfalls/bp--searching-for-the-meaning-of-iowa-word-roots-prai1c53482a8a

What do the natives say about the meaning behind the word, "Iowa"?

Ed said...

Sage - I'm guessing most native Iowans have no idea on the origin of the name. Being a lover of history, I guess I have believed that it is a English translation from a French translation of an Indian word. I think scholars suspect the original Indian phrase that all this came from meant "sleepy ones" which describes us Iowans pretty well. It takes a lot to get us worked up. Here in the rural southeast part of the state, there are hundreds of towns, rivers and geographical names sharing ancient Indian names that are pretty much unpronounceable to the rest of the world. I have always suspected that is how we can tell who is a local and who is an outsider.