Off the Map: Stories of Abandoned and Disappearing Towns Around Iowa
Thousands of towns and communities were established during Iowa’s pioneer and railroad era. In some instances, they were small towns built around the time of the height of a coal industry that just could not thrive while others supplemented the needs of the countless farmers, and still others were established for very different reasons. Many existed for a few years, some slowly faded away over time, and a few never existed except as “paper” towns. Regardless of why they originated or why they diminished, each community has its own unique story. Towns are truly windows to our past and have helped form the history of our state. Discovering and learning about them helps to keep their names and memories from oblivion. Take a tour around Iowa exploring a sampling of these idiosyncratic communities in photographs and stories.