Villages of Van Buren County, IA (Our 18th County!)
Memorial Day weekend had the entire state of Iowa busting at the seams with opportunities for a Team Goodvin getaway. We opted to take a trip to one of the most scenic and historic areas in our homeland. The dart landed on Van Buren County and we were ready for another excursion. It was our first trip to this part of Southeastern Iowa and it was only an hour from our headquarters in Hills. It was also in the middle of the annual Iowa trip for Grandma and Grandpa from Austin, TX. And they love them some Iowa exploring too. Time to hopscotch our way through beautiful Van Buren County!
We strolled into Bentonsport and the small town along the Des Moines River was packed with locals and tourists alike taking in their annual craft show and flea market. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for the day and because of that, Bentonsport was bustling. From jewelry to furniture to haunted buildings to giant smoked turkey legs, Bentonsport was bringing the variety.
The town of Bentonsport, along many other Van Buren towns, was platted right next to the Des Moines River and gives your visit some amazing scenery that rivals any river community in the country. The area is rich with history that can be seen all around you in plain sight.
We filled up and shopped Bentonsport. Next it was time to take in the craft show and flea market. During the walk there, we had plenty of scenery to absorb. Bentonsport may be a small unincorporated town, but it has more than enough to keep you occupied. Just spending a day on its river banks can give you a full day of unique memories. Like that turkey leg. Remember that? I’m still thinking about it.
Bentonsport produced a perfect late-morning for us and our village hopping was just starting. All seven of us had something that we wanted to see and experience while we were in Van Buren County. Having fun and enjoying the weekend was our mission, but it was still Memorial Day weekend. Near the small town of Selma, IA was a place that I’ve been wanting to visit for a long time. We journeyed our way to pay our respect to Chief Black Hawk.
Leah was also anxious to visit his grave site so that she could include it to her end of the year school report. Iowa has a long history and it would be impossible to accurately describe it without including Black Hawk. To show our respect, we placed 4 cigars on his memorial and paused as we listened to Black Hawk’s countryside. Leah has inherited her Dad’s love of history and felt a positive impact visiting the great chief. A few tears rolled down her nine year old cheeks as she took a moment to herself at his burial to say a few genuine words in private. Leah then approached me and hugged her as she cleaned her eyes. She thanked me for taking her to Iowaville and we said goodbye to Black Hawk.
In just a few hours we experienced an unbelievable amount of Iowa history and there was so much more to see in Van Buren County. Two villages down and three more were on our list to visit. Our early lunch was starting to wear off and, lucky for us, Monie was given a flyer near the town of Bonaparte. Soon we would be diving into one of the most memorable family meals we’ve ever scarfed down. And it was all prepared by a local family on their farm and near their bakery. An Amish supper for the ages……
Please take time to visit……