East Iowa · Family Adventures · Iowa Icons · Museums and History · Roadside Iowa

Iowa Icons-Hot on the Cody Trail

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One of the early celebrities of the pioneer era got his start right here in Iowa… start as in his first breaths.

Princeton, IA: Scott County

Autumn road tripping is officially in season and we have already had some unbelievably gorgeous weather with more to come. Iowa is peppered with scenic byways, historic trails, and off the beaten path gems, and Scott County has all of these. Just a short drive from the Quad Cities and the Great River Road is the Buffalo Bill Cody Boyhood Home and all of its harvest season scenery.

As you can see, you better make plans to get on the road pretty early and beat the traffic. By traffic I mean combines in full force with Iowa’s great farmers behind the blades keeping us all fed.

The early history of this homestead and Scott County can be experienced right when you roll up to the property. The native limestone house, built by Bill’s father Issac, sits on a hill that overlooks the timber and fields which dominate the area. On this day, the skies were intensely blue with just a little cloud cover making a ripple effect on the brown corn fields below. When the wind would blow, it would give it the effect of waves rippling across the landscape.

Hundreds of period artifacts are all throughout the house and it’s operated by locals who love their heritage. These folks are working hard to save our history everyday with the majority of them working on a volunteer basis. Without them, we couldn’t enjoy educational impact of our historical landmarks. They are superheros in my book and some of the greatest citizens we have.

Every room is different and decorated with period furniture and apparel. I wonder which room Buffalo Bill started crawling in? I wonder which room he performed his first trick on a horse? My guess it was the kitchen cuz the horse probably wasn’t allowed on the rugs.

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The Cody’s didn’t stay long in the homestead papa Cody built. Kansas came calling and the wealthy Scottish family named McCausland took over and stayed for many years. Though Buffalo Bill spent most of his life as a J-Hawk and on the road with his Wild West Show, he was indeed born here in Iowa. This wasn’t the first time we caught up with Buffalo Bill as his birthplace is just a short drive from the homestead in LeClaire, Iowa on the Mississippi. We know how to keep you gallivanting. It’s kind of our specialty. BTW….There’s real live buffalo in the pasture here. Missed photo-op and rookie mistake.

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