Welcome to the Iowa Home Page on the River Roads!! This page has been designed to help you explore the towns along the Great River Roads and Mississippi River in Iowa.  Here you will Information on history, special events, attractions, lodging, dining, local businesses and much more! We hope you enjoy your stay with us!

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New Albin

Iowa is named from the Iowa River, which was named for the Iowa Indians. Their tribal name 'Ayuxwa means "one who puts to sleep".

Like much of early North America, the first citizens of Iowa were the Indians. In prehistoric times, the Mound Builders, a farming people, lived in the Iowa area. When Europeans first came to explore the region in the 17th century, various Native American groups, including the Iowa, reputedly the source of the state's name, occupied the land. The Sac and Fox also ranged over the land, but it was the combative Sioux who dominated the area. In 1673 the French explorers 

Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet traveled down the Mississippi River and touched upon the Iowa shores. They paved the way for settlers, such as Robert Cavelier and Sieur de La Salle in 1681-82. The areas surrounding the Des Moines and Mississippi rivers were profitable for fur traders, and a few Iowa towns developed from trading posts.

In the 1780's, a French Canadian, Julien Dubuque, leased land from Native Americans around the Dubuque area and opened lead mines there. After his death they refused to permit others to work the mines, and U.S. troops under Lt.  Jefferson Davis protected Native American rights to the land as late as 1830. However, their hold was doomed after the United States acquired Iowa as part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803.

As in Wisconsin, there were heavy battles between the white citizens and Native Americans during the first half of the 19th Century. In 1832, the Black Hawk War broke out as the Sac and Fox, led by their chief, Black Hawk, fought to take back their former lands in Illinois along the Mississippi River. They were defeated by U.S. troops and were forced to leave the Illinois lands and surrender to the United States much of their land along the river on the Iowa side. Within two decades after the Black Hawk War, all Native American lands in the region had been relinquished to the United States. Meanwhile, a great rush of frontiersmen came to settle the prairies and take the mines.

Iowa became the 29th state to enter the United States of America on December 28, 1846. At the time, its capital was Iowa City. The more centrally located Des Moines, became the new capital in 1857. At that time, the state's present boundaries were also drawn.

Currently, Iowa produces one tenth of the United States' food supply and manufactures twice as many goods as it produces agriculturally. Iowa leads the nation in production of corn, soybean, livestock and hogs. Major industries are food and associated products, non-electrical machinery, electrical equipment, printing and publishing, and fabricated products. Its farms sell over $10 billion worth of crops and livestock annually. Iowa leads the nation in all corn, soybean, livestock, and hog production, with about 25% of the pork supply and 6% of the grain-fed cattle. Iowa's forests produce hardwood lumber, particularly walnut, and its mineral products include cement, limestone, sand, gravel, gypsum, and coal.

Iowa has four seasons, and thus, a wide variety of recreational activities available year-round. This state also has a wealth of historical and cultural activities to offer, so there's never a dull moment!

For more information:

Iowa Department of Economic Development
Division of Tourism
200 East Grand Ave.
Des Moines, IA 50309
515-242-4705 or 1-800-345-IOWA

Harpers Ferry & Waukon Junction
Marquette & McGregor
Clayton & Guttenberg
North Buena Vista, Balltown, & Sherrill
King & St. Catherines
St. Donatus
North Bellevue & Bellevue
Pleasant Creek & Green Island
Reeceville & Twin Springs
Samoa & Sabula
Lyons & Clinton
Shaffton & Folletts
Le Claire
towns are listed from north to south


State Symbols


Bird: Eastern goldfinch Tree: Oak
Nickname: Hawkeye State Song: The Song of Iowa 
Motto: "Our Liberties We Prize and Our Rights We Will Maintain" Flower: Wild Prairie Rose
(rosa pratincola)
Rock: Geode (Proposed) Fossil: Crinoid



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Revised: 11/24/2001