In 1994, the Plymouth City Council sponsored a logo and slogan contest to coincide with the Cerro Gordo County community’s 125th anniversary the following year. The winning slogan, Where Neighbors Are Friends, was submitted by resident Deb Perry, while the winning logo was submitted by resident Wendy Wood. A large version of the logo was then painted by a Mason City artist and remains today on the front of the Plymouth City Hall.
The City Hall dates to 1925 when it was built to house the city’s two water pressure storage tanks for the city’s upgraded water system. The building was converted to a City Hall facility when a separate fire barn was constructed in 1958. The conversion included remodeling to add restrooms and a kitchen, and later upgrades provided space for a library and council chambers. Plymouth contracts with nearby Manly to provide the library service to its residents.
In addition to rental for family gatherings and meetings, seniors gather at the City Hall each Monday for card games, and a community coffee is held each Tuesday morning.
Near the center of the Hardin County community of Union is the town hall, a 1941 WPA-era building constructed of reinforced concrete. Building space was originally shared with the fire department, but a modern brick addition has since been added for fire trucks and equipment. Located along the Iowa river, Union is one of seventeen area communities that is part of the Greenbelt, as indicated by the sign standing in front of the iconic town hall.
When Melbourne’s volunteer fire department relocated to a new, modern facility, the City Hall took over the former location, constructed in 1954. The red brick building houses the city offices around with city-owned maintenance vehicles in the garages the fire trucks once sat. Home to nearly 800 residents, the tight-knit community of Melbourne sits along State Highway 330 in southeastern Marshall County, Iowa.
The first weekend of August marks Melbourne’s annual “Mousehole Days” celebration, which originated in the as a car show nearly three decades ago. It snowballed into a full-fledged family event, where residents and visitors alike enjoy a activities held across town, including a parade, softball tournament, and a full slate of games for all ages. The event kicks off each year with the popular fire department fish fry. For more information about Melbourne, check out the official city website.
This modest City Hall is one of only a few remaining buildings in the tiny Decatur County community of LeRoy, Iowa. The population indicated on the City Hall sign dates to 1990; by 2010, the number had diminished to 15, a drop of nearly 95% from the peak population count a century earlier. Like many other small towns in the state, LeRoy experienced a gradual decline over many years: in 1946, the railroad halted service. In 1971, the post office closed shop, while the school discontinued operations ten years later.
While an active Presbyterian Church still holds services each Sunday morning, the community is slowly fading to ghost town status. The graveled streets are growing grass, the street signs are hand-made from peach-painted wood, and empty lots outnumber standing structures. This postcard, dating to the early 1900s, shows LeRoy’s once-vibrant downtown.