Category Archives: Features

Public Library (Nashua, Iowa)

Public Library (Nashua, Iowa)

On January 19, 1905, residents in the Chickasaw County town of Nashua learned that Andrew Carnegie offered a $5,000 grant for construction of a new public library building. The offer was contingent that the city would furnish the site and a tax would be established to support the facility. Work was completed by the end of the year, with a formal dedication ceremony held in January 1906.

In 1986, a 3,000-square-foot lobby was added to the rear of the building, an upgrade entirely paid for by local donations and grants. The library is open Monday through Saturday.

Feature: 61 Drive-In Theatre (Maquoketa, Iowa)

61 Drive-In Theater (Maquoketa, Iowa)

At one time, Iowa was home to more than 50 drive-in movie theaters among over 4,000 operating nationwide. While most drive-in screens in the state have been shuttered and torn down in favor of farmland or retail development, there are a handful of survivors, including the 61-year-old 61 Drive-In Theatre, located just south of Maquoketa in northeast Iowa. Named after the adjacent U.S. Highway, movies are shown Friday and Saturday nights through Memorial Day weekend, then nightly through the warm summer months.

Each showing is a double feature, with two films from the same studio played back to back. Doors open in the early evening, with ticket costs running at $7.50 for adults and $3.50 for children ages 5-12, while children 4 years and younger are free. On the weekend, it’s especially important to arrive early to get your car a good spot; if the movie showing is expected to be extremely popular, it’s recommended to bring along a blanket and portable radio — so if the lot is full, you can leave your car outside and still enjoy the film.

While shows don’t begin until the sun goes down, there are plenty of opportunities for entertainment while at the theatre; a large children’s play area features a dozen swings, while a kiddie train parades around the concessions. Take a cooler and picnic goods to enjoy while waiting for the film, or purchase snacks from the reasonably-priced on-site concession stand. Drive-In 61 in Maquoketa is extremely well-run, making for a worthy road-trip for families and friends looking for a unique and fun evening of entertainment.

Feature: The Eatery (Bedford, Iowa)

The Eatery (Bedford, Iowa)

Located along Main Street in the Taylor County seat of Bedford, the Eatery is open Tuesday through Friday for lunch and Saturday evenings for dinner. Diners can try the daily special is written on a white board outside the restaurant, or choose from their small menu of sandwiches and entrees. Canned soda, tea, and lemonade are available drink options, and slices of homemade pie make for great dessert.

While you’re dining in the quaint restaurant, be sure to take note of the excellent interior restoration work. Woodwork and doors were removed, stripped, and replaced, while the detailed tin ceilings were exposed, cleaned, and painted. The renovation work, both inside and outside, garnered awards for owner Shirley Winemiller. Preservation Iowa and Main Street Iowa both recognized The Eatery, which opened for business August 8, 2009.

Photo Follow-Up

Several previously-featured places are in the news. Details in our special Saturday post:

  • St. Joseph’s Catholic Church (Featured January 18, 2011)
    After sitting vacant over two years, a wrecking crew tore apart the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in the Webster County town of Duncombe in March 2011. The church was built in 1907.
  • Gallery: Iowa Post Office Closings (February 27, 2011)
    According to Carroll radio station 1380 AM, up to 64 post offices in Iowa could be on the chopping block. They highlight the potential closing of the area town of Lohrville. In addition, the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier notes Post Offices in Orchard and St. Lucas are in jeopardy.
  • Feature: Burlington Bees (June 16, 2010)
    Over the baseball off-season, the Minor League Burlington Bees team switched affiliates; it’s now the lower-level Single A affiliate of the Oakland A’s. Their first home game is Monday, April 11, when the Peoria Chiefs are in town. Schedule and ticketing information can be found on the Bees’ website.

St. Joseph's Catholic Church (Duncombe, Iowa)