When the original water tower was constructed in June 1913, the Boone County town of Luther was believed to be the smallest town in the state with a water system. The original wood water tower served the community for 40 years, at which time the current metal tower was constructed. In 1968, a grass fire spread to the wooden jacket at the bottom of the water tower tank, sending flames and smoke high into the air causing $2,500 in damage. Though the water tower stands today, it’s been unused since 1992 when new water lines were installed as part of the Xenia Rural Water District in nearby Woodward.
This small building served as the post office for the Boone County community of Luther until February 2011, when a truck drove into the side of the building and service was suspended. Home to 160 residents, Luther was platted in January 1893, ten years after a post office location was originally established. The town is named for Clarke Luther, a prominent area farmer who owned the land and house where the original post office was first stationed.
The Rialto Theatre in downtown Boone was completely destroyed in September 1966, when a large fire engulfed the building, damaged two adjacent businesses, and required help from firefighters from the nearby communities of Ames and Ogden. Less than a year later, in August 1967, the fully rebuilt Boone Theatre made its debut in the same location. The 470-seat theatre was considered one of the finest in the midwest, featuring a large screen and colorful red, black, and white interior design.
At time of construction the theatre was locally owned by the Boone Theatre Corporation; the single-screen movie house was sold to Iowa chain Fridley Theatres before changing hands again in 2008. The theatre, which has up to four shows daily, is now owned by Big Time Cinema.
This incredibly small post office building sits alone on the main street of Beaver, Iowa, a Boone county community home to 53 residents as of the 2000 census. Beaver sits just north of Highway 30 on the western edge of the county. Additional Beaver photos can be found in Luke Healey’s Flickr photostream.