The Pocahontas County town of Havelock was founded on November 23, 1881, by the Western Town Lot Company. Named for British general Sir Henry Havelock, postal service was established the following March, and the community officially incorporated in 1892. The fire department used to share space with the pictured City Hall before moving to a standalone facility.
The public library in the Pocahontas County town of Palmer moved to its current location in 1975. That year, grant money combined with proceeds from the Palmer Jubilee allowed a former chicken hatchery to be purchased for use as a community building. Though the building originally housed the city hall, it now is used exclusively for the community library.
Resident Hazel Metzger led the push to get the library into its new facility and served as librarian until her death in 1981. Bernadetta Howie served a two-year stint before Sally Butcher took over in 1983. She retired at the end of 2011; Ramona Miller is the current librarian.
The Town Hall and Public Library in the Pocahontas County town of Plover dates to December 8, 1889, when the 26 x 40 feet building was dedicated as the first permanent home for the Plover Presbyterian Church. Constructed at a cost of $1,800, the church was active for 75 years before merging with the nearby Presbyterian Church in the county seat of Pocahontas. It shortly served as an Open Bible Church before being sold to the town in the early 1970s. After some remodeling, the building was repurposed for use as Plover’s town hall and library.
The first public library was organized in the Pocahontas County community of Fonda in 1901 by the Fonda Woman’s Club. The club sponsored the library for 40 years until it was taken over by the city and formal by-laws were adopted on July 28, 1941. The library shares a building with the City Hall and is open five days weekly.
The downtown in the Pocahontas County of Laurens was seen in the 1999 Disney film The Straight Story, which chronicled the six-week, 240-mile lawnmower trip taken by resident Alvin Straight to visit his brother in Mount Zion, Wisconsin in the summer of 1994. The film, which was shot in sequential order along the actual route taken by the Laurens resident, was generally praised by critics and received a number of awards and nominations, including a Best Actor Oscar nomination for lead actor Richard Farnsworth.
Following his tractor trip to Wisconsin, Straight attempted a longer trip to Idaho in July 1996. After 400 miles of riding, near the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in western South Dakota, Straight was found in his tractor suffering from dehydration and severe sunburn. He never fully recovered, later suffering a stroke and ultimately passing away in November 1996.