Postal service was established in the Washington County town of West Chester on January 27, 1873 with George James named the first postmaster. The first rural route was established on November 1903, a result of a petition circulated among area farmers encouraging the service. While the postmaster, Dave Kilgore, was relatively unsuccessful in his effort to obtain signatures, Catholic Priest A.G. Leet was successful in the second attempt. The first rural carrier made $48.50 per month for the 29-mile route.
West Chester was one of over 30 communities to lose its post office in 2011; service was officially discontinued on October 29, 2011. The nearest post office is 9 miles away in Keota.
The Methodist Church in the Washington County town of West Chester can trace its history to 1845, when a frame cabin chapel was setup for local families to worship. By 1873, the church was officially incorporated and plans were made for a larger building for worship; it was dedicated the following year. Within three decades, the congregation had again outgrown its building, and construction on the current church began in 1914. The church was dedicated October 3, 1915.
A small fire started in the State Theater in Washington, Iowa, around 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 17, 2010. The fire was reported when smoke and flames were seen coming from the second floor; the quick call and close proximity of the town’s volunteer fire department helped keep damages to a minimum. Repairs were made in the winter months, with a grand re-opening held April 30, 2011. Funds are being raised to restore the theater’s exterior to its original design. One of the longest continually-operating movie houses in the state, the State Theater opened as an opera house in 1893.
At first glance, visitors may believe the post office in Rubio is still active: the yard is well-maintained, United States Postal Service logos can be found on both windows, and the official zip code sign is still in place on the south side of the building. In reality, the Postal Service hasn’t operated in this Washington County community since June 1980. The unincorporated community of Rubio lost its zip code and residents now receive mail via nearby Richland’s rural route.
Riverside, Iowa, has had its share of national attention. In 1985, it was declared the official future birthplace of William T. Kirk, a fictional character played by William Shatner in the television series Star Trek. Nearly twenty years later, in 2004, the community was home to Invasion Iowa, a reality television series produced by Shatner which aired on the Sci Fi Channel.
While Star Wars and Shatner fans have made the ‘trek’ to Riverside over the years, the town is likely overlooked by many travelers. That said, if you’re looking for some great beef jerky, you’ll want to stop.
Located on the edge of town near the intersection with Highway 218, Bud’s Custom Meats offers top-notch jerky, plus everything else you’d expect at a meat locker and more. Jerky comes in a couple varieties, but you can’t go wrong with the original: the thin pieces are large and tasty, featuring just enough pepper and seasoning.
Continue reading Feature: Bud’s Custom Meats (Riverside, Iowa)