The Little Town In Iowa That Might Just Be The Most Unique Town In The World
Walking through the Bentonsport national historic district might actually fool you into thinking you’ve walked through a time machine. In fact, Bentonsport was recognized in 1972 for having changed very little since the mid-1800s. The entire historic district was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, and a visit to this charming village will quickly reveal why.
Bentonsport is a small town on the banks of the Des Moines River in Van Buren County, and it is part of Iowa’s Amish country. It’s part of a collection of historic villages called the Villages of Van Buren, a series of 12 quaint villages that offer the best in old world charm.
Bentonsport is actually incredibly tiny.
It is home to only 40 residents, and many of them run bed & breakfasts or are working artists.
Once a thriving steamboat port with 500 residents, it was home to two gristmills and a sawmill. Bentonsport is now home to quaint shops and businesses with an old world feel.
Many of the buildings date as far back as the 1840s, and the structures are preserved to this day.
While you're there, make sure to visit the historic Greef General Store.
They have museum displays, crafts, antiques, glassware and so much more. Located at 21964 Hawk Dr., (Bentonsport), Keosauqua, IA.
Take an Amish buggy ride.
Explore the historic shops.
There are plenty of things to check out, like arts & crafts, antiques, an old blacksmith shop, a quilt company and more. While you visit the shops, you’ll have a chance to see the shopkeepers at work on their crafts.
Stop into Forever Sweet Creations to get some delicious homemade fudge.
They also have cookies, salt water taffy, ice cream and much more. Located at 21969 Hawk Dr., Bentonsport, IA.
Take a stroll on the banks of the Des Moines River to explore the ruins of the old mills, and cross the old truss bridge.
This historic bridge serves as a walking bridge over the Des Moines River to the village of Vernon. The bridge was opened in 1883 and is the oldest remaining bridge of its type on the Des Moines River.
If you want to make a weekend of your visit, you can’t go wrong with Mason House Inn, a historic bed & breakfast.
This 170-year-old house used to be a stop on the underground railroad, and you’ll enjoy charming rooms and a full country breakfast in the morning.
They also have a Caboose Cottage, if you want to experience what it’s like to spend the night in a train car. Located at 21982 Hawk Dr. (Bentonsport), Keosauqua, IA.
Have you visited Bentonsport? What was your experience like? For more of Iowa’s charming small towns, here are 10 Slow-Paced Small Towns in Iowa Where Life Is Still Simple.
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