Six Lost Towns Lie Beneath The Surface Of Lake Red Rock In Iowa

For generations, the Des Moines river was known as a waterway that often overflowed its banks. There were major floods in the 1850s, early 1900s, in the 1940s, and finally in 1954 before Iowa’s government decided to step in. Thanks to the Flood Control Acts of the late 1930s and early 1940s, engineers studied the river basin and chose sites for a flood control project. Eventually, the area around Red Rock was decided on, and plans went into motion to solve the flooding problem along the Des Moines River all the way out to the Mississippi. Unfortunately, the dam’s construction sealed the fate of six lost towns in Iowa.

We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:

You can read more about the history of the lost towns in Iowa beneath Lake Red Rock in this brochure about the Red Rock Dam project. Next time you visit the park, look out on the lake and imagine a world where there were bustling communities instead of endless water.

Address: Lake Red Rock, Iowa, USA