Recognized as part of Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage area, the 20 Expressway is home to many historical attractions. Independence is fortunate to have several attractions including the Wapsipinicon Mill, the Train Depot, Independence Motor Speedway and an old order Amish community that to this day uses actual horse power to do their cultivating, harvesting and many other tasks around their farms.
Let’s begin our tour of the 20 expressway and its many agriculturally related attractions. Starting in the East part of the state, on the 20 Expressway, is Dubuque, Iowa. Dubuque is home to several attractions including the Diamond Jo Casino (1.800.LUCKY), Dubuque Greyhound Park & Casino (1.800.373.3647), Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Garden’s (563.556.2100) and National Mississippi River Museum (563.557.9545).
Heading West on the 20 Expressway, you’ll find Dyersville. Dyersville is famous for their National Farm Toy Museum (563.875.2727) and is home to the movie site of the popular Kevin Costner film “Field of Dreams” (1.888.875.8404).
Your next stop, heading west, will be our community of Independence. While at the Agribition Center, visitors will have the opportunity to experience agriculture like never before. Complete with seasonal events, you could spend your visit looking at “The Gateway to the Past” historical part of agriculture, one room school house, or visit our historic barn that is home to an array of barnyard animals and farming displays.
Please remember to save time for a tour of the Amish order north of Independence. After a stay in Independence, continue west to the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area. There you can experience a tractor being built at the John Deere Waterloo Works (319.292.7801).
Other attractions include Waterloo Tech Works, Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area (319.234.4567), Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens (319.226.4966) and Antique Acres (319.987.2380) in Cedar Falls. For even more interesting attractions within the state of Iowa, please feel free to visit www.traveliowa.com or call 1.888.472.6035.
Heartland Museum is located 120 miles west in Clarion, Iowa. Clarion is the county seat of Wright County in north central Iowa. A century of agricultural machinery is on display in the north building of the museum. The display includes over 2,000 toys on the balcony level. The downstairs has 16,000 square feet of original and restored machinery, featuring rare and unusual items. There is also an extensive collection of horse-drawn equipment and early farm items.
The Dumont Museum is 120 miles south in Signourney, Iowa, is the lifetime collection of Lyle & Helen Dumont. It all began in 1994 with plans being made for a large new building located south of Sigourney, near the Dumont’s home that would ultimately enclose over 24,000 square feet of space. The Dumont’s Museum was formed with the goals of safely preserving their collection for this and future generations and making it available to the general public. Dumont Museum is a handicapped-accessible building.
Iowa Historical Museums
Soak up some local history and culture through a visit to one of Iowa’s historical museums. Use the Census Finder to view a directory of Historical Museums in Iowa, categorized by county.