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Old 05-07-2011, 01:14 AM
Location: Middle TN
134 posts, read 656,107 times
Reputation: 82


So any news?

Been following this thread.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:29 PM
Location: New Mexico
30 posts, read 158,010 times
Reputation: 32
Hi Pocket player !

Thanks for following the thread ! Well ,not a lot new! I'm heading up to Iowa in a week ,and will meet with realtors in a couple of towns. I know that a lot of people say it's hard to make friends,etc. but I haven't found that to be true ! I don't even live there yet and I have more friends there than I do in the place I've lived for 24 years !!! (New Mexico) Every time I visit a small town that I might like to live in, I go into different businesses and just talk to as many people as I can, and just by doing this I've met many people that I now keep in touch with regularly ! I can't count the times that upon a first meeting people have invited us to there homes for dinner, etc. !!!
The thing that might be a problem for me is that I'm not really a "church goer", and I don't have children !! But other than that, I like all kinds of people ,and I'll just have to try to make friends wherever I end up !! I can tell you that when I'm there, I often ask people the same question you are asking - "Will I ever fit in" ? And I always get the same answer, They say that people won't come to me, I will have to make an effort to get out there and meet people and get involved, etc.So that's OK with me, and I'll try to do that ! I just think Iowa is such a GREAT state, and the people are awesome, so I'm willing to do whatever I have to do to "fit in" because I hope to live there the rest of my life !! What about you ? Have you done any more research ?? I do agree that some place close to Des Moines or Iowa City might be nicer for you , I just prefer a smaller town (I guess I want that so I can live in a "bubble" and pretend the rest of the bad things in the world don't exist !!!) : ) Well, good luck with your search , keep us posted on what happens ! Let me know if you have any questions, I'm certainly not an expert (like a native would be) , But I know most of the state pretty well !!

Last edited by ILoveIowa; 05-09-2011 at 10:36 PM.. Reason: spacing !
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:30 PM
4 posts, read 25,779 times
Reputation: 11
hello, i seen bout wantin to know bout winters in clear lake area, im up from that way, an tha winters are awful, lots of snow sometimes startin in early november, an can even last late of march usully with a big snow storm as of past few years in march, but i really would suggest not this type of area at all dont matter which town it is all tha people in this area are cliquey to who they accept to be arround been in this whole area my whole life pretty much an i know im for one that dont want to stick around it much longer for how people act towards a person, if they dont fit in with certain type of crowd, i suggest to look it else where it would be much of a wiser decison
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Old 05-26-2011, 01:32 AM
Location: Midwest
1,005 posts, read 2,671,946 times
Reputation: 252
Near Iowa City there is West Liberty which has a large Hispanic population and is also close to West Branch, site of Herbert Hoover Presidential Library. Near Cedar Rapids there is Mt. Vernon then there is Dubuque which feels like one mega small town. Going to Des Moines there is Grinnell and also Amana Colonies.
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Old 05-26-2011, 05:28 PM
2,542 posts, read 6,634,362 times
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I'm coming late to the discussion, but really think hard about Decorah. It is really wonderful and there is so much going on! They have a really strong downtown, strong co-op, etc. I love visiting there. I was there at last spring's Empty Bowls and it was amazing how many people turned out (not to mention the awesome soups and amazing pottery!)

And I don't think it is remote at all. First, the town is pretty self-suffcient. But also, LaCrosse, WI is only an hour away; Twin Cities about 3-4 hours.
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:16 AM
Location: England
26,273 posts, read 7,868,840 times
Reputation: 31303
Default Small town Iowa

I've always wanted to visit Iowa. I think I'd find small town America
there, which I've always wanted to see. I've been to New York three
times, and Las Vegas six times. Last time to Vegas was early last April.
I normally fly direct from England which goes via Iceland and down over
Canada so I don't fly over much of America. This last time we dropped
down in Philedelphia, then flew on from there. During this journey it
crossed my mind we must have flown near Iowa, this has got me thinking
about visiting. Don't know if I'll ever get there, but you never know!!
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Old 06-07-2011, 11:24 AM
Location: Jonesboro
3,875 posts, read 4,312,855 times
Reputation: 5335
Default More on the perfect small town in Iowa..

I am late to this thread & wonder if you have made any further progress in narrowing down your search?
I grew up in Iowa & left it over 30 years ago just before the big farm crisis collapse began there during which a lot of younger & older Iowans left the state due to the economic debacle that was concentrated there among both the farming & industrial sectors.
However, I now rue the day that I left Iowa & have said that to many of my friends here in the southeast. Quite a number of them are also transplants to the southeast & we seem to agree that we would have had strong second thoughts about moving down here if we had known what a mess the region was going to become economically, politically, environmentally & socially. Plus, the entire southeast is pretty genraly in an economic funk with disastrous real estate markets & high & stubborn unemployment. The water crisis, i.e. the lack of adequate resources of it, is a huge cloud on the horizon too. So, don't think of moving down here because there is little opportunity at this time.
Back to Iowa: If you are an artist, I would think that a location in a university or college town might serve you well; preferably one that is a short drive to a larger city. Ames or Iowa City come to mind & both are at the center of their own smallish metro areas.
In the case of Ames, it is a clean city. Much larger Des Moines is 30 miles south of Ames & is light years ahead of where the city was socially, economically, etc. as compared to when I lived there briefly before I left Iowa.
In central Iowa, Pella is a very beautiful college town but it is very cliquey. You might find more open attitudes in 2 nearby, pleasant college towns called Grinnell & Indianola instead.
Up in northeast Iowa, Cedar Falls is a nice & prosperous university city of 40,000 population & part of a small metro area. North of it is a beautiful college town called Waverly, the home of Wartburg College. Further northeast of there & in the more rugged & scenic northeast corner of Iowa is Decorah, which has been mentioned here before.
A larger city in northeast Iowa of nearly 60,000 population with 90,000 or so in it's county is Dubuque. It has 3 small colleges & is very scenic, sitting as it does on the banks & bluffs of the Mississippi River. Talk about natural inspiration!!
Many years ago Dubuque was known to be not too welcoming to outsiders but that is not so much the case anymore & IBM recently opened a large new facility there.
,Some very, very small towns in Iowa are still dominated by one church or ethnic group & may not seem particularly welcoming though the people may actually be friendly. Sort of a paradox, right?
You mentioned that you are not particularly a church person so I would advise skipping some of the clean but very internal looking small towns in far northwest Iowa that are directly north of Sioux City & LeMars. They are very church centered & incredibly conservative politically & the exact opposite of Iowa City which is the most liberal city in the state. It's easy to find balance & moderation throughout much of Iowa thankfully.
My best to you in your quest!
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Old 06-23-2011, 06:48 PM
4 posts, read 15,974 times
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Jodi, have you found a place in Iowa yet? Have you looked into southwestern Iowa? The town of Lamoni is right off I-35 and is home to Graceland University. It also has a small but dedicated art circle there. There is the Blue Frog Art Gallery that is run by volunteers. It is a close knit town, and prices are not out of sight like in the north and eastern towns of Iowa. I live in the town of Sharpsburg, it is a very small town but prices are cheap, you could probably buy a large Victorian for about$ 15-20,000. We have a post office and general store, city hall, and volunteer fire dept building, and three other privately owned buildings in use. We may be losing our post office though because of the postal down sizing. It will close this town I am afraid. The lady who owns and runs Spring's General Store works in the post office also. It helps make the stores ends meet. The store is cool, the merchandise variety and prices are competitive, she will carry items for you if asked and you buy them. The population is less than 100.
Bedford is our county seat, it is a town of 1,500 and has store fronts available to rent, and the town will help you get started with grant money. The prices of the houses are not that high either, the down side to this is our location, we are over 100miles from any big city. Bedford is 55 miles east of Shanandoah on highway 2. You can see Bedford on the web, there is a website. Sharpsburg is on Google Earth, we're too small for the web, more like a dust bunny.
I am an artist also and have a small business here, I compete nationally ( and won a few times), I sell my stuff at the Octogon Center for the Arts in Ames, and down town at the general store. OOOh I almost forgot the general store down town has a small restaurant that serves lunch (mostly), will do so in the afternoons. We have a town wide potluck at Christmas at the city hall, where everyone brings dessert or sandwiches to go with the homemade vegetable soup, potato soup, or chili (free crackers!). Santa Claus makes an arrival and passes out sacks of candy to everyone after the drawing for 6 hams and 6 turkeys. It is really fun, hope to see you some day.
April of Sharpsburg
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:25 PM
Location: Santa Barbara County
97 posts, read 564,292 times
Reputation: 130
I too have been following this thread. I love the small towns in Iowa. Winterset, Waverly, Pella, Clear Lake, Decorah, and Chariton were my favorites but I understand Chariton is stuggling. Harlan was one we stumbled onto once when we were driving the Lincoln Highway. Take a look across the river, too. Wisconsin has it's share of gorgeous small towns.

I'm coming up on my 60th B-Day and am planning on coming to Iowa from California with my bike and riding many of the rails to trails routes in the two states.

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Old 01-03-2012, 01:04 PM
655 posts, read 1,051,643 times
Reputation: 1522
You should come back in the summer and ride in RAGBRAI....then you can see the whole state!
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