Monday, April 22, 2013

Greene County Part 2

When most people think of rural areas, they think of farm fields as far as you can see, and not much else.  So not true, as Sarah and I have found out on our adventures in West Central Iowa. You just CANNOT fit in the entire county in one day !!

Especially Greene County !! And Greene County has something going on all year long.

Our morning started out with a flat tire.........but once that got taken care of, we were off !! The Greene County Chamber in Jefferson was hosting an Open House that day so that was our first stop- and also gave us a chance to look over the tourism brochures and decide where to go on this trip.

We decided on the John 15 Vineyard as our first destination. The winding roads leading there offer some pretty beautiful scenery and we were so surprised to get to see an American Bald Eagle feasting on roadkill just a few feet from our car.

Getting to the Vineyard itself is an adventure. Turn here, turn there, turn here, turn there, it's right ahead. Driving through the Hyde Park area was so wonderful. The amazing old oaks, even in winter, were tall and majestic and canopied the area. Because of the winding roads, it seemed much farther than the mere six miles north of Scranton the vineyard is. The Vineyard is so worth the drive. We arrived in the winter, but I can only imagine the beauty of this area in the spring, summer and fall. The vineyard is owned by Nancy and Dean Rogers and they raise several different varieties of grapes- not for winemaking, but for other products such as grape jams and jellies from different varieties, grape-filled candies, pies and the most amazing grape filled butter cookie you will ever eat. They also freeze harvested grapes and sell them so that you can take them home and make your own grape goodies.  The Vineyard Barn is a completely restored and modern barn with overnight accommodations as well as the most most amazing  Timber Tree House for camping (they plan on adding another tree house soon). If you wish to find out more about the vineyard, call 712-652-3760 or find them on Facebook at John 15 Vineyard.

It was hard to tear ourselves away from the vineyard- they were decorating for the holidays and it was just such a welcoming place, but, unfortunately, there was more to see. So off to Scranton we head and make a quick stop at Peoples Trust and Savings Bank, B&D Manufacturing and Scranton Manufacturing. Who knew this small town had this big garbage truck plant (Scranton Manufacturing) and B&D which manufactures geothermal units? Amazing things come out of little towns in Iowa !

Next on the agenda was a visit to Krieger's Greenhouses and I don't think I need to tell you- it was literally wall to wall poinsettias in there.

Heading back to downtown Jefferson we noticed the majority of the street work is done on the square and too bad it will soon be covered with snow !!!! But I'm sure in the spring, and especially as the new Gardens begin taking their plantings, it will be a lovely town square !!

Like many small towns in Iowa, the town square is dominated by the Courthouse. Built in 1915-17 by Proudfoot, Bord & Rawson, it is a type of architecture known as Beaux Arts.iI 

When we arrived on the courthouse lawn I was awestruck at the close connection to my own heritage- there was placed a large monument in tribute to Captain Darrell R. Lindsey, a Jefferson native who was lost during World War II. This monument had been originally placed in Weisbaden, Germany, my mother's home. I was very moved by this story and amazed that someone from rural Iowa could have been so instrumental in the war.

That's really what makes touring rural Iowa so special. You NEVER know what you're going to find, or how it touches you, or how it connects Iowa to the rest of the world.  ~~ Monica, December 7, 2012.

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