Moscow is Russia's largest city with a population of over 12 million people. It's home to the Kremlin, the (corrupt) government of Russia and many social, historical, and cultural locations and landmarks.
Moscow, Iowa is located in Muscatine County (one of the counties that borders the Mississippi River in Eastern Iowa) and is technically now an unincorporated community, though it does still have a post office with it's own zip code and it is home to a beautiful county park and an old Methodist church.
As you can see, these two "cities", which are separated by about a 20 hour plane flight, share very little in common other than a name.
Iowa's Moscow, as you can faintly see on their town sign, celebrated their sesquicentennial (150th birthday) in 1986. That means the town got its start in 1836, a full decade before Iowa achieved statehood. There are a lot of towns in Iowa that celebrated 100 years in the 1980s...while Moscow was celebrating 150.
Many Iowa towns got their start as a result of the expansion of the railroad. Moscow pre-dates the railroad, but the railroad coming through the area in the 1850s did provide an economic bump and spurred some population growth. The railroad still goes through town today.
Moscow is also home to a Methodist Church congregation and they worship in a small and modest white building.
Moscow also has a small white building that serves as its post office. From the looks of things, it look as if it might have been an old one-room schoolhouse at one time.
There's ample parking and a nice modern metal ramp has been added for accessibility.
There are a couple of buildings in the "downtown" area.
There's even a cute little sign off the black top that runs north and south.
This newer looking white building has a Coca-Cola machine out front and some antiques lying on the ground outside of it. It appears to maybe be an antique business but there was a closed sign on the door. Normally, a place like this would suck me right in if it were open.
These other two buildings are also neat. One looks to be in use and the other does not. I don't know whether the one on the right could be salvaged, but I bet it might have some great architectural features to it.
There's another large white building with several garage bays. I don't know whether it's someone's private residence/shop or if there is a business as part of it.
Up the road to the north a little bit is an eye-catching baseball bat and ball. They are both quite sizeable. They draw your attention to the sign advertising an indoor batting cage business. I could not find a Facebook page or a working website to find more information.
My visit was in late October of 2020 and there was some sort of pumpkins and Halloween retail set up happening at another building along the blacktop.
Other than the commercial-type buildings, there's an array of various single family dwellings.
Other than the blacktop running through town, most of the roads in town are gravel.
As is the case in just about all parts of rural Iowa, agriculture is the lifeblood of the economy. There are both fields of crops and pens of livestock on the edges of town.
The Moscow Cemetery has an ornate arch at the opening. It appears that the deceased have been buried at this cemetery since the founding of the town.
As I was on the road by the cemetery, a small black cat popped out of the ditch. It appeared to be quite friendly. It's always a bit ominous when a black cat appears near a cemetery near Halloween.
One of the real highlights of the town is the park. It is managed by the Muscatine County Conservation Board and is named in memory of Jack Shuger.
The approximately four acre park has lots of amenities and provides access to the nearby Cedar River.
There is a lovely covered picnic / shelter house on the premises. The shelter does have electricity and I'm sure you can contact the local conservation board to figure out the rental policies.
There's a sign on the wall that recognizes donors who helped make the playground a reality.
Nearby, you can find restroom facilities.
The park also has a basketball court and other playground equipment.
There are a few other picnic tables available too.
Parking does not seem to be an issue as there are lots of spots around the perimeter.
A gravel road between the park and the railroad will give you access to the boat ramp.
Or, you can simply walk down to the river from the park via a set of stairs.
The stairs was built 10 years ago by a local Eagle Scout and his Boy Scout Troop.
You can enjoy spectacular views of the Cedar River and surrounding area from the river banks. Taking a few minutes to watch the water go by on this bench is quite relaxing. In doing a little research, I found this little tidbit of information about Moscow and the Cedar River to be interesting: "The town of Moscow marks a change in the geology of the Cedar River basin. From here to the south, the flood plain is wider and the river itself is wider, slower, with more of a sand/mud bottom. This stretch of the Cedar is well known for producing large flathead catfish."
From this bench, you can also get a pretty good view of the railroad bridge going over the river.
There's a sizeable sandy gravel area between the main area of the park and the river.
If you find yourself heading east or west on Highway 6 between Wilton and Atalissa, make sure to take the brief detour onto Moscow Road to visit this small Iowa community.
Of course Moscow, Iowa is nothing like it's namesake foreign city and I doubt that you will find anyone as awful as Vladimir Putin living nearby. However, what you will find is some nice community members who are proud of their little town. This was my first visit to Muscatine County for Iowa Adventurer and obviously there is much more to see and do. I'll have to make my way back again soon.
In the meantime, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit and profile whether in Muscatine County or any of the other 98 counties in Iowa. If you have a good idea or would like to host the Iowa Adventurer, please drop me a note through this site.