Located in 'The Heart of Delaware County', the small town of Delaware is 'Where Friends Meet'

Believe it or not, there are more than fifteen Iowa towns that share the exact same spelling as an Iowa county but are not actually in their namesake county. For example, Des Moines is in Polk County - not Des Moines County. Osceola, the town, is in Clarke County. Fremont County is our furthest most southwestern county, yet the town of Fremont is in Mahaska County.


Of course, there are plenty of examples where the city is in their namesake county. Dubuque is in Dubuque County, Audubon is in Audubon County, and, in this case, the small town of Delaware is actually in Delaware County.

Iowa Adventurer's visit to Delaware happened in the Fall of 2020 as part of a big swing through Northeast Iowa. One of the first things I look for in any small town is the welcome sign - so I can get my #CitySignSelfie.


There are lot of towns in Iowa, both big and small, the do not have a slogan or catch phrase. Unfortunately, some do not even have a town sign! Yet, Delaware, a town of about 160 people, as of the 2010 census, seems to actually employ two different slogans. I'm of the opinion that two slogans is better than none so you'll hear no complaints from me.

It's not hard to find the town, despite it's relatively small size, as it's just off of Highway 20, a heavily trafficked four-lane highway that cuts from river to river.

Right off the highway is Gary's Food Mart, a BP fuel station. I often try to fuel up at small town gas stations as I know they definitely appreciate the out-of-town business.

Just to the south of the fuel station and north of the highway is the Delaware Speedway. Based on their Facebook page, they have a lot of regular action and activity there.

Near where I found the town sign, there's a nice city park with some modern playground equipment and a beautiful tree.

This park and picnic shelter looks like a great place to meet up with your friends, as the town sign says.

Nearby, there's a garage which is home to the town's emergency response vehicles.

Another small building next to the park appears to be the location of the city hall.

One of the window's had information about the city's business.

There is also a bulletin board next to the front door.

If a small town does not have a post office, it's not uncommon for it to have a mail system that is similar to what larger city town house developments or apartment complexes might have.

Driving around elsewhere, I found a neat old church. I always enjoy finding old churches in rural Iowa. Like a lot of things, they do not make churches these days like they used to. This is the St. Paul's Lutheran Church.

Delaware is home to a number of single family dwellings of varying size.

I also found a small multi-unit building.

Like many small towns in Iowa, Delaware can trace it's founding to the expansion of the railroad. There's still a set of tracks that goes through town.

There's a large business near the tracks. Hutchison Lumber & Building Products has a large presence in town.

There's also a storage rental company, Red Door Rentals.

Other than possibly stopping previously at the BP Station, I believe this was my first ever visit to Delaware, Iowa. Some towns of it's size, elsewhere in Iowa, are not very clean or have a lot of old buildings that need to be spruced up or torn down. That is not the case with Delaware as I found the town to be quite nice.

I'd certainly love to come back and check out a race sometime and see the inside of the church. Perhaps, since it's the heart of the county, I'll even reach out to a few friends in the area and suggest it as the place for us to meet up? Though, I know there are lots of other great spots in Delaware County to explore and I am already looking forward to my next visit.


As always, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit and profile in Delaware 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 website.

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