Travelers on the 'Great River Road' are welcomed to Kingston with a tree carved city sign

Iowa Adventurer has a goal of getting a #CitySignSelfie in all of the towns (and even some of the unincorporated towns) in Iowa. As of the publishing of this post, the number of selfies now surpasses 150. You can check out collection on the #CitySignSelfies page on this very website.


As I am out adventuring, the first thing I do when I arrive in a new town is to look for the town's welcome sign. Often, these signs are pretty easy to spot. Most are on the edge of town. Some towns really do it up and others...the bare minimum. Yet, still others simply rely on the DOT white and green sign for identification. That's better than nothing. However, there are some towns that do not even have that. Not even a DOT sign. It seems pretty basic, but unfortunately I recently encountered that in my visit to Floris.


On my recent trek through Kingston in Des Moines County, I was quite surprised and pleased to find their welcome sign was actually pretty unique. It was in fact carved right into an old tree stump. I'm not sure who is responsible for making this happen, but it looks really nice.

Of course, there's more to Kingston than just a carved welcome sign. While it is no longer an incorporated community, the little village is about 15 miles north of Burlington and straddles Highway 99. It was established in 1850 and named for the founder, W. King.

On the east side of town is a United Methodist Church that is surrounded by farm fields.

There's a white fence around and it's a setting that is absolutely beautiful. I was really taken by it. It is what I would call idyllic.

I ventured up the long driveway to get a closer look.

It's a neat old structure and the grounds were very beautifully landscaped. The lawn was nicely manicured.

Back into the main area of town, I spotted a number of varying single family dwellings.

There are several other buildings or businesses in town, too. I found an upholstery shop and a storage facility plus lots of other agricultural or industrial related structures.

Agriculture is the lifeblood of the area economy.

Of course, there's a lot of natural beauty. Should we be surprised? No, it's Iowa.

As you head up or down this highway, you'll encounter a lot of incredible history. Just within a few miles of either direction, you can visit the grave of Chief Taimah (Tama) or check out multiple sites of Native American burial mounds that are part of public preserves.

For many, Kingston is probably just a spot on the map that requires a tap on the brake as you breeze on by. However, if you stop and a explore a bit, you'll find a lot to appreciate. And let's not forget, it's not every day that you visit a town with a welcome sign carved right into a tree. For me, that was definitely unique to see.


As always, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit and profile whether in Des Moines 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.

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