The past weekend I was out driving around in north central Iowa and decided to make a stop in the community of Alden in Hardin County.
I appreciate creative signs and slogans and that's why Alden's "Best Town By a Dam Site" is easily one of the best in the state. I know there are other good ones out there and I look forward to continue to document them on my #CitySignSelfie page of this site. If it was not immediately obvious, the Iowa River flows through the town and there is a dam on the river here.
Because it's January in Iowa and the weather on this particular day was in the 20's (with an even colder wind chill), there is still a lot of ice on the river.
I am sure in nicer weather, it might be quite relaxing to sit by the river on one of the many benches or picnic tables that are set up in a park-like setting. However, on this particular morning, it was not remotely comfortable.
As you might imagine, the town was pretty sleepy on this particular Sunday morning but I drove around a bit.
Alden has an elementary school as well as couple of very lovely churches, such as this one with a beautiful steeple.
Like any small Iowa towns, there is a library, a post office, and emergency personnel headquarters.
The Main Street has some businesses but also some vacancies for those who are looking for a place to set up shop.
There is a no-kill pet shelter and on this particular morning, a cat was sitting in the window.
On the edge of town is the Alden Township Cemetery. It's a beautiful cemetery with lots of timber and the river runs along the back side of it. As you enter, there is a memorial to local veterans who have passed on.
I think it's very likely that most Iowans do not know that the youngest sibling (6 total) of Ernest Hemingway, one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, is buried here.
Leicester Hemingway and his wife are buried in the 2nd plot section, right along one of the gravel roads. I found the gravestone without too much struggle thanks to the help of FindAGrave.com.
Leicester was a writer, like his older brother, and according to his Wikipedia page, wrote six books including an autobiography about his brother. Leicester, like his famous older brother, father, and sister, committed suicide (gunshot wound to the head). He apparently was cremated, according to this article written about his death from 1982.
I did not know, until a few years ago, that this semi-famous person was buried in Iowa. Perhaps you didn't either? Now, you have a new great bit of trivia to impress someone with.
I look forward to future trips to Alden and Hardin County. It would be better to stop when businesses are open and it's not so cold. But as always, I welcome your suggestions of future adventure destinations. Please drop me a note through my website.