Passing through Morse, an unincorporated community in Johnson County

May 9, 2018

The Iowa landscape is dotted with many tiny and unincorporated cities. In most but not all cases, these were once incorporated towns that have since voted to become unincorporated. People often still live in these clusters of homes - and sometimes there are even businesses - but they just are not governed by city councils, mayors, and other laws that apply to cities and incorporated towns.

 

On my way to visit Clarence on Saturday morning, my phone GPS had me turn off of Hwy 1 onto Morse Road in Johnson County. Soon enough, as I rounded a bend and went down a hill, the tiny unincorporated area of Morse came into view. 

For whatever reason, I found this little valley to be quite picturesque. It appeared to be a quaint and cozy hamlet. Since I was running ahead of schedule on my planned arrival to Clarence, I decided I needed to do a little exploring.

There were some beautiful old houses.

I spotted a neat old building that was probably once a general store of sorts but now appears to be utilized as a residence.

Down a side road, I found the Morse Community Club. It's Facebook page says it is a non-profit business entity and it must have some food and beverages and occasional entertainment on the weekends. It's a good place to bring people together, I'm sure.

A little further down the same road, I found a commercial building that had lots of wooden pallets out front. 

I did not follow the dirt road but I am sure that might be a good adventure in and of itself. I found some old wood ships and stumps and even another road that would have lead me to a dead end.

 

 

The Wikipedia page about Morse has a brief biography of its past and founding in 1871. It's founder (A.W.G. Morse) kept a detailed journal. The community also has an annual July 3 celebration each year. 

 

Before taking this road, I didn't even know this little place existed. Once in awhile, it's good to just stop and take it in.

 

As always, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit and profile whether in Johnson County or any of the other 98 counties. If you would like to host the Iowa Adventurer or have a suggestion, please drop me a note through my website.

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