There's only one May City in the entire world and it happens to be nestled in Osceola County in far northwest Iowa.
Other than that notable bit of trivia about the name, the community has been on the RAGBRAI route a few times and is also the hometown of country music singer Shawn Mayer. These days there is a lot of talk about American Idol's Maddie Poppe and her Clarksville, Iowa heritage.
However, approximately ten years ago, Shawn Mayer did well on the show "Nashville Star" (she got 3rd in the 2008 season) and the producers of the show had her do a concert in May City. Shawn is now performing regularly in Nashville and appears to be having some success. She is roughly my age (or maybe a bit younger) and I remember that she was a regular performer at community and regional events when I was in high school and college.
Recently, on my way to spend a day at the Iowa Great Lakes, my brother and I paid a brief visit. Like a lot of tiny Iowa towns, it's now unincorporated but there is still a sense of community with a few businesses, a church, and a few dozen residents.
There is a county blacktop that will take you on the edge of town and there are three streets off of that blacktop that will get you into the town. That's it. If you miss those, you'll be on your way to Minnesota. I can appreciate when a town uses a little humor with their signs.
Upon entering town on the main east/west street, you immediately encounter several buildings that are either no longer in use or still maintain personal or commercial operations, of sorts. There is also a garage that houses their emergency response vehicles.
There is a beautiful old Lutheran Church that still maintains a congregation.
A bit further to the east of the church is a ball field and park.
At first, upon driving through town, I spotted just one antique car parked out front of an old building.
Moments later, another one came rolling by and parked next to it. Seeing very few other cars in town, I thought maybe I had mistakenly found myself in some sort of older car-only community....or transported to the streets of Cuba, where cars built before the Castro regimes are about all you will find.
Alas, this is not Cuba (and that's a good thing for many reasons!). Driving around town, I spotted a couple of other cars parked together. Someone who collects or refurbishes these old beauties must call May City home.
There is no longer a post office in town, but they do have an area near a picnic shelter where a central mailbox unit is in place. It's not unlike what you might see at a town home development or apartment complex.
It's all situated between two signs that warn you that you can only park near the mailboxes for 3 minutes. I wonder what the punishment is for overstaying? Also, what precipitated the need for these signs? For a community of approximately 40 residents, I cannot imagine a need for any time limits.
Some of the roads are paved but several in or near town are now gravel.
Here are a few other images from around or near town. This old house does not appear to be in use but it struck me as quite beautiful. Maybe someday it can be restored to it's former glory.
I really liked the unique fireplace on this house.
May City is part of the Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn School District and situated conveniently between the Iowa Great Lakes and Sibley, the largest town in the county. If you go 20 miles either direction, you'll hit one or the other.
As always, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit and profile whether in Osceola County or one of the other 98 counties in Iowa. If you would wish to host the Iowa Adventurer or have a good idea, please drop me a note through my website.