A few weeks ago, my friend and I spent some time in southwest Iowa. It was a cold Sunday but we still had a good time seeing some parts of our beautiful state that were mostly unfamiliar to the both of us. One of the stops we made was in Beaconsfield in Ringgold County. As I wrote about previously, Beaconsfield has a population of just 15 and is the home to the first ever Hy-Vee store as well as astronaut Peggy Whitson. Dr. Whitson has spent more time in space than literally any other American...ever.
Out in space there are probably lots of things to experience - but what was one thing for sure that she would not have experienced in those 665 days?
Lucky for her, it's not far from her hometown.
Peggy would have to simply head from Ringgold County to the next county to the west to visit the fine and very down to Earth folks in the Gravity, a Taylor County community of just under 200 people.
Not only is Gravity one of the best named towns in our entire state - it also has one of the better town signs. As I'm out collecting my #CitySignSelfies, I find some towns in our state don't even have a sign...let alone a fun slogan. Gravity actually has two slogans: "We're down to Earth" and "If Gravity Goes, We All Go".
Fun and clever.
But there's more to the town than just a great name and a couple of great slogans. I drove around a bit and found some unique buildings. The post office building is quite neat. There are some nice architectural elements to it.
I don't know if the Koffee Kup is ever open anymore, but I'm sure that it is or once was a very good spot for the towns folk to meet up.
There's the old Gravity High School. The town is now part of the Bedford Community School District.
There's a neat old red-painted church building that now, correct me if I'm wrong, appears to be someone's residence.
It's across from another church building that is also perhaps no longer in use?
There are some other unique and beautiful old homes in the town too.
There's a small water tower near the park.
There's also a few interesting elements within the park. It was breathtakingly cold and I admittedly did not trek up the hill to get as good of a look as I would have liked. I'll be sure to stop back when it's warmer. There is a basketball hoop and some other playground equipment.
I also spotted an old grain bin that has been converted into a picnic shelter.
Along the west side of the park is a monument dedicated to the Union Soldiers of the Civil War. It's not uncommon to find Civil War monuments in the southern counties of our state.
There's several other buildings around town that appear to be in varying stages of use and condition. The old bank building, like the post office, is quite neat.
I am sure at one time this was a bustling corner with a fuel station and a garage but it was pretty desolate on this Sunday afternoon.
I found a couple of unique vehicles. First, there is an antique tractor sitting in someone's yard.
Secondly, I saw a motorcycle suspended from a tree. That's not something you see every day, for sure. Is gravity pulling down on it?
In doing a little more research on the town, I discovered that it is the hometown of performer and musician Roberta Linn. I'm not sure I knew she was a native Iowan - but now I do...and so do you.
I certainly need to get back to the area to see more of the county - hopefully when it is warmer. Gravity is one of those towns that I've always looked at on the map and thought of going to - simply because of the unique name. I'm glad I finally just made it happen.
I was tired of trying to defy Gravity!
As always, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit and profile whether in Taylor 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.