In the southeastern corner of Crawford County in western Iowa is the tiny community of Aspinwall. As of the last census, the town registered about 40 residents living in just 22 households.
However, for what they lack in size, they make up for in confidence...as the town's slogan, as spotted on a quasquicentennial sign in a main street building, is 'Still a little bit of paradise'.
So what does the paradise of Aspinwall entail?
There's a huge Aspinwall Cooperative grain elevator and ag supply business that nearly dwarfs the rest of the community. They are a stand alone cooperative and that is becoming increasingly rare these days. The cooperative my family does business with, in Archer, also still has a stand alone cooperative.
Most of the facilities are on the north side of the town but there is a large fertilizer facility on the south side.
There's a set of railroad tracks that runs along the grain bins.
There's also a Farm Service Co-op installation, a competitor to Aspinwall Cooperative, which offers propane.
Aspinwall is a community that is situated on variable elevations. It is higher on the south side of town and lower on the north side.
This is a definitely a farming community and from some of the higher elevations you can enjoy some great views of the rolling countryside.
There are a couple of different buildings on or near the main street.
One of which is home to The Loaded Goat. It was not open when I was in town but based on it's Facebook page, it seems like it would be a fun bar/restaurant hangout.
I'll have to stop back in another time when it is open. Lots of towns this size certainly do NOT have a bar/restaurant left. Kudos to the community for supporting it.
This garage building is where I found the sign in the window.
Across the street from those buildings is a small statue/monument to Aspinwall.
The town also has a nice community building. When the last part of your town name is "wall", you can rhyme your community center name as a "hall".
I don't know if this is a small water tower or if it houses something else.
The county has a small garage in town that is used to house road maintenance equipment.
There are some nice single-family houses in town. I don't recall seeing any that were in serious disrepair, as is sometimes the case in these tiny towns.
Digging into the history a little bit and I found that there is some dispute about how the town acquired it's name. There are several different accounts and all of them seem plausible to me. Unfortunately, anyone that was around at the founding (who would know) are long gone. However, there is lots of other historical tidbits that are interesting, including some visits by Jesse James and his gang of bandits. Can you blame them though? They just wanted to grab their own little bit of paradise!
As always, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit and profile whether in Crawford 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.