Travel Back in Time on Iowa’s Historic Route 6

Rediscovering Iowa’s Hidden Treasures on Historic Route 6

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to step back in time and explore the heartland of America as it was in days gone by? Historic Route 6 in Iowa offers just that—an unforgettable road trip through charming communities, each with its own unique story to tell. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a road trip aficionado, or a local explorer, this blog post will guide you on a captivating journey along Iowa’s Historic Route 6. Buckle up and get ready to uncover the rich tapestry of history, culture, and adventure that awaits you.

Introduction to Historic Route 6

Iowa’s Historic Route 6, also known as the Grand Army of the Republic Highway, stretches across the state from Davenport to Council Bluffs. This iconic route is not just a road but a portal to the past, offering travelers a glimpse into Iowa’s rich history and cultural heritage. Originally part of the transcontinental Route 6 that spanned from Massachusetts to California, Iowa’s section stands out for its well-preserved landmarks and vibrant communities. In this blog post, we will traverse this historic highway, exploring the key communities, landmarks, and attractions that make this route a must-visit for anyone passionate about history and adventure.

The Journey Begins

Our road trip starts in Davenport, a city known for its beautiful riverfront and vibrant arts scene. Davenport is the perfect launching point for our adventure, offering a blend of modern amenities and historic charm. From there, we’ll head west, visiting towns and cities that each have their own unique stories and attractions.


Davenport is home to the Figge Art Museum and the historic Village of East Davenport. Stroll along the Mississippi River or enjoy a meal at one of the many local eateries. The city’s history is deeply intertwined with the river, making it a fascinating starting point for our journey.


Next, we stop in Wilton, famous for the Wilton Candy Kitchen, one of the oldest ice cream parlors in the country. This small town offers a sweet slice of Americana, where you can enjoy handmade treats and step into a bygone era.

West Liberty

West Liberty is known for its historic downtown and the West Liberty Heritage Foundation, which preserves the town’s rich history. Take a walk through the charming streets and visit the local museum to learn about the early settlers and historic events that shaped the community.

History Comes Alive

Historic Route 6 is a living history book, with each community offering a unique chapter. Let’s explore the historical significance of some of these towns and cities.


Grinnell, named after its founder Josiah Bushnell Grinnell, is home to Grinnell College, one of the oldest liberal arts colleges in the United States. The town is rich in architectural heritage, with numerous buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Discover the stories of early settlers and the town’s role in the Underground Railroad.


Newton is a city with a rich industrial history, famously known as the home of the Maytag Corporation. Visit the Jasper County Historical Museum to learn about Newton’s industrial past and the impact of the Maytag family on the community.


Adel boasts a picturesque downtown with beautifully preserved 19th-century architecture. The Dallas County Courthouse, built in 1902, is a stunning example of Beaux-Arts architecture and serves as a symbol of the town’s historical significance.

Practical Road Trip Tips

Planning a road trip along Historic Route 6 requires a bit of preparation to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some practical tips to help you make the most of your adventure.

Where to Stay

Consider staying in historic bed-and-breakfasts or charming inns along the route. Towns like Grinnell and Newton offer unique accommodations that add to the overall experience. Booking in advance is recommended, especially during peak travel seasons.

Where to Eat

You can’t go wrong with local diners and cafes that serve up delicious comfort food. Be sure to stop at places like the Wilton Candy Kitchen for a sweet treat and local eateries in each town to savor regional specialties.

What to Pack

Pack essentials like a good road map, plenty of snacks, and a camera to capture the scenic beauty and historic landmarks. Comfortable clothing and walking shoes are a must, as you’ll want to explore each community on foot.

Engaging the Community

One of the joys of traveling along Historic Route 6 is the opportunity to engage with local communities and support small-town economies. Let’s highlight some of the businesses, initiatives, and events that make each stop special.

Local Businesses

From antique shops in West Liberty to artisanal crafts in Adel, each town boasts unique local businesses that reflect the community’s character. Spend some time browsing and shopping to support these small enterprises.

Community Initiatives

Many communities along Route 6 have initiatives aimed at preserving their heritage and promoting tourism. For example, the Route 6 Tourist Association works to highlight the historical and cultural significance of the highway. Participating in local events and festivals is a great way to connect with residents and immerse yourself in the local culture.

Special Events

Keep an eye out for special events like the annual Route 6 Auto Show or historical reenactments in Newton. These events provide a deeper understanding of the community’s heritage and offer fun, engaging activities for visitors.


Traveling along Iowa’s Historic Route 6 is more than just a road trip—it’s an immersive experience that connects you with the rich history and vibrant communities of the heartland. From the bustling city streets of Davenport to the charming small towns like Wilton and Adel, each stop along the route offers a unique glimpse into Iowa’s past and present.

If you’re a history enthusiast, road trip aficionado, or local explorer, don’t miss the chance to discover the hidden treasures along this iconic highway. Pack your bags, hit the road, and create unforgettable memories as you explore the diverse cultural landscape of Iowa’s Historic Route 6.

Are you ready to start your adventure? Book a call with our travel experts today and get personalized recommendations for your Historic Route 6 road trip. Happy travels!

Keeping Up With Kathryn

Keeping Up With Kathryn

Route 6 Tourist Association provides reliable weekly updates about Fifth District and the greater area. Keeping up with Kathryn covers everything from local news, city events, attractions and more! She even sends out special content for occasions like holidays or long weekends–must-read content for locals as well as travelers.

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Introduction to Sego, Utah

A Ghost Town’s Tale of Hope and Heartbreak in the Red Rocks of Utah

Introduction to Sego, Utah

Nestled amidst the striking red rocks of eastern Utah lies Sego, an abandoned town rich in history and intrigue. Once a bustling mining community, Sego now stands as a haunting reminder of the dreams and hardships faced by its early settlers. This blog post will take you on a captivating journey through Sego’s founding, its rapid rise and fall, and the efforts to preserve its legacy. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a Utah local, or a travel blogger, there’s something uniquely compelling about Sego, Utah, that beckons you to explore its storied past.

Early Days of Sego

The Founding of Sego

Sego was founded in the early 20th century, around 1910, when a small band of settlers discovered rich veins of coal in the Book Cliffs. This discovery marked the beginning of the town’s short-lived yet significant existence. Named after the sego lily, Utah’s state flower, the town’s early days were filled with hope and ambition.

Early Industries and Settlers

The primary industry driving Sego’s growth was coal mining. The settlers, many of whom hailed from diverse backgrounds, were drawn by the promise of prosperity. The coal extracted from the mines was transported via the narrow-gauge railroad to nearby markets, fueling the town’s economy and attracting more settlers.

Building a Community

As the population grew, so did the infrastructure. Schools, churches, and businesses sprang up, creating a tight-knit community. The people of Sego were resilient and resourceful, facing the harsh conditions of the Utah desert with determination and ingenuity.

Sego’s Boom and Bust

The Rise of the Mining Industry

The discovery of coal in Sego led to a rapid influx of miners and their families. The promise of employment and a better life drew people from far and wide. The town flourished, with new buildings and amenities being constructed at a feverish pace.

Challenges and Decline

However, the boom was short-lived. The quality of the coal began to decline, and the mines became increasingly difficult to work. Additionally, water scarcity and logistical challenges plagued the town. These issues led to a gradual decline in mining operations, causing many residents to leave in search of better opportunities elsewhere.

The Final Blow

The Great Depression dealt a severe blow to Sego. The already struggling town could not withstand the economic downturn, leading to the closure of the mines and the eventual abandonment of Sego. By the late 1940s, Sego had become a ghost town, its buildings left to the mercy of time and the elements.

Rediscovery and Preservation Efforts

Interest in Sego Rekindled

In the decades following its abandonment, Sego remained largely forgotten. However, in the latter half of the 20th century, historians and adventurers began to rediscover the town. The stories of Sego’s past intrigued many, leading to efforts to preserve and document its history.

Preservation Initiatives

Various preservation initiatives have been undertaken to protect Sego’s remaining structures and artifacts. These efforts aim to maintain the town’s historical integrity while making it accessible to visitors. Preservation groups and local historians have worked tirelessly to ensure that Sego’s story is not lost to time.

Educational and Touristic Value

Today, Sego serves as an educational site, teaching visitors about the challenges and triumphs of early settlers and miners. Its ghostly remains offer a tangible connection to the past, providing a unique glimpse into the lives of those who once called Sego home.

Sego Today

A Visit to Sego

Visiting Sego today is like stepping back in time. The remnants of the town’s buildings, along with the old mining equipment, stand as silent witnesses to Sego’s history. The desolate beauty of the surrounding landscape adds to the town’s eerie charm.

Historical Landmarks

Several historical landmarks remain, including the old railroad tracks, the foundations of the mining facilities, and the weathered structures of homes and businesses. These landmarks offer a poignant reminder of the town’s once-thriving community and the industry that sustained it.

A Haven for History Buffs and Explorers

For history enthusiasts and adventurous travelers, Sego provides a fascinating destination. The town’s remote location ensures that it remains relatively undisturbed, allowing visitors to explore and reflect on the stories etched into its bones.


Sego, Utah, is more than just a ghost town; it’s a testament to human ambition, resilience, and the relentless pursuit of prosperity. Its history, marked by both hope and heartbreak, offers valuable lessons and insights into the struggles and triumphs of the past. We encourage you to explore Sego, immerse yourself in its story, and discover the rich tapestry of Utah’s history.

For those eager to learn more, consider booking a tour with local historians or joining preservation efforts. Sego’s legacy is one worth preserving and sharing, ensuring that the dreams and determination of its early settlers are never forgotten.

By exploring Sego’s past, we gain a deeper appreciation for the indomitable spirit of those who came before us. Whether you’re a history buff, a Utah local, or a travel blogger, Sego’s story is one that resonates with the timeless human quest for a better life.


Sheffield Lake on Ohio’s Shoreline on Route 6

About Sheffield Lake 

Nestled on the picturesque shores of Lake Erie, Sheffield Lake is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. This enchanting city in Ohio offers a perfect blend of history, natural beauty, and community spirit that captivates both locals and visitors alike. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or simply exploring the famous Route 6, Sheffield Lake has something special for everyone.

Discovering Sheffield Lake

Sheffield Lake boasts a rich geographical and historical significance. Founded in the early 19th century, the city has evolved from a small settlement to a bustling community on the Lake Erie shoreline. Its strategic location offers stunning views of the lake and easy access to various landmarks and attractions. From the lush parks to the shimmering waters, Sheffield Lake’s natural charm is complemented by its historical roots.

The city’s origins can be traced back to its early settlers who were drawn to the fertile lands and abundant water resources. Over the years, Sheffield Lake has preserved its historical essence while adapting to modern changes. Today, it stands as a testament to Ohio’s rich heritage and vibrant present.

Historical Gems

One of the highlights of Sheffield Lake is its unique history, reflected in various landmarks and trails. The Trolley Line Trail, for instance, is a historical pathway that offers a glimpse into the city’s past. This trail, which follows the route of the old trolley line, allows visitors to walk in the footsteps of early residents.

Another notable landmark is the Burrell Homestead, a historical site that offers insights into the lives of the city’s early settlers. This well-preserved homestead tells the story of Sheffield Lake’s development and the people who shaped its history. The combination of these historical gems provides a deep connection to the past, making Sheffield Lake a must-visit for history enthusiasts.

Exploring Nature

Sheffield Lake’s natural beauty is truly awe-inspiring. The city’s proximity to Lake Erie offers breathtaking views and numerous outdoor recreational activities. The shoreline is perfect for a relaxing day by the water, where you can enjoy fishing, boating, and picnicking with family and friends.

The city’s parks are another highlight, offering ample opportunities for outdoor fun. Shell Cove Park, for example, is a favorite among locals and visitors for its scenic beauty and recreational facilities. The park’s trails, playgrounds, and picnic areas make it an ideal spot for a day out in nature.

For those who love wildlife, the Sheffield Lake Nature Reserve provides a haven for various bird species and other wildlife. The reserve’s trails allow visitors to explore the natural habitat and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings. Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply looking for a peaceful retreat, Sheffield Lake’s natural attractions have something for everyone.

Community and Events

Sheffield Lake is not just about its natural and historical beauty; it’s also about the vibrant community spirit that defines the city. The local community is known for its warmth and hospitality, making everyone feel welcome.

Throughout the year, Sheffield Lake hosts a variety of events that bring residents and visitors together. The annual Sheffield Lake Summer Festival, for instance, is a celebration of community spirit with music, food, and fun activities for all ages. Local businesses also play a significant role in fostering a strong sense of community. From charming boutiques to cozy cafes, these establishments add to the city’s unique character.

Community initiatives such as clean-up drives, charity events, and neighborhood gatherings further strengthen the bond among residents. Sheffield Lake is a place where people come together to support each other, creating a close-knit and caring community.

Route 6 Connection

Sheffield Lake’s significance extends beyond its borders as it forms an integral part of the historic Route 6. This iconic highway stretches across the United States, and Sheffield Lake offers a unique stop along this route in Ohio. Route 6 explorers will find plenty to admire in the city’s scenic beauty and historical landmarks.

Travelers along Route 6 can take a detour to Sheffield Lake and experience its charm firsthand. The city’s connection to this historic highway adds to its allure, making it a popular destination for road-trippers and adventurers.


Sheffield Lake is more than just a city; it’s a destination that offers a perfect blend of history, nature, and community. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, there’s always something new to discover and appreciate in this charming city on the Lake Erie shoreline. From its historical gems and natural beauty to its vibrant community and connection to Route 6, Sheffield Lake is a place that leaves a lasting impression.

Don’t miss the chance to experience Sheffield Lake firsthand. Plan your visit today and immerse yourself in the rich heritage, stunning landscapes, and warm community spirit that define this unique city in Ohio.