Historic Adair County

The Adair County Historical Society Complex, located on the west edge of Greenfield, features a country schoolhouse, Penn Avenue Church, depot, former home of Governor George Wilson and two museums with farm history and historical treasures, including “Cold Turkey” movie memorabilia and Mormon Trail displays.
Open May – October Monday-Saturday 1-4:30 pm, November – April, by appointment.
2393 S Lakeview Drive, Greenfield  IA 50849
Phone: 641-743-2232

A marker and locomotive wheel mark the site of the First Train Robbery in the West committed by the notorious Jesse James Gang on July 21, 1873, at the Jesse James Historical Site just west of Adair.

The Mormons were the first pilgrims to cross what would become Adair County, on their first trek westward in 1846. Their trail crosses the southern part of the county where parts of the trail can be seen and a country cemetery holds their departed. A marker marks the spot in Orient where they first encountered Native Americans. More information on the Mormon Trail can be found at the Adair County Historical Society Complex and at Mormon Trail Lake & Park.

Baseball legend Dazzy Vance hails from Orient. Arthur Charles “Dazzy” Vance was born March 4, 1891, on a farm northeast of Orient formerly owned by the Wallace Family. He began his professional baseball career pitching for Red Cloud in the Nebraska State League. He eventually found his way to the Brooklyn Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals. Vance retired in 1935 with a career 197 wins, 140 losses. 2,045 strike-outs, 840 walks and a 3.24 ERA. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955. Today, folks still play baseball and softball on Dazzy Vance Field in Orient. Visitors to town can grab gas and a quick bite at The Orient Express (Vance’s “other” nickname). Or they can sit down for a beer and a full menu at The Dugout Cafe.

Like many towns in the area, Stuart grew up along with the railroad. The Stuart Depot, now an event center, was once a division station and machine shop for the Rock Island Railroad.

207-203 Front Street

Stuart, IA 50250

515-205-0081

The Iowa Aviation Museum showcases the golden age of aviation with a unique collection of vintage aircraft and memorabilia. The museum also houses the Iowa Aviation Hall of Fame.

The Greenfield Public Square Historic District is home to the heart of the town and the county seat of Adair County, with its historic courthouse. The cornerstone of the district is the restored 1896 Warren Opera House, now the Warren Cultural Center. A $6.2 million renovation has returned the building to its former glory, and turned the site into a multi-use facility for art, commerce and culture.

Historic Hotel Greenfield offers boutique lodging near the unique Lancaster Square, one of only a handful in the U.S. Shopping, salons, dining, a bowling alley and movie theater, and a self-guided walking tour – they’re all here with free on-street parking.

While in the Greenfield Public Square Historic District be sure to check out the antique car collections. The Schildberg Car Collection sits in what was once a Ford dealership, just off the Greenfield Square. Started by Dennis & Marlene Schildberg, guests can view vehicles from the beginnings of automotive travel through the 1960s. Available for window browsing anytime at the corner of E Iowa and NE 2nd Street or to groups by appointment.
At Fosters Head Quarters, the Foster’s private collection is available for viewing by appointment. See an array of muscle cars, motorcycles and vintage signs, including a 1970 Mustang Boss 302 and a 1967 GTO.

641-745-5717

When one of the most splendid examples of Byzantine architecture in Iowa, the Historic All Saints Church in Stuart, was destroyed by an arsonist in 1995, the community rallied. A massive renovation has transformed the structure, patterned after St. Mark’s in Venice, Italy, into the Saints Center for Culture and the Arts. The venue’s unique gathering spaces pay homage to the building’s history and design.

320 N. Fremont St.

Stuart, Iowa 50250

515-523-2921

info@saintscenter.com

Towering over Main Street in Stuart is the Masonic Temple Clock Tower. The date 1894 is inscribed in the clock face. The nearby former First National Bank building was the site of a robbery by infamous bank robbers Bonnie & Clyde in 1934.

The historic bandstand in Fontanelle has anchored the city park for nearly a century. The Fontanelle City Park also has a marker noting the first log cabin in the town, the home of James C. Gibbs.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Adair Viaduct Bridge was built in the 1920s allowing traffic to pass over the Rock Island Railroad line.

The Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center is the birthplace of Henry A. Wallace, the 33rd Vice President of the United States under Franklin D. Roosevelt. Today a Gathering Barn, vegetable gardens, fruit orchards and restored prairie with walking trails and outdoor art create a rural haven dedicated to Wallace’s love of agriculture and conservation. The site is part of the Wallace Centers of Iowa. Three generations of Wallaces were pioneers in Iowa and Adair County agriculture.

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