The Ioway people, a Native American tribe once inhabited the area now known as the state of Iowa. There are two legends surrounding the genesis of our state's name. One legend states that at first glimpse of the area, the Native American tribe exclaimed, “Iowa, Iowa, Iowa,” meaning beautiful. The less complimentary legend asserts that the Dakota Sioux tribe labeled the Ioway tribe, “Ayuhwa,” which translates as sleepy ones. Delaware County is a beautiful historical county in Iowa, just waiting for history buffs to explore. For more little-known facts about Iowa, check out this list of 25 Amazing Facts by Mental Floss.
1. Little Red Schoolhouse: The old well and shade trees at the Little Red Schoolhouse is a great place to stop for a picnic, located five miles north of Manchester, along County Road 13. After the second school burned in 1904, a new building was erected on a one-acre site near Honey Creek by the District of Delaware Township. The last class met in the building in 1959. The little one-room red schoolhouse is now preserved as a historical landmark along with the contents. To book a tour of the schoolhouse call 1-563-927-3410.
2. Delaware County Historical Museum and Complex: Located along the Delaware Crossing Scenic Byway, the museum is the former Lenox College containing nine buildings. The complex is on the National Register of Historic Places. A church with stained glass windows from Bavaria, civil war monument, college gym, country school, depot with a monument, old fashion drug store, general store and museum are located on the premises. Admission fees and directions are available online.
3. Historical Neighborhood: The history buff will enjoy a stroll along Union Street located in Manchester, which is lined with historical homes dating back to the 1870’s. One house along the avenue is the Hoag House, which is constructed of classical Italianate architecture from the time period. The Hoag House is a private residence that was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
4. Coffin’s Grove Stagecoach House, Inn and Museum: The home was constructed in the 1850’s along Old Stagecoach Road about three miles west of Manchester. Many people believe that the house and former stables are haunted by the Baker family that ran a stagecoach stop on the property. The family is buried in the nearby cemetery. New owners have transformed the property into a private residence; however, brave visitors may walk through the cemetery. An interactive map is available for directions to the cemetery.
5. Eiverson/Love Log Cabin: The cabin is located in Denton Park, a perfect stop for visitors with young children. The park is complete with a playground, picnic area, and restrooms. The log cabin is believed to be the earliest house constructed in Delaware County by Alan Love. Delaware County Master Gardeners restored the cabin in 1996 and beautifully landscaped the area surrounding the cabin. A map is available on the parks and recreation website.
*The image of Church at Lenox College is attributed to Allen J. Frantzen.