According to their website, Scenic Elkader is "A Great American Main Street Community" and there's certainly plenty for the casual visitor to see in this lovely, welcoming town which was first incorporated in 1891.
Elkader boasts nine sites in total which are featured on the National Register of Historic Places and detailed information about all of these sites can be found on the town's website at www.elkader-iowa.com. Guided tours are available to all the historic sites and if you're interested in taking one, just contact the Historical Society (see website) and they will be pleased to give you more information. If freestyle exploration is more your thing, you can take a self-guided walking tour of Elkader instead which takes you around most of the historic sites which give this beautiful riverside location its character and make it of particular architectural interest to the amateur historian.
Elkader was named in memory of the Emir Abdel Kader, an Arab prince known as the "father of modern Algeria" and much lauded in the early 1830s for his brave fight against the invading French. The American people drew a comparison with their own efforts to drive out the British colonists and in recognition of Kader's actions they adopted Elkader as the name of the new town.
There are 27 different sites of historic interest in total in Elkader, including the nine sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Start on Main Street at the The Opera House; wander around the corner to check out the Glesne Hardware Store which was built in 1891 and is still run by the Glesne family today making it the oldest business still operating in Elkader. Further along the street is the Clayton County Register, founded as the Elkader Register in 1878. There are also several houses dating back to the 1800s, three churches, the County Courthouse, County Jail, County Asylum and two museums; perfect for both the keen historian and casual sightseer.
Elkader, IA 52043
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.