Tag Archives: sioux county iowa

A Siouxland Small Community and its famous author, Doon, Iowa

11 Apr

On a nice day I headed in the northern area of Siouxland with a specific destination in mind and to revisit and see what was new. But along the way I got sidetracked. Too many side and back roads, too little time? I came across a sign for Doon, Iowa. A small community with a population of roughly 590 residents. Like most small, rural communities, Doon’s downtown was anchored on side by a grain elevator. It had some nice features and a memorial to those who served there country. It was a pleasant place to hang out for a while as I was making my way further north in Lyon County.

The community of Doon, Iowa Friday March 31, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)


It was a pleasant day to be out and about finding new places. I talked to a young lady as she was returning home after fetching her mail downtown from the post office. I asked her a few questions about the community and she told me there was an author who was born in Doon, now buried in the cemetery outside of town in the country. Frederick Manfred wrote an number of novels and according to his site, coined the term “Siouxland”. The New York Times also wrote an obituary about the author after his passing. Even famous people remembered by a national newspaper came from someplace. And it is fun to explore one’s region and find such nuggets of history. I searched a bit through Hillside Cemetery that day but was not able to find his headstone.

As the days get longer and warmer, I am looking forward to more exploration with the hopes of being surprised by other such gems. One never knows what one might find over the next horizon, but it is always to fun to find out.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Exploring Siouxland, Sioux County

5 Apr

As the days become warmer, meaning above 32 degrees and not freezing, it is more pleasant to get out and cruise around Siouxland once again. Areas are beginning to green up slowly. And spring is starting to arrive.

I look forward to spending time getting re-acquainted with the countryside and seeing what this spring brings.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Calliope Village in Siouxland

12 May

With Memorial Day nearing and the unofficial start of the summer vacation season, there are a number of travel destinations in the Siouxland region that is a short drive, fun to see, and educational at the same time. But that last part probably depends on your age and definition of summer fun. The replica of Calliope Village in Hawarden, Iowa, is regarded as the first community and first county seat of Sioux County, Iowa. A number of buildings, original or replicas are on display and open during the summer season for people to take a step back in time.

And if you get to talking with any of the docents who are on hand, many can help people understand what life was like during that time period in the late 1800’s. Even a little gossip about another Sioux County community who stole a safe and became the county seat because of it.

Summer is a nice time to get away, even if only for a day or two, and a chance to explore one’s surroundings and see what is there.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Little Gem in Siouxland, Calliope Village

17 Apr

I believe that no matter how long a person lives in an area, there are always those little gems that keep popping up and should be explored. In Siouxland there are many small towns. And it is these which created America, pioneers moving westward to start a new life. But over the 230 plus years this nation has been in existence, some of those small towns that helped create this country have ceased. But other area towns like Hawarden, Iowa, have created memorials to those bygone communities, giving credence to the saying: to know where you are going you must know where you have come from. This small town has a replica of the Calliope Village, a replica village which was the first seat of government in Sioux County, Iowa, incorporated in 1860. And it’s during the Labor Day weekend that the small village comes to life staffed with volunteers to inform visitors about a part of the history of the area. Finding these gems in our backyards is rewarding because it paints a richer picture of the area and its small effort in creating this country, reminding us of where we have been and what we have achieved. I plan to revisit this village come Fall, and enjoy what stories the volunteers have to tell about our past.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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