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Iowa Falls Fun Facts

  • 21 July, 2020
  • Andrea Parrott

Since we aren’t traveling to Iowa Falls this week for RAGBRAI XLVIII, we gathered some fun facts and interesting tidbits for you. This Scenic City has some fantastic views and lots of nature areas, if you plan ahead you may get your prettiest campsite all week.

Scenic Iowa Falls


Iowa Falls Fun Facts

Known as “The Scenic City” as it located on some of the most scenic portions of the Iowa River. 

Iowa Falls was laid out and platted in 1856. It was named from the falls on the Iowa River. 

The Illinois Central Railroad was built through Iowa Falls in 1866. 

We suggest kayaking and canoeing on the Iowa River!

Iowa Falls is home to Ellsworth Community College.

Notable Places in Iowa Falls 

Metropolitan Theatre in Iowa Falls

  • The Metropolitan Opera House 
    Built in 1899, it presented plays, operas, and vaudeville in the town during the first half of the twentieth century, and today is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house hosted notable artists including Otis Skinner, Walker Whiteside, and John Philip Sousa and his band. Between 1930–54, the house presented films and served as a venue for concerts and drama and dance productions of Ellsworth College and Iowa Falls High School. The theatre was purchased by John P. Whitesell of Iowa Falls in June 2013 and reopened after an upgrade to digital projectors. Oscar-nominated actor Hugh Jackman appeared at The Met’s grand re-opening with his family on September 20, 2013. He introduced two of his films, Prisoners and The Wolverine. 
  • Pat Clark Art Collection at Ellsworth Community College
    The art collection includes more than 350 works of art by nationally and internationally recognized artists. The collection has been described as “eclectic” and “unique” mainly because it includes art from so many cultures, by such diverse artists, and was collected by one person who knew the stories behind each work of art. 
  • Bill Riley Bandshell 
  • Calkins Nature Area 
  • Equestrian Center at Ellsworth Community College 
  • Iowa Falls Community Theater 
  • Iowa Falls Historical Dow House
    Early 1900s home with period furniture and rooms, featuring a large collection of Iowa Falls photographs and a petit point collection. Period gardens. 
  • Iowa Falls Swinging Bridge, built in 1897 – don’t worry it has been renovated multiple times since then 
  • Meyer Municipal Aquatic Center 
  • Peter Toth Indian Monument
    Peter Toth carved an Indian statue for every state in the U.S. and there are also several located in Canada. This statue is located in a very picturesque setting overlooking the Iowa River. The carving was dedicated on July 4, 1979. The sculpture was carved from a locally grown cottonwood tree and including the pedestal is 33 ft. tall. The Indian is wearing a three disked headband and a neck broach similar to ones worn by the local Indian tribes. 
  • 17 city parks 
  • Mills Tower Historic District, including historic depot 
  • Robert W. Barlow Memorial Library 
  • Iowa Falls Historic Popcorn Stand 
  • Other links to Iowa Falls notable locations: 

Iowa Falls Historic Popcorn Stand

Notable People from Iowa Falls 

Bill Riley, Sr.

  • Nick Collison, Basketball player 
  • Joseph Gomer, Tuskegee Airman 
  • Kurt Ploeger, former NFL player 
  • Bill Riley, Sr., Television personality 
  • Randy Schultz former NFL player 
  • Jim Trickey, Football player 
  • Christopher Whitesell, Writer 
  • Jim Whitesell, Basketball Coach 
  • John Whitesell, Hollywood Director 
  • Patrick Whitesell, Hollywood agent and co-CEO of WME Entertainment 
  • Sean Whitesell, Actor, Writer, Producer 


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