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Tourist Attractions and Points of Interest

Mahanay Bell Tower


This 14-story carillon tower commands a breathtaking view of Jefferson and the surrounding countryside. Take a glass elevator ride to the 120-foot observation deck. Cast bells (14 of them) chime the time of day and play bell concerts regularly.

Located at 100 East Lincolnway, Jefferson. Open daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. and weekends in May and September. Call 515-386-2155 for appointments.

Raccoon River Valley Trail

This bike trail begins at the Old Milwaukee Depot, on the east side of Jefferson and extends 56 miles to Waukee. The Raccoon River Valley Trail is good for all ages – families and friends find it fun to spend time on the trail together. The trail was built on an old rail bed and has gentle grades. Enjoy the 600-foot trestle across the North Raccoon River. For more information you may visit the Web site,, or call Greene County Conservation at 515-386-4629.

Milwaukee Railroad Depot


The depot is listed on the National Register of Historical Places. It serves as the trailhead to the Raccoon River Valley Bike Trail on East Lincolnway. The restored depot houses tourist information, Greene County artisan and craft displays, and railroad memorabilia. It also houses public restrooms, public gardens and picnic tables. For more information call the depot at 515-386-5554 or the Chamber of Commerce at 515-386-2155.

Greene County Courthouse

Built in 1917, the courthouse boasts a dome rotunda with a stained glass ceiling. Offices are accessed through archways of marble that frame murals depicting the "progress of civilization as recorded in Iowa." The rotunda floor is a mosaic of the county seal with the theme “Home of the Horn of Plenty.” Located at 106 East Lincolnway, Jefferson. Open Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. For more information call 515-386-2316.

Abraham Lincoln Statue

This 1918 bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln stands on the courthouse lawn as a monument to the Lincoln Highway, known as Old Highway 30. It was created by the English sculptor Hastings. Located at 106 East Lincolnway, Jefferson.

Lincoln Highway

city view

Local citizens donated money to pave Lincoln Highway across Greene County, beginning in Grand Junction. This was the first paved section of the Highway in Iowa. Memorabilia is exhibited at the Milwaukee Railroad Depot and at the Lincoln Highway Museum located west of the square on West Lincolnway. For more information call the Lincoln Highway Association at 515-275-4966.

Lindsey Memorial

This monument is in honor of the Jefferson native, World War II Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Capt. Darrell R. Lindsey. Located at 106 East Lincolnway, Jefferson.

Greene County Historical Museum

Organized in 1966, the society has made steady progress in collecting, preserving, restoring, cataloging and displaying hundreds of items pertinent to Greene County's history, starting from the first white settler in 1849. Early in the society's existence, a building was purchased on the north side of the courthouse square in Jefferson. Later, a large metal building was constructed on the Greene County Fairgrounds to house a log cabin, farm machinery and farm-related implements. A well-preserved one-room schoolhouse near this site is also maintained by the society.

Admission to the museum is free. Located at 219 East Lincolnway, Jefferson. Hours: April - October, Wednesday 1 p.m. - 5p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. - Noon. Other times by appointment only. To make an appointment or for more information call 515-386-8544.

Jefferson Telephone Museum


This museum houses a unique collection of historical telephonic equipment including old telephones, switchboards and other articles. Located in the Jefferson Telephone Company building at 105 West Harrison, Jefferson. Hours: Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. For appointments call 515-386-4141.

Gallup House

This early 1900s unique octagon-shaped house is the boyhood home of George Gallup, founder of the Gallup Poll. Gallup was born and raised in Jefferson and lived in Jefferson until he graduated from high school in 1919.

The Gallup House, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is currently undergoing restoration by Gallup & Robinson, after which it is planned that the home will be available for a variety of uses, such as business or private retreats, educational meetings and seminars, and private receptions. Located at 703 South Chestnut, Jefferson.

Lincoln Square Building

This unique building renovation, the Lincoln Hotel built in 1895, has transformed the 47-room structure into a collection of shops and offices. Located at 117 East Lincolnway, Jefferson.

Scranton Water Tower

This 1897 all-steel elevated water tank landmark has a capacity of 48,000 gallons and stands 148 feet high. It is the oldest water tower still in service in Iowa and is tied for ninth oldest still in service in the U.S. For more information call Scranton City Hall at 712-652-3888.

Deal's Orchard


This third generation apple orchard has 55 acres of trees with 35 varieties. Other fresh produce is available in season including raspberries, cherries, tomatoes, sweet corn and pumpkins. Each year about 25,000-30,000 gallons of fresh apple cider is processed. Celebrate the harvest on the second weekend in October at the Annual Fall Festival. Located three miles west of Jefferson on Old Highway 30 and a quarter of a mile south. For more information call 515-386-8279 or visit

Bell Tower Square

An array of specialty shops, restaurants and businesses line the heart of downtown Jefferson. The Mahanay Bell Tower, Greene County Historical Museum, Abraham Lincoln Statue, Lindsey Memorial and Greene County Courthouse are all within walking distance.

War Memorial Army Tank

Located across from the Milwaukee Railroad Depot on East Lincolnway, this tank was donated by the Army as a memorial to all land wars. Dedicated on Veteran’s Day in November of 1998.

RVP — 1875 Historical Furniture Shop


Robby Pedersen, Master Furniture Maker, builds period furniture using only the hand tools, techniques and finishes from the past. Based in the year 1875, this living history museum displays more than 100 of Robby’s show pieces of historical furniture, as well as the largest working collection of period hand tools anywhere. Tours, hands-on programs, weekend workshops and apprenticeships are all available. A walk through the past, this working shop preserves the heritage of a trade and produces tables, beds and trunks for those who wish to have furniture built to last for hundreds of years. Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. or by appointment. For more information call 515-975-3083 or visit

Barn Quilts of Greene County

The Greene County “Barn Quilt” project is now on public display, with over 20 colorful and traditional quilt patterns – each painted on a wood frame at least eight feet square – in place on ag buildings around the county. For more information contact the Chamber of Commerce.

Inspiration Gardens

Dick and Janice Schlicht of rural Rippey invite you to visit and tour their gardens. They offer an experience of tranquility and relaxation. Janice shares her gardens “So others can be inspired.”


• The ponds entertain glimpses of orange and white goldfish and water plants in the spring, summer and fall. The flowing waterfalls soothe the nerves.
• Two rustic rooms are available to create a relaxed atmosphere for small group meetings.
• There are sitting areas located throughout Inspiration Gardens.
• There are two camping hookups for campers and plenty of area for camping.
• A Greene County Barn Quilt is on the premises.

A garden has something for everyone and each week brings different points of interest. Dick and Janice encourage individuals, families, small groups, businesses looking for a new place to hold a meeting, and bus tours to come to Inspiration Gardens.

Moss Markers with Lincoln Busts North of Scranton

Two busts of President Abraham Lincoln, which replaced the original busts created in 1924 but destroyed by vandals 40 years ago. The busts were originally placed on markers north of Scranton when the Lincoln Highway was paved in 1924 as the first transcontinental highway in the United States. In July 2001, 125 people, including some from all over the U.S., attended a rededication program unveiling the new busts. The markers are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Golf Courses

Greene County is home to three golf courses, which are all open to the public. For information about each course, contact them directly at the telephone numbers below:

Raccoon Valley Golf Course, 515-386-4178
The Hill Golf Course, 515-738-2633
Lakeside Golf Course, 515-738-2403

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