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Iowa Ghost Towns

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Iowa Ghost Towns

Iowa Ghost Towns

CONSOL - is a townsite in northwest Monroe County, along White's Creek. Nothing remains of the town itself.

Consol, Iowa

Submitted by Mark Gruben


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County Unknown

West Salisbury

Submitted by Iowa Ghost Town Visitor R. Trotter

Hello, I'm hoping you will be able to help me. I have an ancestor who stated in his Civil War pension records that he lived in West Salisbury, Iowa 1867 -1871. I can't seem to find this anywhere. Can you help me?  Basically, I just want to find out what county it is in.

Thank you. Sincerely, Rea Trotter

If you have any informaion about this town, please send it to Iowa Ghost Towns using our Contact form or email us at  webmaster@iowaghosttowns.com

I maintain the Marion County Government website (co.marion.ia.us) and have a link to your site on our

county history page.

The village of Flagler in Marion County still exists and is still occupied by residents.

If I can find any information beyond what you already have I will forward it to you.




Here is an interesting puzzle!

There is documentation of how Ida Grove was named in a book published by the State Historical Society of Iowa in 1943 by Susie Webb Wright. Some Historic Markers in Iowa. On page 76 it reads that The Cumberland Valley Daughters of the American Revolution dedicated a bronze tablet which states, “Near this spot was born the first white child in Ida County, Iowa. Ida Smith 1856.

Yet the city if Ida Grove recently changed their towns history on their website. It told the story of Ida Smith up until this last year when they redid their site. There is no documentation to support their new history.

As submitted by K. Furguson, Ottumwa, IA

We realize that Ida Grove is not a ghost town. However, it’s past is rather interesting and so is the information as submitted above, which is why we

put it here.



I believe Hartland was located west of Marietta, not south. I lived about 2 1/2 miles north of there and attended church there for several years as a youth.

Submitted by Gordon Eurom

Thank you Gordon for your contribution to Iowa Ghost Towns

Webmaster Iowa Ghost Towns

The Hartland listed in our Town Index and County Index was stating that a Hartland ‘Post Office’ was south of Marietta. This is information provided by David C Mott’s book : “Abandoned Towns, Villages and Post Offices of Iowa”

Webmaster Iowa Ghost Towns


While looking for county history sites, I came across the Iowa Ghost towns.  I live in Readlyn, Bremer County, Iowa.  The attached  jpegs are from early plat books and atlases. The images are from them.  I messed up the spelling of Knittel when marking it on the jpeg.  Sorry.

 Seigel is listed as the town on the 1895 U.S. Atlas map, and Grove Hill is also from the 1895 atlas. Grove Hill cemetery is around 4 miles east of Readlyn on Highway 3 and is said to be a remnant of the early site.  Knittel corner is marked with an X.  The image is from a 1917 plat book --Standard Atlas of Bremer County Iowa, Copyright 1917 by Geo. A. Ogle & Co.-- and doesn't list Knittel, but I know that is where it is.  Until 20 years or so ago, there was still a tavern on the site.   Now it is entirely gone and only Finders Auto Repair is on the corner. Dianne Oltrogge

If you have any information about Warren, Iowa kindly share with us at http://www.iowaghosttowns.com

Thank you

Webmaster Iowa Ghost Towns

Ingraham (Mills County)

I might have some additional information for your list of Mills County ghost towns.

The entry for Ingraham says the location is not found. There's a census page for Ingraham in 1860 that says the Post Office is Glenwood, and the google map of Glenwood has an Ingrum Ave heading SE out of the town.

Thank you for the information on Saint Mary's, which is where one of my family's ancestors was born.

                                                                                  Submitted by Anne Messenger

If you have any information about Ingraham, Iowa kindly share with us at http://www.iowaghosttowns.com

Thank you

Webmaster Iowa Ghost Towns


Recently learned of a former town called Bergan in Clayton County.

Also there was a town once on the Mississippi just North of Effigy Mounds National Monument. Someone told me the name but can't recall.

In Allamakee county there was a town called Dalby and another named Columbus.

Submitted by James McShane

If you have any information about Bergan, Iowa kindly share with us at http://www.iowaghosttowns.com

Thank you

Webmaster Iowa Ghost Towns


I recently came across a hand-carved wooden sign from Illinois Grove, Iowa.

It specifically reads," IPD. DIST ILL GROVE 1874."

The only thing I can find on this town is that nothing of it remains. A school was built there in 1874, and I'm wondering if this sign isn't from that.

Can you help? Thank you!

                                                    Submitted by Mealnie Rechkemmer

Thank you

Webmaster Iowa Ghost Towns


Watertown was on the North side of the Shell Rock River where it entered the Cedar River.  There was a store, mill, and two residences, yet all that can be seen of the site today is a pair of very large bushes. Bushes whose very location and spacing show

intended planting, and not happenstance growth.

My wife and I looked carefully for building remains such as foundation stones, but found none.  I surmise that the many flooding's of that area over the last 150+/- years have deposited so much silt that ground penetrating radar would be needed to locate anything.

In 1863 Watertown was in Floyd County (see "Ghost Towns of Floyd County"), but in 1964 a strip of land 3 miles wide from North to South was detached from Floyd county and added to Mitchell county. Which explains why Watertown doesn't appear on the "Ghost Towns of Mitchell County" at present.

Whether the store had status as a Post Office I am not certain, but it would have been practical for residents in the area.

Submitted by Donald Conner


I'm a little surprised to find there are NO towns listed for Palo Alto county. Two that I can contribute are Crippen and Osgood.

I'm not sure how much information you need or what documentation, etc.

Osgood, IA - located approximately 5 miles North of Emmetsburg, IA. I believe they had a Post Officeuntil the 1950's or 60's.

Crippen, IA - Located approximately 5 miles West of Emmetsburg, IA. I know very little about Crippen. I believe it was located approximately on Hwy 18 and 4. People use to always refer to "Crippen corner" when giving directions.

I'm sure you would probably like more info than this, so tell me and I'll see what I can do.

Thank you.

Don Bradley

Rochester, MN

Thank you

Webmaster Iowa Ghost Towns


There was also a town called Garland.in the north east corner of Sec. 8 of Yellow Springs Twp. in Des Moines County , IA

                                                                Submitted by Willian Garner

If you have any additional information about Garland in DesMoined County please contact Iowa Ghost Towns.

Thank you

Webmaster Iowa Ghost Towns

The first post office established in Emmet County was at Emmets Township. The first settlement was established there is 1856.

The little village of Emmets Grove grew up around a small store opened by George C. Granger.

There was never a plat filed at the County Recorders Office for the little place.

After the post office was discontinued the little town disappeared.

It is unknown to us if there is any evidence showing if the town ever existed.


If you have information about this town or any other, we would appreciate your sharing it with us. Stories, Pictures, Facts, we are interested in them all

Do you live near the area of Emmet Grove? Within driving range? We would appreciate any pictures or info of the site and sent to Iowa Ghost Towns.

Send info to webmaster@iowaghosttowns.com  or  chill79971@aol.com


Submitted by Iowa Ghost Town visitor Mike Sinnwell

I was recently reading the book by Chris Enss, “How the West was Won.”  Her first story referenced the town of Flatwater, Iowa. Apparently, in 1873 a man called Canton Wells made the area into a town. The town was then under the thumb of Boss Buckland.

I was born and raised in Iowa ad I have hever heard of Flatwater, Iowa. I went to the internet and did several Google searches with no luck at finding any information. I also looked at Iowa Ghost Towns site thinking it might be a ghost town. Again no luck, so the questions arise: Where was it? What was it?

If you have any information about this town, please send it to Iowa Ghost Towns.  Send to webmaster@iowaghosttowns.com  or  chill79971@aol.com

Thank You

Here is what we found so far. Flatwater, Iowa was mentioned in an ad that ran in the McGregor Daily News on March 12, 1873. To make a long story short, there is not Flatwater, Iowa. It is a made up town for the ad.

Hopes that helps, Chris

Secondly, there was  movie produced about “The Ghost Towns of Hardin County.” The history was re-enacted and a movie set (town) was erected called Flatwater.

The question still remains, was there ever a real town named Flatwater? If you have any info on a town called Flatwater, please send it our way.

I am looking for Mt. LaSalle, Iowa where my Great Grandparents Jefferson Monroe Buchanan married Mary Hargison April 3, 1856.

I do not know if it is a church, town, county or what.  Maybe it is even in Wrong County. Liked the description of this.

In 1970 they lived near Carlisle, Warren, IA

Any suggestions?

Helen Weber

Submitted by Helen Weber - Iowa Ghost Town Visitor

Mt. LaSalle, Iowa
Ever heard of this town?

If you have any information about a Groton Iowa, please contact Iowa Ghost Towns.  webmaster@iowaghosttowns.com    or    chill79971@aol.com

Submitted by Bob, one of our Iowa Ghost Town Visitors

If you have any additional information about Garland in DesMoined County please contact Iowa Ghost Towns.

Thank you

Webmaster Iowa Ghost Towns

Mackey, Iowa

Mackey, Iowa was located at latitude 42.16639, longitude - 93.75667. Most of the towns in this area of Boone County have a coal mining history.

My ancestor William Felshaw is listed on my family records as residing in Galland's Grove, Pottawatamie County during the years of  approx. 1848-1851. (At least he had  children born there during those years).

My problem is that I cannot seem to find that a Galland's Grove ever existed in Pottawatamie County.  There was a Galland's Grove in Shelby County in 1853 when Shelby County was organized. But by 1853 he had left Iowa.

I have spent considerable time at  USGEN WEB site; but can't seem to make a reasonable conclusion.

Can you tell me exactly which county Galland's Grove was located in during the years 1848 to 1851?

FYI:  my ancestor's name:  William Felshaw, b. 1800 in Granville, Washington, New York.  He would have resided in Iowa with 2 wives namely:(wife) Mary Harriet Gilbert. Her children: Julia, John, Anne Mary (died in 1848 - I don't know where), Caroline, Hannah (born in Galland's Grove in 1848),  Sarah and Susannah (born in Gallands Grove in 1851) (wife) Charlotte Walters. Her Children:  Katherine,  Mary, (might have been born in Galland's Grove), Eleanor (born in Galland's Grove in 1850).

I am sorry if this is more info that you want.  This is my first inquiry of this sort and I have been told that more info is better than less.

I'll appreciate any answer you can give me about where Galland's Grove was located  (which County) during the years of 1848-1851.

Submitted by Euvonna L. Christensen

Galland’s Grove, Iowa

(Pottawatamie County)

If you have information about this town we would appreciate your sharing it with us. Stories, Pictures, Facts, we are interested in them all

  Thank You

(One of our visitors sent the following)


“I thought that you might like to include Thorpe to your list.  I heard my grandfather talking about it when I was younger. I found some information on it for you to start with”

Do you have any information about Thorpe, Iowa. If you do, please send it our way.      

Thank You

Vollamova? or Villanova?

I think what you have listed as ‘Vollamova’ was actually Villanova. All that remains is a Catholic church (I think it is closed) located in the NE 1/4 of the NW 1/4 of T82N - R4E - Section 23, Washington Township. It shows up on Google Maps as St. Patricks church and cemetery.

Teresa Reed (Tipton, IA)

As Teresa Reed points out above, Vollamova could have been a mis-spelling by David C. Mott or there was definitely a town with that name.

Do you have any info? Please sent it our way.

Iowa Ghost Town webmaster:   webmaster@iowaghosttowns.com

Charles Hill  chill79971@aol.com

Story about the Past

This is a story about the past written to my sister LuAnn

Dear LuAnn,

He has really done a fine job in presenting all the historical information grouped by Iowa Counties. It is a neat way to learn more about towns dying out as the country developed.

Wish I had some information to add to it.

My mother’s parents were early settlers in Waterloo and my Dad’s were prominent people in Nashua during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

My grandmothter would ride in a wagon as a child with her parents on

Sunday to visit the Hanna’s who were the first setters at Waterloo. She remembered when the Native American Indians would camp south of town near where they lived.

My Dad’s grandparents helped build the Little Brown Church in Nashua.

I don’t remember that my parents ever talked about any towns that had died out. I remember driving to Elk Run Heights growing up but never knew that it had been a town.

Bob G.


Buxton, Iowa, a coal mining colony with a large black population that grew in southern Iowa at the beginning of the 20th Century.

At its peak in 1910, Buxton’s population was between eight and ten thousand people. Although it was usually described as “a black man’s town” it was in fact a multi-ethnic community throughout its history. Swedes, Slovaks and Welsh immigrants were the largest European groups although African Americans were by far the largest ethnic group in the town.

By the early 1920s the decreasing demand for coal to power locomotives forced Consolidated Coal to close most of its nearby mines.  Gradually residents left the town and by 1927 Buxton had lost all of its residents.  

Learn more about Buxton, Iowa here:  


Sherman Place

Have any further information about Sherman Place.  If you do kindly forward it to Iowa Ghost Towns.

Charles W Hill  -  Webmaster Iowa Ghost Towns

Located 3miles west of Fredericksburg, 1/2 mile north (Lawler blacktop), 1/8mile back east next to creek, was a place known as Sherman Place. Sherman Place was thought of as a stage coach stop when I was a young one growing up on Lyle Mattkes west place.

Thank you Francis Winter for this submission to Iowa Ghost Towns.

Chickasaw County

Bristol, Iowa (Winnebago County)


If you have any additional information about Bristol in Winnebago County please contact Iowa Ghost Towns.

Thank you

Webmaster Iowa Ghost Towns

About 2 miles east of Lake Mills, then south on County S-10. Very little evidence remains of an actual town, but there are 3 or 4 small farm places there at that intersection. I pass through Bristol now and then when driving down to my parents' home near Clear Lake.

Submitted by Mark Gruben

In southern Clayton County, on US Hwy 52 just south of the Little Turkey River.  Another tiny town I have driven through on my way from Point A to Point B.

Submitted by Mark Gruben

Millville, IA


An unincorporated town in Clayton County, Iowa, United States. The population was 30 at the 2010 census, up from 23 at the 2000 census.

The city of Millville was incorporated in 1967. The city lies along the Turkey River and is located on US Highway 52. The city limits is only 0.76 miles long. In mid 2014, the city of Millville disincorporated due to a population decrease.

Millville is best known for the Millville Poltergeist that shook the small sub-division of Guttenberg in 1960.

In October 2013, the city started undergoing the process of unincorporating itself and formally became unincorporated in July 2014

Gifford, Iowa


If you have any additional information about Bristol in Winnebago County please contact Iowa Ghost Towns.

Thank you

Webmaster Iowa Ghost Towns

GIFFORDVILLE -  Can find no info on Giffordville.

Are you perhaps thinking of Gifford, which is about 3 miles north of Union, in Hardin County?

Submitted by Mark Gruben

An unincorporated community in southeastern Hardin County, Iowa, United States. It lies along local roads south of the city of Eldora.

Gifford was laid out in 1875. It was named for C. T. Gifford, who was instrumental in bringing the railroad there.  By 1880, Gifford was at junction of two railroads.[5]

Gifford's post office was established on November 9, 1875 and discontinued on February 28, 1907. Although the post office was reopened on February 17, 1908, it was again discontinued on October 31, 1954 and attached to the Union post office. Although its post office is gone, Gifford has its own ZIP Code, 50259, even though the ZIP Code system was not implemented until nearly nine years after Gifford's post office was attached to Union's.

Carnovilla, Iowa

My great grandmother (Kathleen Angerson - married name). According to her passport was born in Carnovilla in 1867.

I am trying to find out information about my family and cannot find this town. Any help would be appreciated.

Submitted by B. Anderson from California

If you have any information about this town, please send it to Iowa Ghost Towns.  Send to webmaster@iowaghosttowns.com  or  chill79971@aol.com

Thank You

CARNOVILLA - must be a corruption of Garnavillo, which, of course, is in central

Clayton County. It would be an easy mistake, especially if handwritten on some

document, as was indicated by the original inquiry into the town name.

Submitted by Mark Gruben

Would like to have Dewey Iowa added to your list (near Massena).  

As a tribute to my grandparents would love to have it added if possible.

Was only a town for about two years (late 1800's I believe) and consisted of my

grandfathers country store (Herb Holste), their house and a house across the road.

Was incorporated? Because the government needed a post office.

However, with RFD implemented two years later if was no longer viewed as a town.

Thank you


Submitted by  - Norman Killmon Iowa Ghost Town Visitor

Dewey, Iowa
Ever heard of this town?

If you have any information about a Dewey Iowa, please contact Iowa Ghost Towns.  webmaster@iowaghosttowns.com    or    chill79971@aol.com