Lacey Keosauqua State Park

I have several beautiful fall foliage scenes displayed on my Florida desk right now. Earlier this month I filled my car up with mums after a shopping adventure at a local garden center. But it’s not quite the same as being in the Midwest this month. About a half-hour drive from the Missouri family farm, you enter the Villages of Van Buren County. In this southeastern area of Iowa, you step back in time in twelve unique communities: Bentonsport, Birmingham, Bonaparte, Cantril, Douds, Farmington, Iowaville-Selma, Keosauqua, Milton, Mt. Sterling, Pittsburg, and Stockport. Each village is more charming than the next and the fall scenes are spectacular.

The annual Scenic Drive Festival was held October 13 and 14. Each of the little villages had a full weekend of varied entertainment including trash and treasure sales, pancake breakfast, arts and crafts, antiques, maid-rite lunches, black kettle ham and beans lunches and other activities from the 1800s. Last year my sister and I took in the Scenic Drive Festival.

From 1944-46, my mother taught high school in one of the Van Buren villages, Keosauqua. She was the Senior Advisor, and the prom was held at a historic stone building in Lacey Keosauqua State Park. The above photo reflects the winding drive through this beautiful park that we have visited. Mother always enjoyed showing the family around Keosauqua. The home where she rented a room is still there and in great shape. The old brick high school is also in operation. In fact two of her Keosauqua students attended her 90th birthday party in 2008. Keosauqua was a very special place for my mother.

I also enjoy visiting two shops in the area that carry my Tatianna book: Bonaparte’s Retreat and Greef General Store. Last summer my brother and I ate lunch at Bonaparte’s Retreat. The handmade breaded tenderloins are the best. This restaurant is a precursor to today’s Cracker Barrel. The coconut meringue (the real stuff) pie in Farmington is worth a stop! I am so intrigued with the whole area. Although I am not in the Villages of Van Buren this fall, I am there in spirit!

Have you ever been to the Villages of Van Buren County? If so, which one is your favorite and why?

Warm Purrs!

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