Nauvoo IL, Nauvoo State Park, IL and the City of Keokuk, IA
Nauvoo State Park, IL, was our next stop while we were following the Great River Road toward home. We spent two nights at this campground. Nauvoo State Park was great for us to explore the area. The sites are tight but we were able to get in with our rig. There are a few spots for larger rigs but not many.
The small town of Nauvoo is home to a vast history of the Latter Day Saints. The large Nauvoo Temple is located here and sits upon the hill overlooking the bluffs and river. In the evening sunset, it is quite a sight to see. The area has tremendous LDS history and seems to be a mecca site for people to visit.
Our goal was to spend some time in the city of Keokuk and the surrounding area. This we accomplished and the river road from Nauvoo, IL, down to Keokuk, IA, was the prettiest drive that I had seen while traveling this road. We were ahead of the fall colors, but I bet this drive would be gorgeous when the colors are present. Our first stop in Keokuk was right after we crossed the bridge and pulled in to walk the bridge and overview of the locks and power plant.
At the end of this bridge there are locks of love and memories fastened to the gate. Some of these locks appear to be pretty old. We enjoyed looking at them and reading inscriptions.
Keokuk Union Depot is an awesome historical train depot that the city has undertaken the task of restoring. This depot was built in 1890/91. The roof and the waiting room has been restored. Walking around it I saw many unique things about this depot and could understand the town’s desire to restore it. When we were at another park in Keokuk we met a lady walking and was visiting with when she mentioned that she was one of the members of board for the restoration. So, we got a lot of personal information about the efforts and local history. Did we say how friendly the people of Iowa are? 🙂
Victory Park, Keokuk – is located right on the river as part of Keokuk river front. We enjoyed walking the area and they have this great pavilion with lots of picnic faculties. There were two gentleman there preparing the grills for a group barbecue for lunch for older folks. We visited with them about additional sites to see and local places to eat. They had lots of great ideas for us. While visiting with them, (small world warning) they asked where we were from and one gentleman was a retired truck drive and knew the exact area where we lived. He’d been down I-55 delivering loads for years.
Old Fort Madison is a living demonstration fort. There were great interpreters in most of the buildings we toured and they were very knowledgeable. One gentleman spends his spare time making trips to the National Archives and researching information, documents, receipts, log books, etc., and puts together a running history of how things were being run, what was being paid, credit., etc. The information from just this person was astonishing. What a great time we had.
Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Passenger and Freight Complex Historic District, Keokuk, IA, – This depot museum is located close to Old Fort Madison. The depot is full of historical items and boxes and boxes of archived train information. The volunteers that were there had a tremendous knowledge of the train history. If you were modeling this line then this is a good place of reference.