It was the French travelers Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet who were the very first Europeans to visit Iowa in 1673. The year 1803 saw the U.S. gaining control of the area, it forming part of the Louisiana Purchase, white settlers and Indian carried out many a serious battle during the the early part of the 19th century. In the years 1832, 1836 and 1837, following the Black Hawk War, land areas were seized from the Indians.
The year 1846 marked Iowa becoming an official state, with Iowa City being the capital, in 1857, Des Moines, having a location which was more central, took the title of new capital. It was during this time that the current boundaries of the State were marked.
Ten percent of the nation’s food stuffs are produced in Iowa, the value of the agricultural products produced by Iowa is only half of the value of their manufactures goods. The principal industries in Iowa are food and food-related products, machinery of a non-electric type, electrical equipment, fabricated goods and products related to printing and publishing.
Iowa is the sole member of agricultural states. Each year the farms in Iowa sell in excess of $10 billion of livestock and crops. Iowa comes in at the top for the hog, corn and soybean markets of the nation, and for livestock sales comes in at number three. From the forests in Iowa come walnut, as well as other hardwood lumber, and within the field of mineral products are, coal, gypsu, sand, gravel, cement and limestone.
When it comes to attractions for visitors to the area, there is the Herbert Hoover birthplace and library; Effigy Mounds National Monument (an Indian burial site dating back to prehistoric times); the Amana Colonies; Des Moine’s Iowa State Fair each August; and the Fort Dodge Historical Museum, including Fort and Stockade.
The Masters Gold Tournament in 2007 was won by Zach Johnson, a graduate of the Drake University and also a native of Cedar Rapids.
The year 2012 saw a spike in water temperature due to very hot weather and severe drought, in some areas the water temperature even reached 97 degrees resulting in the death of thousands of fish, this included 40,000 shovelnose sturgeon with an estimated caviar value of $10 million.
More Details On Iowa
The general opinion of Iowa may not be that of a vacation destination, the truth is however, that Iowa offers much more than a lot of rolling farmland and an abundance of hogs (although there is no shortage of these at the same time). Below are a few things about the Hawkeye State which you may not know.
Number 1. Wooly mammoth bones have been discovered in Iowa. A man along with his two boys were out picking blackberries in 2010 when one of the boys saw a ball near a creek. This was no ball however, instead it was a 12,000 year old femur from a woolly mammoth. A large amount of the full skeleton was later discovered by an archaeological dig. In Iowa woolly mammoth fossils are not a rare discovery – after all this was the home of these prehistoric mammals – however finding such a complete set, is a rare occurrence.
Number 2. In the 1830s, one mistake in surveying very nearly brought on a war between Missouri and Iowa. The surveyor had forgotten to adjust his compass, resulting in the boundary line for the state showing a four mile slant north on the east side in comparison to the west. When another official was sent out to carry out a second survey, his line was slightly north of the original one, actually 2,600 acres. A Missouri official who was attempting to collect taxes from residents of the above mentioned acres ended up being arrested by an Iowan sheriff. A threat of combat was voiced by the governors on either side, those willing to fight were even summoned to congregate at the border. Before things could kick off the federal government acted and, excuse the pun, they really did draw the line.
What was behind the name, ‘The Honey War’? During the early part of the conflict, an area of trees that were home to a significant amount of honeybees were destroyed.
Number 3. The state gained its name from a Native America tribe who had lived in the area in the past, called the Ioway people. However the true meaning of the word, ‘Iowa’, is not absolutely certain. One early pioneer wrote that it relates to a past event when a Native America tribe made the statement, ‘Iowa, Iowa, Iowa’, when they first caught glimpse of the lands, the statement meaning, ‘beautiful, beautiful, beautiful’. Then again another story would tell you that its simply a take on the French word, ‘Ayuhwa’, meaning, ‘sleepy ones’, an expression used by the Dakota Sioux tribe when describing the Ioway Nation.
Number 4. Geaux Hawkeyes. In acknowledgement to its history, Iowa formed part of the Louisiana Purchase, the flag of the state having vertical blue, white and red stripes, just like the French one.
Number 5.The Pikes Peak man, Zubulon Pike mapped out most of Iowa. Actually you’ll find a Pikes Peak in Iowa. In comparison to the one in Colorado it’s 12,980 lower.
Number 6. The urban population exceeds the rural population with a ratio of
61.1 (urban) to 38.9 (rural).
Number 7. Iowa was the invention location for sliced bread. In 1912, Otto Frederick Rohwedder invented the automatic bread slicer, however due to a fire the device was destroyed. Thankfully he was able to rebuild the invention and it was first used commercially in 1928.
Lastly, even though this state is land-locked, it has an island city. With only 576 residents, Sabula is a humble mile long and only one quarter of a mile in width. It only became an island in 1939 due to a flood of the lowlands to the west of the town, caused by the building of a lock and dam system.