Discover southwest Iowa's historic sites and intriguing past with this historic road trip experience. Through exploration of Red Oak, Villisca and Stanton, you'll find neverending history presenting the roots of all sides of Iowa, from dark and mysterious murders to settlement and WWII stories.
Where to Go
Though quaint, this quiet residential home in Villisca is actually the site of the largest unsolved crime in Iowa. In June of 1912, an unknown murder entered this home and murdered the entire family of Josiah Moore as well as two overnight guests, and today is believed to house paranormal activity. Learn more about the home with a guided day tour or test your bravery with an overnight group stay.
Discover the fascinating stories within the Swedish immigration and the founding of Stanton. This museum features artifacts and photos of Stanton's history into the 20th century as well as a restored 1930-1950 classroom, a 1900-1940 timeline, a children's home exhibit, genealogy library and Swedish history and culture. The center is also the new home of the renowned "world's largest Swedish coffeepot."
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this restored 1903 depot in Red Oak houses exciting history from WWII as well as a miniature train exhibit, theater, reading room containing military and railroad volumes and a gift shop.
Where to Eat
1. Casa De Oro
This full menu Mexican restaurant is a family owned business that provides amazing flavors in Red Oak and across Iowa. Stop by for a delicious and filling meal or try their margaritas, which they claim are the best in the county.
2. TJ's Cafe
Experience the best of Iowa's home-cooked meals with a stop at this area-famous diner in Villisca. TJ's is especially known for their hand-cut, hand-breaded tenderloins, fresh pattied burgers and delicious homemade pies.