Iowa City / Coralville Area
History and Nearby Attractions
In 1837, Johnson County was organized by an act of the
Legislature. The Mesquakie villages, as well as the trading posts of
and Wheaton Chase, were a center of activity and located near
the Iowa River, about five miles south of present-day Iowa City.
President Martin Van Buren appointed Robert Lucas in 1838 to be the first
of the Territory of Iowa. Iowa City was designated the Territorial Capital
and a newly formed Iowa Territorial Legislature moved the county seat to
The Legislature continued to meet in Iowa City until December 1846 when Iowa
was admitted to the Union. Ansel Briggs became the first state governor and
in 1857 Des Moines was declared Iowa's capitol. The "Old Capitol" building
in Iowa City was donated to the University of Iowa and is maintained as a
museum of state history.
Iowa City was also the end of the line for the Mississippi and
Missouri Railway, and Johnson County was the point of departure for seven
Mormon handcart expeditions. Mormon converts camped near Coralville before
packing their handcarts and travelling 1,400-miles to Salt Lake City.
Coralville was named after coral formations discovered in 1866, when the
was dug for a woolen mill. The coral is a remnant of a reef in the
the ocean that covered the area 380 million years ago.
The Iowa City/Coralville area population today is greater than 70,000. It is a
vibrant academic community, cultural center, and the state's healthcare
Visit Iowa's leading visitor attraction and National Historical
Landmark! The Amana Colonies are seven villages founded by German
immigrants who came to America in
1844 to escape religious persecution. The villages have an old world charm,
and attractions include museums, shops, wineries, and country inns.
Don't forget to take some time to visit the impressive exhibits of
the Art, Heritage, Natural History, and Herbert Hoover Museums.
The restored home of Iowa's first Territorial Governor Robert Lucas, stands
at 1030 Carroll Street, Iowa City, off of Kirkwood Avenue. Call
Iowa City Farmers Market
Open from the beginning of May through the end of October. Fresh home-grown
produce, baked-goods, handicrafts, plants, and flowers are some of the
Dyersville, Iowa -- the actual shooting locale for the 1989 Universal
film starring Kevin Costner. The Field is open April through November, 9
a.m. to 6 p.m., weather permitting. Free admission. Souvenirs are
Links for more information
Area Online Resource
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