Unique Sites to See

Lake Panorama

Panora, Iowa

Originally established in 1968, Lake Panorama is the largest private lake in Iowa with 1,400 acres of lake surface and more than 30 miles of shoreline. So far, about 1,000 residences have been built at the lake. The Lake Panorama Association now represents more than 1,750 member/property owners.  The Lake offers public golfing at Panorama West Golf but all camping and usage of the beach and parks is reserved for members and their guests only.

 

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Ghost Towns of Guthrie County

Over the years, many towns have emerged in Guthrie County only to become a mere memory of the past due to either location and/or circumstance.   For directions to the towns, a list of post offices, and a map, please visit the Ghost Towns of Guthrie County page.

 

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Saints Center for Culture and the Arts

Stuart, Iowa

The Saints Center, located in Stuart, opened February 2010 as a community cultural center and as the Learning Museum of Religious Tolerance.  The historic Saints building was once voted the most beautiful church in Iowa.  However, in 1995, an arsonist set fire to it.  The Project Restore Foundation led the effort to raise funds and restore the building.  The museum and building are open to the public and available for rent.

 

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"Listen to the Wind" Byway Sculpture

Guthrie Center, Iowa

The "Listen to the Wind" sculpture, located in Guthrie Center on the Western Skies Scenic Byway, is part of a 15-piece "Art on the Byway" series.  This sculpture was designed by artist Hilde DeBruyne and inspired by a Native American proverb entitled the same.  The sculpture is based off of the concept of a windmill and the series of leaves in the middle is an active component.  At night, the sculpture is illuminated and shadows from the words are cast upon the wall to the east.  Street parking is available and a quaint park setting with a water fountain and seating allows visitors to enjoy the sculpture.  Located on the corner of 3rd Street and State Street/Hwy 44.    

 

 
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Guthrie County Freedom Rock

Guthrie Center, Iowa

Guthrie County's Freedom Rock, located in Guthrie Center, was based on specific stories of the veterans from our county. Artist Ray "Bubba" Sorensen, who has been painting Adair County’s version of the “Freedom Rock” every year since 1999, added Guthrie County to the list of counties which have commissioned him to create a version of the Freedom Rock. The work of art is painted on a 5 ton, nearly 11-foot-tall rock located directly north of the Guthrie County Fairgrounds on the north side of Highway 44.

 

The original Freedom Rock in Adair County, is a more than 60-ton boulder that is repainted every year with a different “Thank You” to honor our veterans for their service to our country. Sorensen paints the original Freedom Rock on his own, with the support of family and friends. Sorensen is not commissioned to paint the original rock, but is able to do so each year with the generous help of donations.

 

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The Painting on the Window Blind

Panora, Iowa

This Civil War-era painting is worth a view for any history or art enthusiast.  The 1870 oil painting was painted on an old-fashioned, roll-down window blind.  It is the only known surviving work of soldier and artist John H. G. Hood, a former resident of Panora.  It is also the only known painting depicting a Union soldier in a Confederate uniform, which has made it quite unique and valuable.  The man on horseback, James A. Hensal, who was also a resident of Panora after the war, is shown escaping Confederate capture while wearing a Confederate uniform.  Both men were members of the 7th Kansas Calvary.  The painting was donated by the Neil Davis Family in 2008 and now resides at the Guthrie County Historical Village in Panora, Iowa.  

 
 
Bonnie and Clyde Robbery Site

Stuart, Iowa

The former First National Bank in Stuart was the site of a Bonnie & Clyde robbery on July 24, 1933.  A year earlier, the Barrow Gang hid out in the Dexfield Park where several of them, including Buck Barrow, were apprehended after a lengthy shootout.  Bonnie and Clyde, hiding just 200 yards away, got away.  Ironically, the bank building was occupied by the Stuart Police Department until 2010 when they moved to a new building.  It is currently the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout Airbnb.

Chad Elliot painting his mural.
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Chad Elliot Mural

Coon Rapids, Iowa

Artist Chad Elliott, a former Coon Rapids resident with deep ties to the community, was commissioned to paint a landscape mural on the east side of the Mohr Construction and Lumber building on Fifth Avenue near Main Street. Elliott was inspired by paintings by famous artist Grant Wood. The resulting mural depicts the Middle Racoon River flowing through the rolling hills south of Coon Rapids.  

 

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M and M Divide Western Skies Scenic Bywa
M & M Divide

Western Skies Scenic Byway/Hwy 44, Guthrie County - Iowa

Iowa's great divide, the Missouri and Mississippi Divide, sits at an elevation of 1,440 feet.  This divide is a topographically-high area between two watersheds, known as a hydrologic divide, which no water can flow.  At this location, the water to the west flows to the Missouri River and water to the east flows to the Mississippi River.  The exact location sits about 7 miles west of Guthrie Center along the Western Skies Scenic Byway.

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"Standing Soldier" Civil War Monument

Western Skies Scenic Byway/Hwy 44, Guthrie Center - Iowa

Still standing majestically on the grounds of the Guthrie County Courthouse, the 20-foot, white bronze (zinc) monument with a Union Soldier standing at "parade rest" was dedicated on May 15, 1913.  The monument was built by the Western White Bronze Co. in Des Moines. There are over 700 names engraved of veterans listed.  Many of the names are soldiers from the Iowa 4th and 29th Infantry Regiments but there are many from other Iowa regiments and from other states.