Recommended Tours

Recommended Tours

Historic Home Tour with Old House Trivia

The Albia Chamber of Commerce offers two historic home tours of Albia’s most lovely Victorian homes. Beautifully restored, many of these homes were built after the civil war between 1866 and 1909.  Included in the drive by tour is the home of former Iowa Governor Nathan Kendall (1921-1925), C.B. Powell home, currently owned by former Iowa 45th Lt. Governor Patty Judge and J.P. Perry Home, now law office of Attorney John Pabst.

One home, owned by Dan & Diana Walker, is open for scheduled tour and includes old house trivia and Victorian music for $10/person.

Add coffee & dessert for an additional $2/person.

Monroe County Historical Museum Tour

The Monroe County Historical Museum, built in the former inter-urban railroad barn and located a block north and a block east of the northeast corner of the square, is one of the finest county museums in the state.  In the main museum building are hundreds of historic items from Monroe County’s past, including a replica coal mine. Outside is a replica country school house and an engine and caboose, reflecting Albia’s importance as rail center. A 1920’s era service station has been added to the outdoor museum.  It is open May-October weekends, 10am-4pm and throughout the year by appointment. There is no fee to visit, but donations are appreciated.

Welcome Home Soldier Memorial

Welcome Home Soldier is organized and operated for the purposes that are beneficial to the public interest, specifically for the erection and maintenance of a public monument of national magnitude to honor all United States Veterans, living or deceased. As we have watched our country honor soldiers like the true heroes that they are, it has stirred a great deal of emotion. It appears that our country has realized what we owe our soldiers. It is the desire of the Welcome Home Soldier Committee to build and maintain a monument that will honor our nations’ veterans – past, present, and future.

Located in the nation’s heartland, this monument will honor all veterans. Monroe County has generously donated eight acres of land on highway 34 (named after the 34th Infantry) just west of the city limits to make an honored place in the heart of Iowa and a grateful nation where all soldiers, living and deceased, can be at home with their comrades – a fitting home for this special kind of monument.

Welcome Home Soldier was organized by veterans. Led by a board of seven veterans, supported by a diverse advisory board and professional legal and financial consultants, we have enlisted dedicated individuals to ensure the success of our mission.

Memorializing both living and deceased active duty peacetime and wartime honorable discharged veterans; this monument will immortalize their service to their country and a model of honor for future generations. To qualify, the veteran must have been active duty during peacetime or war time; also, any Reserve or National Guard members called active duty for other-than-training would be qualified.

Welcome Home Soldier Monument is a public monument of national magnitude to honor all the United States Veterans, living or deceased, in the nation’s heartland. It memorializes the active duty peacetime and wartime honorably discharged veterans in the past, present, and those in the future. Their commendable services will be immortalized and be used as a model and a history lesson of the wars and great battles fought for the freedom of future generations. The young people and veterans will be able to come back and be proud of what the veterans have accomplished.

Twenty-one marble crosses are placed down the center of our monument in the grassy area leading up to the granite wall, lighted at night for everyone to enjoy. These 21 crosses represent the 21 gun salute — the highest honor you can bestow on a soldier who served their country.

Those who purchased a cross for their loved one have their name engraved in the granite book statue at the memorial.

Kness Manufacturing

Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. That’s exactly how Kness Mfg. Co., Inc. got started in 1924 by our founder, Austin Enos “Brick” Kness, who invented the first multiple catch mousetrap while working as a janitor at a local Iowa high school. Mice were invading the lunches of students, so the enterprising young inventor took matters into his own hands and created the prototype for the Ketch-All® Multiple Catch Mousetrap.

Built on a legacy of providing high-quality pest control solutions, Kness Pest Defense has manufactured innovative products for more than 90 years. Now a third-generation family-owned company, our team’s strong Midwestern work ethic, family values and commitment to excellence have helped establish Kness as the industry standard. Join us on a tour to see how the mousetraps are made and to hear more about the company history.

Mystery Pinned (Pinterest) Project Du Jour

You have admired the wonderful ideas pinned and shared. We’re not just pinning anymore! Come Join us – Experienced creative instructors will lead you through the steps to create a wonderful project.

All materials and instruction for the project is provided. Everyone will have creative success. Projects are always changing and are chosen based on your schedule, number in your group and our whim! Longer workshops may include completion of multiple projects. This is dependent on the mystery project(s) chosen for your group.

All workshops can be scheduled for group sizes up to 35. Minimum group size is 10. Workshops will be held at the Fiber Art Shoppe on the historic Albia Square.

Mystery Project | 1 Hour Workshop | Cost per participant $20
(This can be scheduled morning, afternoon or Saturday, Monday,Tuesday evenings)

Mystery Project | 2 Hour Workshop | Cost per participant $25
(This can be scheduled morning, afternoon or Saturday, Monday,Tuesday evenings)

Mystery Project | 3 hour Workshop | Cost per participant $30
(This can be scheduled morning or afternoon)

Mystery Project | 6 Hour Workshop | Cost per participant $50
(Recommend scheduling a lunch break for your group. Typically this workshop would run 9-12 and 1-4)

Felt Workshop

You will be making an adorable tooth fairy pouch that hangs on a door knob. You can give your creation to your favorite little toothless angel!

You will learn the process of wet felting with raw fiber (no prior skill needed!) to make the tooth fairy pouch. You will then learn how to embellish the pouch with a needle felted tooth fairy princess. You can use alpaca fiber from our ranch to create the fairy!

When finished the pouch will be able to hang on a doorknob, easily accessible for the tooth fairy!

All workshops can be scheduled for group sizes up to 35. Minimum group size is 10. Workshops will be held at the Fiber Art Shoppe on the historic Albia Square.

2 Hour Workshop | Cost per participant $25
All materials and instruction included in cost.
(This can be scheduled morning, afternoon or evenings)

Learn to Make a Decorative Vessel from Raw Silk Fiber

You will learn how silk is taken from real silk cocoons and how to use the silk in it’s various forms from cocoons, silk hankies (or opened cocoons) to waste from the process of making silk thread.

You will use these forms of silk to make a beautiful silk vessel.

All workshops can be scheduled for group sizes up to 35. Minimum group size is 10. Workshops will be held at the Fiber Art Shoppe on the historic Albia Square.

2 Hour Workshop | Cost per participant $25
All materials and instruction included in cost.
(This can be scheduled morning, afternoon or evenings)

Historic Walking Tour

A self-guided walking tour of the Albia square and commercial historic district.
This project was funded in part with a grant from Sesquicentennial Iowa.

Albia Square and Commercial Historic District

Welcome to our historic district. We hope this self-guided walking tour will be both interesting and educational. To begin the tour, please take one of the tour guides from the box below and follow the enclosed map. Thanks for spending time with us!

The Albia square and business district represents a fine collection of late 19th and early 20th century commercial buildings. The integrity of the area and the 92 structures that make up this National Register Historic District (1985) has been maintained at a high level. Three locating commissioners chose the site in 1845 as the county seat for Monroe (then known as Kish-ke-kosh) county. A government survey platted Albia (then known as Princeton) the same year. The plat included a public square central to the plan and streets laid to points of the compass in gridiron.

Since there was already a town named Princeton in Iowa, the name was changed in 1847 when the first post office opened. The city was incorporated as a city of the first class in 1859. The first visual documentation of the business district occurred in the 1870’s with a series of photographs showing the four sides of the square. Those photos show the original brick courthouse located on the site which was built in 1858. At that time, there was considerable controversy over locating the courthouse in the middle of the public park but Judge Hilton asserted his authority, chose a design for the structure and ordered it’s construction in the park.

Buildings in the Historic District

  1. Albia Square and Commercial Historic District – TOUR BEGINS
  2. Monroe County Courthouse
  3. W.H. Kreger Building
  4. Seaman & Clark Building
  5. Iowa Bank Building
  6. J.C. Morrison Building
  7. Alex Long Buildings
  8. Albia Light & Railway Powerhouse
  9. Albia Interurban Railway Barn
  10. 22 – 24 North Main Street
  11. Albia Fire Department
  12. Edward Doughtery & Son Building
  13. 103 – 105 Benton Avenue East
  14. King Opera Block
  15. Miner’s Temple
  16. Townsend’s Corner Block
  17. 8 – 10 South Main
  18. 14 South Main
  19. Drake-Love Building
  20. 18 – 20 South Main
  21. 22 – 24 South Main
  22. Jameson’s Corner
  23. Union Supply Company
  24. 122 Washington Avenue East
  25. E.M. Noble Block
  26. 114 South Main
  27. 128 South Main
  28. 115 – 117 South Main
  29. E.W. Byers Building
  30. 20 – 22 Washington Avenue East
  31. R.O. Cramer Building
  32. R.O. Cramer Block
  33. People’s Savings Bank
  34. New Perry Building
  35. T. Caroline Acheson Building
  36. New Loeb Block
  37. Hennion Block
  38. 10 Washington Avenue West
  39. J.H. Love New Block
  40. Odd Fellows Building

Albia Square and Commercial Historic District

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