Centerville

(55 miles to Tassel Ridge Winery)

Appanoose County Courthouse

The courthouse is situated on the large town square and is the pride of Centerville and Appanoose County. Appanoose County was established in 1843 and originated by the Iowa Territorial Legislature on January 13, 1846. It is named for the chief of the Sac and the Fox Indian tribes who headed the peace party during the Black Hawk War. Appanoose means “A Chief When a Child.” Appanoose County was one of the main coal mining areas in Iowa during the first third of the 20th Century. The cornerstone for the current courthouse was laid on May 21, 1903. It cost $90,600 to build and was designed by the architects Smith and Gage. The exterior walls are covered with Bedford stone veneer and the roof is all tile. The clock tower, which rises from the middle of the building, sets the building apart from all others. Located in the center of the Courthouse Square Historic District, the courthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.

201 North 12th Street
Centerville, Iowa 52544
www.centervilleia.com/historical-sites

 

Historic Courthouse Square District

Centerville Square is known to be the biggest square in the world without stoplights. Centerville’s historic downtown square features 119 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places which adds to the charm. This bustling district is lined with specialty shops, apparel retailers and restaurants; and located just off the square is The Shoppes at Bradley Hall. Simon Estes, internationally known operatic bass-baritone, is a native of Centerville.

Centerville/Rathbun Lake Area Chamber of Commerce
128 North 12th Street
Centerville, Iowa 52544
641.437.4102
www.centervilleia.com

 

 

Appanoose County Historical & Coal Mining Museum

Located in a Georgian-style building that housed the Centerville Post Office from 1903–1977, this museum contains two replica coal mines with related artifacts and research materials. This former post office has a post office display and history of Appanoose County. There is also a mezzanine level which features clothing, quilts, and textiles and an “Extraordinary Individuals” exhibit where a spotlight is shined on 24 different Appanoose County natives who have done extraordinary things.

The early history of Appanoose County is closely bound to that of the mining industry. About 1860, coal mining grew from a small family operation to a giant business. In 1934 there were 99 mines in the county. Some of them were slope mines and some shaft mines were up to about 100 feet deep. At one time, Appanoose County had the largest coal mining payroll in the state. Railroads were gradually extended to most of the mines for shipping of coal. The industry became non-competitive in the 1940s and 1950s because of the poor quality of the coal, the thin seam of only about 5 feet, and the conversion of homes to natural gas and the railroads to diesel. By 1971, there was only one mine left in the county, the Gladstone. Mines were dismantled and sealed and the huge slag piles were used for county road surfacing.

100 West Maple (Highway 2)
Centerville, Iowa 52544
641.856.8040
appanoosehistory@yahoo.com
www.appanoosehistory.com

 

The Shoppes at Bradley Hall

Located in a 100-year-old home with over 10,000 square feet and 22 rooms for people to shop. Beautifully restored historic turn-of-the century mansion with four floors of antiques, primitives, specialty gifts, hand-crafted items, and the Carriage House Shoppe with outside furniture and items for the porch, patio and yard. Completed in 1909, D.C. Bradley’s home was built along Centerville’s “Gold Coast” area. The Bradley home became the social center of Centerville, complete with a ballroom on the third floor. Dutch Colonial, with definite Japanese influence, beautifully stained and leaded glass doors and windows, massively beamed ceilings, mahogany paneled walls, cut-glass-candelabra, mosaic tile and hard wood floors, cedar-lined closets, Corinthian columns, French doors, four fireplaces, and a mahogany-railed grand staircase, frescoed ceilings and built-in china and linen closets.

519 Drake Avenue
Centerville, Iowa 52544
641.856.5345
www.bradleyhall.info/

 

Places to Stay

The Continental Restaurant & Hotel

Built as a hotel and restaurant in 1893, the Continental has a very rich history, having been the lodging for many famous (and infamous) individuals including Booker T. Washington, Carrie Nation, Simon Estes, and Jesse & Frank James, just to name a few. In 1962, a bomb exploded on Continental Flight 11, which was the first terrorist act on a commercial jetliner in history, and it happened over Appanoose County. The world media agencies converged upon the Continental Hotel in Centerville, Iowa to hold their press conferences. Most of its life, the building has served as a hotel until the early 1990s when the building began to deteriorate. The Continental seemed destined for demolition. In 1996, a successful business man and native to the Centerville area, Morgan Cline, saw the beauty in The Continental. With a love for old architecture and his generosity, he restored the building. Today, The Continental offers executive suites, upscale apartments for the well elderly, as well as the area’s leading restaurant. Hotel rooms have microwaves, refrigerator, full living room and a separate bedrooms. Located right on the east side of the square, with several rooms overlooking the Centerville square. Check in time is 3 p.m.; check out time is 12 p.m.

217 N 13th St.
Centerville, IA 52544
641.437.1025
Hotel is open 24 hours a day
Restaurant hours: Sun – Thu: 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.; Fri – Sat: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

 

One of a Kind Bed and Breakfast

Enjoy your stay in this historic and stately 34-room mansion built in 1867. On the first floor is a room with a queen bed and private bath. On the second floor there are three rooms with private baths and two rooms that share a bath. On the third floor are four rooms that all share a bath and a half. The overnight stay includes a delicious breakfast served in the Tea Room. The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday for breakfast and lunch. Evening parties, club meetings, and other events are available by reservation.

314 West State Street
Centerville, Iowa 52544
641.437.4540
OneofaKind52544@gmail.com
www.oneofakindbedandbreakfast.com