(8 miles to Tassel Ridge Winery)
Six miles east of Oskaloosa, Lake Keomah State Park is 366 acres of woods and water. Hiking and multi-use trail along the lake shore is available year-round. Ice fishing is popular in winter, spring and summer fishing for crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass and channel catfish is excellent. A fishing jetty is available on the west shoreline and is accessible to persons of varying abilities.
Located in a beautifully renovated historic downtown building, The Book Vault is a premier, full-service, independent bookstore serving southeastern Iowa. First-rate customer service, quality book selection, unique gift items, engaging events, cooking demonstrations, welcoming ambiance, and there are lots of books and other fun things to browse.
The Nelson home, built in 1853, and the Nelson barn, built in 1856, are designated National Historic Sites by the U.S. Department of Interior. Nelson Pioneer Farm and Museum is recreation of a 19th century farm and community. Stroll through the grounds which include 19 buildings, a 3-floor museum, a summer kitchen, a meat house, a lumber yard office, a scale house, the 1900 era Wright Post Office, a voting house, a log cabin at the site of an original 1844 cabin, a black smith shop, the Daniel Nelson Barn, a county store, the Coal Creek Meeting House, the Hopewell store Post Office, the Prine School, and the only mule cemetery in Iowa. Mahaska County Historical Society maintains a genealogy library in the museum. An annual festival is held the third Saturday of September.
Modified, stock and hobby car racing at its best on a 1/2 mile dirt track. Weekly races in addition to special racing including sprint cars, horse harness racing and Enduro.
Places to Stay
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and meticulously restored to the splendor of days gone by, the McNeill Stone Mansion’s limestone-faced edifice is one of Oskaloosa’s largest and most elaborate residential properties. Constructed in 1908-09 with Mexican Tabasco mahogany woodwork, beautiful quarter-sawn oak floors, and stained glass brightened by a third floor skylight, the Mansion is a combination of architectural details drawn from Colonial Revival and Mission Spanish Colonial Revival modes. Significant as much for how it was constructed as for its usage of materials and stylistic influences because of its innovative use of steel and concrete in its construction. By utilizing these materials, Hallett & Rawson architectural firm believed they could provide a virtually fireproof, energy-efficient residence that would be soundproof as well. Three suites and two rooms cater to “adult” guests. All rooms have central air and heat, private baths, free wireless Internet, complimentary evening dessert, off street parking, and much more.
Tours: $10 per person and includes refreshments for a group of 10 or more. Call for reservations.