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History & the Arts

This is a land where Dragoons first explored the Des Moines River valley and prairie grass once grew at heights of over 8 feet. The Black Hawk treaty created the Red Rock line, but by 1845 settlers were allowed to move into western Iowa. In the mid-1800s, a group of Dutch immigrants settled in Pella. More than a century-and-a-half later, Dutch culture permeates the largest community in the Red Rock Area. In Knoxville, you’ll discover Iowa’s role in sprint car racing and the history of the Iowa flag. In Melcher-Dallas, you will learn about the legend of coal mining and the role coal played in developing our communities. The area is rich in stories of pioneers and entrepreneurs making the most of the region’s agricultural bounty and innovative spirit.

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Rural Marion County

Red Rock Line
  • Red Rock Line

  • Rural Marion County, near Lake Red Rock and HWY 14
  • Rural Marion County
  • 641.828.7522
  • 641.628.8690
  • Website

Dragoons first explored this area in 1935.  These soldiers patrolled the Red Rock Line from 1842 to 1845.  This line extended north and south through much of Iowa and was named after the town of Red Rock which was located on the shores of the Des Moines River.  After 1845, settlers were allowed west of the Red Rock Line.  Today, the town of Red Rock lies beneath Lake Red Rock.

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