Boone Co. Information
In an effort to give you an idea of what Boone County Iowa is like I thought I'd give you a run down of the towns in the county and some of points of interest.
Boone is the county seat with a population of 12,470. Located along Highway 30, Boone is 15 miles west of Interstate 35 and 35 miles north of Interstate 80 in the central part of Iowa. The town is home to the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad and the Iowa Railroad Historical Society.
   Having it's origins in 1983, the IRHS acquired about 12 miles of track that used to belong to the former Fort Dodge Des Moines & Southern Line railroad–once home to Iowa’s longest interurban railroad. Staffed by volunteers, the B&SVRR features a 200 ton Chinese–built steam locomotive that runs on the weekends for rides across the Des Moines River valley. This is the only steam locomotive of its type in regular use outside of China and the last one built at the Datong Locomotive Works in 1989. Trains run all week from Memorial Day to Oct. 31 with special trains–the Dinner Train and the Wolf Dessert Train–on weekends. Along with a new depot/gift shop, new museum and special visits by Thomas the Tank Engine, the B&SVRR averages 45,000 passengers a year.
   There are a number of events that are hosted by Boone. In no particular order they are:
   Pufferbilly Days™ which usually takes place during the the first weekend in September. This festival highlights the towns railroad heritage and offers all types of entertainment, crafts, contests and things to do. The annual festival began in 1976 and is still going strong.
   The I.M.C.A. Super Nationals which takes place during the first week in September at the Boone Speedway. The dirt track oval immediately south of Boone attracts more than 700 cars from around the country for this competition.
   The Iowa Municipal Band Festival has been held during July annually since 1991. Attracting bands from all across Iowa, this all day event is held in the Herman Park Pavillion.
   Boone has many other things to see and do. The Historical Center in downtown Boone has many Civil War, Native American and other items. You can also learn about Kate Shelley and Boone County in the 20th Century there. There are 14 parks in Boone, the biggest of which is McHose Park with many trails, picnic areas and the Boone Municipal Pool. Go here to learn more about Boone.
Madrid (pronounced Maa-drid) is located 17 miles southeast of Boone along Highway 17. Established in 1883, Madrid has a population of 2,570 and is the oldest Swedish settlement west of the Mississippi River. Besides farm based employment, coal mining was the predominant source of work from 1910 through 1945. Today this community has a strong school system and a wonderful small town feel.
   Things to do in Madrid include two city parks–Edgewood and Jensen Memorial, the Clay Castle Museum and the Mine #7 Coal Mining Museum. The Clay Castle Museum has a extensive doll collection along with unusual and antique toys. Mine #7 is an authentic reproduction of the coal mines that were in operation in the Madrid area. There is also the annual Labor Day celebration with many fun things to do and see. For more information on Madrid go here.