Arts & Attractions
Small town life in Kossuth County reflects the rich heritage of our prairie roots and the eclectic nature of the fine arts.
Thirteen local communities pride themselves with local attractions and annual celebrations that connect people with music, food, activities and fun. Antique and specialty stores offer rustic artifacts and fine treasures reminiscent of days gone by.
The communities of Lakota, West Bend, Bancroft and Algona feature historical collections in local museums. The Lone Rock Railroad Depot Museum and the Sherman Township Country Schoolhouse, Jailhouse & Caboose in LuVerne remind us of the not-too-distant past. Visitors to Whittemore can see authentic military memorabilia and area treasures at a local airplane museum. Baseball enthusiasts may reminisce at Bancroft's Memorial Park filled with nostalgia from America's favorite pastime. Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Companies has an authentic apothecary museum as well. West Bend maintains an Iowa Prairie sod house, which depicts life on the plains during the days of the Iowa settler as well as a one-room country schoolhouse.
While Chicago features an extensive collection of Prairie School architecture, Algona is home to the Louis H. Sullivan designed Algona Land & Loan Office. Originally chartered as a bank building, the building was the third of eight rural midwestern banks designed by Sullivan who served as a mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright. The building is home to the Algona Chamber of Commerce. Local architecture is not limited to Sullivan. Near Titonka a five-story Silo House makes a distinct impression above the typical Iowa skyline.
Other attractions include the life-sized Nativity Scene crafted by World War II German Prisoners of War encamped near Algona. West Bend is home to the Grotto of the Redemption, the largest collection of rock and semi-precious stones in existence representing the life of Christ. Wesley features the Grotto Altar. Blakjer Church of Lone Rock is an example of the rural churches that once dotted the countryside. St. John the Baptist Catholic Church at Bancroft features beautiful stained glass reminiscent of European churches.
If you've never seen an opera on the farm, come to Kossuth County! With the Stinson Prairie Arts Council and the Haggard Twogood Charitable Trust, productions such as a full-scale opera staged on a farm by the University of Minnesota really do happen! Thanks to the Stinson Prairie Arts Council & Haggard Twogood Trust, performances including the most-recently award-winning productions of Wit and The Guys are right in our own backyard. The Kossuth County Concert Series offers musical performances throughout the year with reciprocity in other area communities. Several communities offer local theatre where local citizens participate. The Algona Cornbelt Chorus showcases the talents of many locals to harmonize award-winning barbershop music performances across the country.
Visual arts are found in our communities, too. A sculpture of the county namesake and Hungarian patriot Lajos Kossuth adorns the front of the Kossuth County Courthouse. Swea City and Titonka feature sculptures by nationally known sculptor Wayne Thompson of Swea City. Public libraries are found in nearly all communities.