Historic Bentonsport . . in the Villages of Van Buren

Bentonsport National Historic District

Bentonsport . . . a small Iowa village on the Des Moines River was once an important port-of-call for Des Moines River steamers. Tree-covered hills hem in the little valley in which Bentonsport lies; and from Vernon, across the river, only the spires of the two white churches and a few houses along the shore are visible. At one time, the town had a population of over 500 residents.

Bentonsport was thriving when the state of Iowa was born, and still retains the atmosphere of years gone by. Mormon craftsmen, heading west, helped construct some of its buildings; these and demonstration of historic crafts-for-living help recreate the spirit of life as it was 150 years ago.

You can explore the ruins of old mills along the Des Moines River, stroll across a century-old iron bridge, or just sit on the riverbank and imagine the sight of a steamboat comin' round the bend. Treasures await you in the specialty shops, where you can watch the shopkeepers as they work at their crafts. Enjoy some delicious fudge, go hiking or canoeing, and spend the night at the 1846 bed and breakfast. Festivals and other special events are held often, including musical entertainment and hands-on educational experiences.

Discover Iowa's unique heritage in Bentonsport, one of many historic and recreational attractions awaiting you in Van Buren County.

Welcome to our village . . . where you can re-live a memory or create a new one.