A City of Castles

99 Counties | FIND Iowa
Jul 25, 2024 | 00:02:40

How much influence can one person have on a place or time?

Ida Grove is known as Castletown, USA. One influential person played a big role in building the many buildings that look like castles.


[Abby Brown]

What gets you the most excited?  Hanging out with your friends, the holidays, the next big game? Well, what if you had the power to design your community so that everyone could get as excited as you? You could build the ultimate hangout space for all your friends, celebrate your favorite holiday all year long, or create the perfect field, stage, or court so that everyone can play along. Well that's exactly what happened in Ida Grove, Iowa. Ida county has a small town called Ida Grove and in this town There's a surprising amount of...castles. But why?

Midwest Industries is a business in Ida Grove. The man who created that business, Byron Godbersen, loved castles. So in the 1970s, castle themed buildings and other items started appearing all over town. Mr. Godbersen was a town legend. He grew up on a farm near here and became an inventor. The businesses he built around his inventions are here in Ida Grove. His love of castles is almost everywhere you look. Some people even call Ida Grove Castletown, USA.

There are castle-shaped buildings, knights guarding the area, moats with bridges on the golf course, and welcome signs that make you feel like you're in medieval times. There's even a roller skating rink that looks like a...castle! The inside has the feel of a castle too. Throughout history people have built written and created things that are special to them, and some of those things are still here today like books, sculptures, paintings, and buildings. Here in Ida Grove, one man's feeling that castles were special is on display for all to see.

Every county in Iowa has a royal story to tell. Thanks for coming along while we check out Ida County.