Grant Wood captured the natural splendor of Stone City, Iowa. The wondrous beauty of this painting still remains in the valley of Stone City. The monumental buildings and rolling hills are as pronounced as when Grant Wood created this painting years ago. Over a century has passed since the Army used limestone from Stone City to construct abutments for bridges, highways and railroads.
These structures still stand today as monuments to the lasting beauty of Anamosa Limestone, as perfect as the day it was taken from its natural bed.
Anamosa Limestone is quarried out of Stone City, Iowa, which is located along the Wapsipinicon River about two miles west of Anamosa, Iowa. Opportunities for usage of this limestone were recognized well over 100 years ago by the early settlers in the 1840's.
During the next several decades, most major construction in the region utilized Stone City "dimension stone". The western expansion of the railroad system facilitated distribution to bordering states and utilization of Anamosa Limestone as the primary building material for railroad bridges, bridge piers, foundations and major buildings.
In the years 1859 to 1895, over 150,000 railroad car shipments of stone originated from the Stone City area. Usage diminished rapidly with the local introduction of Portland Cement concrete in 1905, but quarry operations at Stone City survived this momentary slow-down and it remains a significant part of the Eastern Iowa economy.
For additional historical photos, visit the Photos section on this page.