Population (2010)

522

Introduction

New Albin is located a bit off the river in a broad, flat plain called Ross’s Bench. You’ll find many recreation opportunities nearby.

Visitor Information

Tourism information is available through the Allamakee County Economic Development (563.568.2624).

History

Before there was New Albin, there was a place called Ross’s Landing just north of Winnebago Creek. This small community later become known as Jefferson and might have had a bright future, except for the fact that village officials sued the expanding railroad for additional compensation for land the railroad was taking to build tracks. The railroad responded by refusing to build a station at Jefferson, then founded the nearby town of New Albin, Iowa, which sucked away what little commerce had been conducted at Jefferson. The station at New Albin was completed in 1872.

On July 4 of that year, 11-year-old Albin, the son of Joseph Rhomberg, one of the proprietors of the town, was playing near a bonfire with pockets full of gunpowder. This was not a good idea, and, sure enough, the gunpowder ignited and exploded, mortally wounding young Albin. The town was named in his honor, but they had to use New Albin to avoid confusion with the Iowa towns of Albia and Albion. The little village grew into a shipping point for grain and produce and had a number of commercial fishing operations. The population has been relatively steady since the 19th century: 423 residents in 1880, 588 in 1910, compared with 522 in 2010.

Exploring the Area

If you are into unusual buildings, check out the Reburn Barn (1641 Pool Hill Dr.), a 12-sided structure that was built in 1914; it is a quarter-mile off the River Road on the south end of town. The New Albin Town Hall (Main Street) is much the same as it was when completed in 1895.

Fish Farm Mounds State Preserve (2692 State Highway 26; 563.544.4260) is a three-acre site with about a dozen Woodland-era Native American burial mounds. The mound group—primarily conical in shape—is a short uphill climb from the parking lot. The Fish family donated the property to the State of Iowa, hence the somewhat confusing name.

Sports & Recreation

Many of the backwater areas around New Albin are public lands; one of the most accessible areas if you don’t have a boat is Pool Slough Wildlife Management Area, which is great for birding, general wildlife watching, and fishing. Pool Slough is along Army Road, which you can reach by following Ross Avenue; after crossing Main Street, take Elm Street.

Getting on the River

The Mississippi River Canoe Trail (319.568.2624) follows a path through the backwaters from New Albin to Lansing. There are several options for putting in, but one of the more interesting is to start at Black Hawk Bluff on the Upper Iowa River (just off Highway 26) and paddle to Lansing through Big Slough (13 miles).

Entertainment and Events

Farmers Market

New Albin hosts a farmers market from June to October on Friday afternoons (3-6) at City Park (Oak & Main Streets).

**Looking for more places to visit along the Mississippi River? Check out Road Tripping Along the Great River Road, Vol. 1. Click the link above for more. Disclosure: This website may be compensated for linking to other sites or for sales of products we link to.

Where to Eat and Drink

Some of the best jerky you’ll ever find is made at the City Meat Market and Grocery (199 Railroad Ave.; 563.544.4236). You’ll find many different meats flavored in creative ways, so bring a cooler and stock up!

Where to Sleep

Moderate and up

The New Albin Inn & Suites (205 N. 1st St.; 507.450.9728) offers 4 two-bedroom apartments, each with a full kitchen, cable TV, and WiFi.

Resources

  • Post Office: 190 Main St.NE; 563.544.4248
  • New Albin Public Library: 176 Elm St.; 563.544.4747

Where to Go Next

Heading upriver? Check out Reno.

Heading downriver? Check out Lansing.

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©Dean Klinkenberg, 2011,2018