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sign: Clear Lake

The two RV Gypsies
in Clear Lake, Iowa
Clear Lake Plaza

Clear Lake is a city in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa. The city is named for the large lake on which it is located. Clear Lake is the home of a number of marinas, state parks and tourism-related businesses.

The region around the lake that would later be called Clear Lake was a summer home to the Sioux and Winnebago natives. During a land survey of northern Iowa done in 1832 by Nathan Boone, the son of the famous explorer Daniel Boone, a map was made showing the lake and other bodies of water in the area.

In 1851 Joseph Hewitt and James Dickerson brought their families to camp on the east side of Clear Lake, soon building a cabin, and began a friendship with the Winnebago natives. By 1853 many more white settlers had also came to settle in the area. By the year 1855 the first Clear Lake school was built and the first steam saw mill. In 1855 a hotel was built by James Crow.

By 1870 the town had 775 residents and by 1871 the streets were graded and sidewalks were made of raised boards, a sure sign of thriving new city. The city of Clear Lake was incorporated on May 26, 1871. The first bandstand built in Clear Lake was in 1877 at the City Park. The town grew and built its first library in 1889.

In 1933 the Surf Ballroom open up on the site of the old Tom Tom ballroom that had been destroyed by fire. The opening dance night had approximately 700 couples attending. In 1947 the Surf Ballroom burned down and a new Surf Ballroom was built across the street in 1948.

Three Stars Plaza, downtown Clear Lake, Iowa
Rock’ n Roll stars, Buddy Holly, J.P. The Big Bopper Richardson and Ritchie Valens are remembered at Three Stars Plaza located ½ block west of the legendary Surf Ballroom. An original work of art representing a giant record player spindle stacked with three 45 rpm records is located in the center of Three Stars Plaza. The 15-foot art feature honors the stars' fateful final performance at Clear Lake’s Surf Ballroom in early February 1959. The trio, along with pilot Roger Peterson, died hours after their performance in a plane crash in a field north of Clear Lake. At night the three records are beautifully lit in blue neon. Lots more history on the crash can be found by using the link at the bottom of this page.
Three Stars Plaza, downtown Clear Lake, Iowa
Three Stars Plaza, downtown Clear Lake, Iowa
a giant record player spindle stacked with three 45 rpm records
names of the Rock’ n Roll stars who died in the plane crash
Clear Lake, Iowa
Clear Lake, Iowa
Clear Lake, Iowa
a vintage car parked downtown Clear Lake, Iowa
On June 2, 2012 the Two RV Gypsies attended a City Park Festival in Downtown Clear Lake, Iowa called Motofest III, which was presented by The Motorcycle Awareness Group of North Iowa. Over two dozen vendors and many local sponsors participated in events in downtown Clear Lake, Iowa.

The two RV Gypsies watched a motorcycle stunt show, enjoyed browsing a vintage bike and scooter display, and listened to a live band while enjoying lunch purchased at the park.

A lot of bikers were also in attendance. Below are a few of the vintage bikes that were on display.
a vintage bike on display
a vintage bike on display
a vintage bike on display
Look Below
Below are more sections of the adventures of the two RV Gypsies in Iowa. You may view them in any order you wish. The page you are on cannot be chosen from here. There is also a link to the Jolly Green Giant and Redwood Falls below.
Des Moines Botanical Center
Center Street Bridge Walk
John and Mary PappaJohn
Sculpture Park
Adventureland Amusement Park
Living History Farms in Urbandale
The Buddy Holly Plane Crash Memorial
Central Gardens of North Iowa
Clear Lake, Iowa
Fort Custer MAZE in Clear Lake, Iowa
Look Below

AFTER you have viewed all 9 sections above, please continue on to the adventures of the two RV Gypsies in Minnesota: The Jolly Green Giant and Redwood Falls