Discover Bedford can be seen on display throughout our community … actually even BEFORE you arrive in our charming community!
The Bedford Area Chamber has placed signs several miles outside of the city limits, alerting you that you will soon be arriving in Bedford. The hope is that travelers on Highway 2 and Highway 148 will see the signs located in all directions outside of town, and they will decide that this is a good place to fill up with gas, grab a bites to eat, explore our historic downtown or visit our local attractions.
The Community Visioning group had chosen this slogan to go on top of their new way-finding signage and it quickly became used universally throughout our community. These beautiful double-sided black iron way-finding signs will help visitors more easily find our attractions and their destination. Along with the slogan are several new emblems that are being used community wide as well!
The Bedford Foundation is heading up a drive for city wide new banners. These colorful additions will have two of these emblems on them along with the words Family, Discover, Play, and Scenic! These will be a welcome and inviting addition for visitors as well as for those of us who call this home!
Discover Bedford! Grab a friend, spend the day, or make the move … we would love to have you!
BEDFORD ALUMNI ALL SCHOOL REUNION
An All School Reunion for anyone who attended or taught at Bedford High School will be held July 2-4, 2022, in Bedford.
Events during the three days include shopping at our local businesses, school tours, decade suppers, ballgames, fun run/walk, golf tournaments, bicycle ride, quilt show, art and craft displays, visiting the Taylor County Museum, dances, fireworks, Fourth of July Parade and much more.
“Once A Bulldog, Always A Bulldog”
Bedford Municipal Swimming Pool
Bibbins Park, Bedford
Lenox Holiday Lights Displays
Highland Park, Depot, residences
Lenox Municipal Swimming Pool
Lenox City Park, Lenox
Lenox Restored Depot
Main Street Pocket Parks
w/murals & sculptures
Mid-Main Street, Lenox
Spring’s General Store & Cafe
Main Street, Sharpsburg
Taylor County Historical Museum
1001 W. Pollock Ave.,
March 12: Nine-Hole Trivia Night, Lenox
March 25: Fun Pianos Comedy Show, Lenox
April 17: Easter Egg Hunt, Bedford
May 7: Pocket Park Market, Lenox
May 21: City Wide Garage Sales, Bedford
May 22: High School Graduation, Bedford
May 28-30: Avenue of Flags, Bedford
June 4: Pocket Park Market, Lenox
June 4: City Wide Garage Sales, Lenox
June 5: Free Fishing Day, Bedford
June 11: 9 & Wine Golf Tournament, Lenox
June 17: Chamber Par 3 Golf Tournament, Lenox
June 26: Bedford Fest, Bedford
June 30- July 3: Lenox’s Sesquicentennial Celebration, Lenox
July 1: Street Vendors, Kids Games, Lenox
July 2: Alumni Picnic, Street Dance, Fireworks, Lenox
July 2-4: All School Reunion, Bedford
July 3: Fireworks, Bedford
July 3: Clearfield Tractor Pull., Clearfield
July 3: Parade and Fireworks., Clearfield
July 3: Community Breakfast, Church Service, Talent Show, Golf Tournament, Lenox
July 4: 4th of July Parade, Bedford
July 20: Lenox Rodeo Parade, Old Fashioned Fun Night, Lenox
July 21-23: Rodeo
Aug. 2: Pocket Park Market, Lenox
Aug. 6: Lenox Chamber 22nd Annual Golf Tournament, Lenox
Aug. 6: Steel on Wheels, Lenox
Sept. 3: Pocket Park Market, Lenox
Sept. 10: Fall for Bedford, Bedford
Oct. 1: Pocket Park Market, Lenox
Oct. 31: Downtown Trick or Treat, Bedford
Oct. 31: Trunk or Treat, Lenox
Nov. 25: Christmas Carnival, Lenox
Nov. 25: Lighting Ceremony, Lenox
Thru Dec. 25: Bright Lights & Shining Hospitality, Lenox
Nov. 26: Shop Small Saturday, Bedford
Dec. 7: Bright Lights Cruise Night, Lenox
PLACES TO STAY
The Bedford Inn
607 Jefferson St.,
The Barn at Kent Farms
1232 250th St.,
Lenox Lodge, B&B
Now taking reservations
108 Pearl St.,
Lake of Three Fires Cabins
The Heritage Inn, B&B
300 N. Main St.,
Find them on Facebook @TheHeritageInnLenox
Bedford, Blockton, Clearfield, Conway, Gravity, Lenox, New Market, Sharpsburg
3 Lake Camp Ground:
Lake Shore Dr., SE of Golf Course. Lenox Municipal Utilities, 641-333-2550.
Sand’s Timber Recreation:
Co. Road J55, Blockton. West of Yellowstone Ave.
East of New Market
South & east of Lenox
Managed by Taylor Co. Conservation Board.
WELCOME TO LENOX
WHAT’S NEW IN LENOX
When you visit Lenox, it is soon evident that Lenox residents have a progressive spirit. Many new amenities and renovations have occurred in the past couple of years. You can’t drive down Main Street without noticing the two new beautiful pocket parks with curb bump-outs.
The Leading Ladies of Lenox, a fairly new organization with the mission of revitalizing Lenox – be- ginning with Main Street – secured funds and grants for several projects. Two run-down, unused alleys on either side of Main Street were converted to pocket parks for gathering, resting, and visiting. Each pocket park iNcludes a curb bump-out with raised stone planters; one side of the street has a pedestal clock and the other a unique sculpture. A mural will be add- ed to the east pocket park this summer and a stunning Heritage Mural was painted down the street last summer.
Large additions are under construction at the school that houses Pre-K through High School; keeping all grades on one campus. Just south of the school is a large Community Center and the Youth Sports Complex. These amenities are tied together by a scenic walking trail that begins at the restored Depot.
With a contribution from an anonymous bene- factor, the City of Lenox renovated the dilapidated tennis courts to, now, include a basketball court, 2 pickleball courts, shuffleboard, and 4-square, as well as, a tennis court.
The façade of the historic building that houses the Lenox Public Library was renovated with a sporty new look. Many other businesses have renovated their facades, as well. One historic building was renovated by the Lenox Development Corporation. Where was once a second story skating rink is now six upscale loft apartments. The main floor houses the new restaurant and cantina, El Guero, serving Mexican and American food with a sports bar atmosphere on one side and fine dining in the other.
Come spend some time with us in Lenox!
LENOX'S PROUD HERITAGE
The Creation of the Town
In 1870 work was wrapping up on the completion of a Chicago, Burlington and Quincy branch line that ran from Creston to St. Joseph, Mo. Lenox was platted along this line initially as “Summit,” but the name was quickly changed as Summit was already applied to a post office in Clay County.
One might wonder what kinds of businesses were in Lenox back in the old days. There were many. The Des Moines Register reported in 1901 that there were 4 general stores, 2 grocers, 3 drug stores, 3 shoe stores, a brick yard, the Thompson Mill producing flour, 3 hotels, 3 banks, a furniture shop, an undertaker, 3 barbers, two liveries, 2 restaurants, 2 jewelers, a piano and organ dealer, 2 dentists, 4 milliners, 6 doctors, 2 lumber yards, a
wagon maker, bowling alley, photography studio, a cheese factory, 2 other creameries, a veterinarian, 3 black- smiths, 4 coal yards, 7 brokers and realtors, 3 elevators, and a switchboard office. The town has also been home to many industries, and continues to sup- ply laborers for companies such as Precision Pulley & Idler, Michael’s Foods, and Dalton Ag.
Today there are a fair number of enterprises including a bowling alley, grocery store, country club, veterinarians, 2 banks, pharmacy, 2 hardware stores, car wash, 3 bed and breakfasts, hair salons, 2 medical clinics, and 2 restaurants, gift shops, as well as several machinists and mechanics. Lenox was home to Barker Implement for many years, which has now become part of AgriVision Equipment.
There is an unusual urban leg- end concerning the naming of the town. Some of the residents claimed that the name was derived from a lazy ox owned by one of the early pioneers. The ox would lean on whatever it could – hence the name “Lean-ox.”
In November of 1884, a fire decimated most of the business buildings, 42 to be exact, and many homes; all wood constructed. It began in a restaurant.
Remnants of Tyler Drug Store after the fire in November 1884. The Lenox Time Table editor wrote, “In the gray light of the dawn fully 2500 people were gathered in what but a few hours previous was a busy, bustling mart. Strong men wept over the misfortunes of their neighbors, as they looked across the ruins with here and there a crumbling chimney to mark where had been a store.”
Tyler Drug Store, later Tyler pharmacy, had the distinction of being the longest, contiguously run, drug store in Iowa operated by the same family. The business was started by Oscar D. Tyler in 1880 and remained in the family until Win Tyler passed away in 2013 – a total of 133 years in business.
Lenox prides itself on its annual Christmas light display where they show off their “Bright Lights and Shining Hospitality.” The tradition was begun in 1986.
FOUNDERS: The town lot company for the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad
NAMED FOR: The daughter of a railroad executive
POSTS OFFICE: 1872-PRESENT
1880 CENSUS POPULATION: 615
2021 CENSUS POPULATION: 1385 (although many feel this count is low)
LOCATION: Sections 5,6,7 & 8 of Platte Township (Taylor) and 32 of Grant (Adams)
TOWN MOTTO OR SLOGAN: Proud Heritage; Bright Future
TOWN FESTIVAL: The Lenox Stock and Saddle Club Rodeo including a parade and Old-Fashioned Fun Night festivities on Wednesday to kick-off the rodeo.
Sesquicentennial Celebration June 30-July 3, 2022
The Lenox Rodeo – July 21-23, 2022; July 20-22, 2023
Steel on Wheels Car/Motorcycle/Tractor Show (1st Saturday in August)
The Lenox Municipal Golf Course (and Tiger Lanes for bowling too!)
Main Street shops and art installations
Highland Park – especially during Christmas
The Lenox Depot, now a small community center with historical memorabilia.
The Bright Lights; Shining Hospitality Holiday festivities; the park, the Depot Welcome Center, businesses, many residents are lit up with beautiful displays. (day after Thanksgiving-Christmas)
Ramsey Market and Ramsey Ace Hardware. Now, I know this sounds mundane, but check this out. Ramsey Market has Iowa’s only “singing butcher” Bonnie Ramsey. The hardware store is the only hardware store – bar in Iowa! Check out the KCCI news report on the Ramsey businesses: www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-taw38ra3FU.
LENOX SESQUICENTENNIAL CELEBRATION: JUNE 30-JULY 3
Proud Heritage; Bright Future
2022 marks Lenox’s 150th birthday and they are having a 4-day celebration; just before the 4th of July holiday. The opening ceremony will be Thursday evening, June 30th, at Highland Park. Dave Baker, of The 29th State (see on Facebook), will give a history of Lenox presentation. Listen to live jam music and get something to eat. There will be free swimming and a showing of the movie filmed in Lenox, The Crazies, in the park and more.
Friday brings food trucks, bags tournament, live band, beer tent, and more on Main Street. There is a quilt show with the centerpiece being a Sesquicentennial quilt. Current businesses will be embroidered on the quilt. The quilt will be raffled off.
Saturday is packed full with the alumni dinner, Pocket Park Flea Market, street dance, beer tent, and fireworks. There will be games for all: kids games and pedal pull at the park, as well as Bingo, continued from page 30 Cribbage and Pickleball tournaments.
Sunday festivities begin with a community break- fast followed by church services in the park, and a golf tournament.
Visit the Sesquicentennial Welcome Center at the Depot to view historic displays, Bright Lights, Shin- ing Hospitality Christmas trees, purchase memorabilia such as Lenox history books and T-shirts.
Find more information and a schedule of activities as they become available on the Facebook page, Lenox Iowa Sesquicentennial. Come spend some time
Three Lake Municipal Golf Course is a stunning links- style 9-hole public golf course situated on the edge of Lenox, Iowa. Proudly a member of the Iowa Golf Association and doted as one of the finest courses around surrounded by beautiful lakes, an abundance of trees and attractive landscaping. Our full-service Country Club offers great food and drinks. To help you get around our PAR 36 course, we offer several golf cart rentals. Our three sets of tee boxes are enticing to all skill levels of golfers. We welcome golfers for one day or stay at our municipal owned campground next to the golf course and golf for multiple days. Come and experience what golfers around the state travel to experience each day.
35 Years of Bright Lights Shining Hospitality in Lenox
Lenox is your destination for the Christmas holiday season if you enjoy light and tree displays; and who doesn’t? The City (Highland) Park is the centerpiece of the bright lights displays. The lighting of the park ceremony takes place the day after Thanksgiving at 6:30 pm and the park stays lit up until after Christmas day. Cruise around all four sides of the park or walk the lighted sidewalks crisscrossing the park. Be sure to cruise all around town to view the many lighted residences, as well. Be prepared to ooo and ahh.
The Depot is the center of the holiday spirit and shining hospitality in Lenox with a display of many decorated trees. Various organizations and businesses adopt a Christmas tree to decorate following the holiday theme of the year. Volunteer hosts welcome and serve hot cocoa and popcorn to visitors. The Depot Holiday Welcome Center is open Fridays and Saturdays from 6:30pm –8:30pm between the Friday after Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. It, also, provides a magical atmosphere for small group gatherings. Call the Chamber of Commerce office to book the Welcome Center: 641-333-4272.
The first Wednesday of December brings Lenox’s lighted parade, Bright Lights Cruise Night. This is a unique parade as the lighted floats are parked and vehicles and pedestrians “cruise” up the street. And, of course, a 20-foot tree stands in the middle of Main Street where business windows are decorated in the current holiday theme.
2021 marked 35 years of the Bright Lights; Shining Hospitality promotion. According to the Lenox Time Table, Lenox residents began lighting up their community in 1986 and, in 1987, the park was added to the lighting. That first year they estimated there were 6000 lights twinkling in the park and the tradition of turning on the park lights the night after Thanksgiving began. The park lighting was the first one in southwest Iowa. By 1989, more scenes were added at the park and around the community. People began decorating their houses and yards. Some neighborhoods gathered together to create matching yard ornaments for the entire street. Visitors poured, literally by the busloads, to view the Christmas lights that gained popularity throughout southwest Iowa aided by TV news coverages.
Through the years many, many volunteers have put hours and hours into decorating the park. It is estimated that the number of lights in the park have grown from 6000 to over 20,000 bulbs. If you would like an accurate count, please come visit the park during the holiday and count them. Be sure to let us know the ex- act count.