Coin Public Library, Coin Iowa

Last summer I was on a photo road trip.  I like to document small towns as well as rural areas.  I was photographed Coin, Iowa in Page county.  Page County is in the Southern most tier of counties in Iowa and in the Southwest corner of Iowa.

Coin is a very small town with a population just under 200 and has the 51636 zip code and is home to the Wabash Trace which is a 63 mile train line running to Council Bluffs that is now a bike trail.  The Wabash Railroad operated in the mid-central United States.  “It served a large area, including trackage in the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, and Missouri and the province of Ontario. Its primary connections included Chicago, Illinois, Kansas City, Missouri, Detroit, Michigan, Buffalo, New York, St. Louis, Missouri, and Toledo, Ohio.”1.

Coin Iowa Post Office

Coin Iowa Post Office

Coin residents are fortunate to still have a working post office.

Coin Iowa Library

Coin Iowa Library

They also have a small but well kept library.

Land of Make Believe

Land of Make Believe

Someone cares enough to add some extra touches to give it a less sterile feel.

Former Bank - Coin, Iowa

Former Bank – Coin, Iowa

Now it’s an insurance agency.

Former Hardware Store, now a bar and grill

A.E. Swift Furniture and Hardware

Now a bar and grill

Former Gas Station

Former Service Station

Coin is a nice little town but it’s dying.  The post office will probably close soon.  There is no grocery store or gas station so residents need to buy food and fuel elsewhere.  But the library indicates they do have community spirit and make an effort to do things for the better of the community with what they have.



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11 Responses to Coin Public Library, Coin Iowa

  1. Thanks for this photo essay on Coin. You know I share your love for photographing places like this. Is Coin anywhere near Harlan or Defiance, Iowa? I wish someone would save that corner gas station. The name Coin intrigues me, too.

  2. Jackie says:

    I’m a fellow “road tripper” and always appreciate the small town photos. I’m with Audrey…somenone needs to save that gas station 🙂

  3. Ryan… I really like your images and the fact that you are documenting small towns. As America continues to change, landmarks such as those you are photographing tend to disappear over time. It is important work that your are doing. I will keep up with this blog, thank you for all you do.

  4. vhauldlerie says:

    I love your photos and wanted to thank you for documenting this little town. My grandfather (born in 1888) as well as his father (born in 1852) grew up there! My grandfather’s grandfather moved there from Kentucky in 1851 and owned many acres just east of town. Hard to believe it was once a busy little town…much busier than now. Thank you!

  5. Jeff Adams says:

    It’s really to bad no Photo’s of snow Hill, or the old High School were taken, it was a big old beautiful building, i was at probably one of the last events held there 30 years ago. I remember it had a large indoor basketball court and giant boiler in the basement, I always dreamed as a kid of saving that place, I went back a few years ago and someone had kicked in the back doors and wrecked the place, spray painted racial slurs all over the walls and doors. there is like one old racist bastard in that town, went around burning down empty houses and wrecking what would otherwise be an amazing little town with a lot of history. also pics of Snow Hill outside of town would have been awesome, the children in the town were killed by disease at the turn of the century. so it’s a bunch of old children statues and cherub angels, it’s a cool place. I’m from Coin and it always breaks my heart to go back then it breaks my heart to leave I’ve been away for decades, but Coin will always be home. It deserves better than apathy and to be lost to time.

    • ryanware says:

      If I get back to Coin, I will look for Snow Hill and the School. I’m sure it is hard to see your home town fading from existence. Sadly, that is the fate of so many. How many students were at the school when it was open. I come from a small town and we had 29 in my class.

  6. Margaret Kapoor says:

    I visited Coin about 1992 as part of a road trip California to Chicago with my mother and daughter. Coin was my the hometown of my grandparents and their parents from a little bit earlier than the turn of the 1900’s. They were farmers and I believe sold stock that was transported on the train. When I went there was a small museum with photos of the town and people who lived there. I was surprised when I saw photos of my fathers cousins on the wall. I also met a lady whose family new my grandfathers family and she showed me their home. It was very interesting. It’s sad to see the town diminishing. I hope I will be able to see it again before it is all gone. Thanks for sharing the photos.

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