We went “down south” to our little farm in Van Buren County this last week. No visit to V.B. County is complete without a swing through the Des Moines Riverbank village of Bentonsport, a once thriving steamboat stop. Fortunately, many of the historic buildings have been maintained and continue to be used. I am certain there is no more darling candy shop than the former post office – now Forever Sweet Creations where one can purchase homemade fudge, cookies, and sandwiches to be enjoyed from a deck overlooking the river.
Across the street, visitors can browse through four shops. Benches, rustic game boards and outdoor books all entice visitors to laze the day away in the most idyllic setting imaginable. Yes, these shops seem to actually encourage loitering.
I arrived near closing times. No matter: the shopkeeper at Greef General Store said she had paperwork to do and kept the store open while I leisurely browsed. Large cases hold Native American artifacts such as bead and leather work, stone implements, and arrows. Antiques are artfully displayed. For anyone desiring a gorgeous nickel -plated potbellied stove, I saw three for sale.
After a bit of browsing, strolling through the walled rose garden, and watching the sun set on the river, I left Bentonsport feeling that I had been on vacation.
My sister and I continue to check for a historic Bentonsport property we can call our own. Until that happens, guest accommodations are available in several cottages, bed & breakfasts or the camp grounds just steps away from the village. Special events and classes are offered regularly including an extensive list of holiday activities between now and the middle of December.