A 50-member team of archeologists and helpers is enduring the hot Iowa summer to learn about a Jones County town that vanished a century ago. Bowen’s Prairie was founded in 1853, shortly after Iowa became a state, but was a ghost town by 1902. Lyn Alex, a spokeswoman for the state archeologist, says artifacts collected from the excavation include a treasure trove of 100-year-old shoes. She says they appeared to have been in a storage area of a building.Alex says the only previous physical signs a town ever existed there were an aging barn and an overgrown cemetery, east of Monticello. She says another unexpected find has been somewhat of a “mystery building” in the former Bowen’s Prairie. She says it appears to have been made of earth, and may’ve been a granary.When a new railroad chose -not- to go through the little town, Alex says that brought its eventual demise. The archaeological “dig” began in the former eastern Iowa town in April and should be wrapping up in a few weeks.Alex says tours of the dig site are being offered by special appointment. Interested people can call Alex at (319) 384-0561.
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