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Iowa History Daily: October 3 - A Palace for King Corn

Iowa History Daily: On October 3, 1887, the first world’s first corn palace, the Sioux City Corn Palace. Located in downtown Sioux City, the first of five corn palaces celebrating the harvest of Iowa’s most common crop blossomed on the shores of the Mighty Missouri in Woodbury County.

Local citizens started contemplating the creation of a corn palace during the early 1890s, however flooding and the financial panics of the early 1890s put plans on hold. As prosperity returned during the mid-1890s, King Corn again beckoned to the people of Sioux City to celebrate.

W.E. Loft put together initial designs, but the corn craze in Sioux City demanded a larger structure. Eventually a 100’ x 100’ building costing an estimated $25,000 allowed locals to start raising the necessary funds. As the festival drew near, Sioux Citians again decided to enlarge the structure to link up with the Goldie Roller Rink and a Baptist church.

Once decorators completed work to cover the structure and surrounding streets with corn themed accouterments, clamoring crowds gathered to celebrate the inaugural Sioux City Corn Palace Jubilee. Featuring a map of the United States fashioned completely of corn, and 50’ tall arches constructed in the streets, the Corn Palace drew over 140,000 people including President Grover Cleveland and railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt visited the country’s first corn palace during the first event. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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