What to know
Population: Anamosa, 5,100.
Getting there: Get yourself to Cedar Rapids, and then make sure you have a detailed Iowa map handy. Any number of state roads or county highways will take you to Anamosa, at the intersection of Hwys. 151 and 64 in east-central Iowa, about 20 miles east of Cedar Rapids.
You can bypass Anamosa by following highway signs straight to Stone City, but eventually you'll want to visit the larger town.
More information: Write or stop by the Grant Wood Tourism Center and Gallery, 124 East Main St., Anamosa, IA 52205. Call the office at 1-319-462-4267. The Anamosa Chamber of Commerce web site is http://www.rcww.com/anamosa/index.htm.
The center exhibits Grant Wood prints and photos from the art colony at Stone City. Videos on Wood's life, as well as prints, books, notecards and other memorabilia are available. Ask for the "American Gothic" cutout so you can take your own classic photo.
Where to stay:
The Shaw House Bed & Breakfast in Anamosa, a three-story Italianate mansion was built in 1872. Check the view from its hilltop location. Rooms are $40 to $65. 1-319-462-4485.
Camp at Wapsipinicon State Park on Jones County Rd. E-34, on the southwest side of Anamosa. There are 30 campsites, 15 with electrical hookups. 1-319-462-2761 for the ranger's office.
Anamosa also has a Super 8 motel, 1-319-462-3888.
Where to eat:
The Opera House, 221 W. Main, was recommended for salads and sandwiches.
The General Store, an elegant limestone building on the banks of the Wapsipinicon River in Stone City, County Rd. X-28, is open Thursdays through Sundays, serving pizzas and sandwiches; entertainment on weekends.
Grant Wood Art Festival: The 26th annual festival runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., June 14, 1998, at Stone City. A $4 badge for ages 14 and over gives admission to all events, exhibits and tours. Under 14 admitted free. About 80 artists are scheduled to exhibit their work in a juried show. There's also a quilt show, bus tours of historic Stone City and stage entertainment including Celtic, bluegrass, gospel, acoustic American music. There will be lunch stands on the tree-lined festival grounds, which include a huge, historic limestone barn, once used to house horses for the rock quarry.
Festgoers are encouraged to arrive dressed as the famous "American Gothic" couple. The best impressions are admitted free.
Go to jail: The Anamosa State Penitentiary stands on a hill in the town's valley. The first section of the impressive structure was built in 1872 of Stone City dolomite. Later additions matched this style. As you drive by, you'll see prison farm buildings, also stone, lining Hwy. E-28 on the edge of Anamosa, heading toward Stone City.
About Grant Wood: