Centerville, Iowa, located at the intersection of Iowa Highways 5 and 2, is the county seat of Appanoose County. Like a lot of county seats, Centerville has a thriving town square around the courthouse, with dozens of shops and businesses and gobs of parking. I liked the old theatre marquee just off the square.
I visited Centerville in the winter, and I’m assuming the town expands a lot during the warm, summer months because it’s very close to Rathbun Lake, a huge recreation area in southern Iowa – and it’s also the nearest town (of any significant size) to Honey Creek Resort State Park. But even in February, the town had a lot to offer. There are several historic sites – Appanoose County Historical and Coal Mining Museum (Centerville is an old mining town), an old jail, and railroad depot – plus shopping, restaurants, and some beautiful old homes.
I spent some time at The Shoppes at Bradley Hall, a huge 1909 house at 519 Drake. Every room is filled with stuff: jewelry, purses, antiques, food and kitchen accessories, gifts, home décor, antiques, and Christmas decorations galore.
I was hoping for more antiques and less gift-y stuff, but it was still fun to poke around the three-story house. I bought an old plastic snowman that lights up — something to add to my collection.