Bentonsport Self Guided Virtual Tour
The academy was established in 1851 by a private group at the cost of $3,000. There is a hint of Georgian style in the square brick building, the small paned windows, the lintel, and the door. At one time there was a belfry. The school was in use until 1951. It is a private residence.
James A. Brown House
This large two-story brick home was built as a family residence in 1853 by James A. Brown, a prominent citizen and the town's pioneer miller. The home is a Georgian Federal style of architecture, and although it is quite large, with 12 foot ceilings, it contains only 8 major rooms. It is currently a private residence.
The front half of the house was built around the 1850s and has an 11 foot ceiling. The back half was added in the 1880s. The railroad line stopped here for a mail pick up. The Gothic gable window in the second story is a most unusual feature of the house. It is a private residence.
Odd Fellows Hall
Built in the 1840s, this was at one time a furniture factory and store. The upper floor was the hall used by one of Iowa's first Odd Fellows chapters. Performances by traveling players were sometimes given in this building, and it also served as a dance hall. The lower floor now houses The Fiber Arts Studio where hand woven rugs and runners are made. The building is owned by the Van Buren County Conservation Board.
Old Blacksmith Shop
This shop was built in the early 1850s and produced ironwork for the early pioneers of Bentonsport. Operated by Moses Springton for many years, it sat in disrepair until the early 1970s when it was extensively renovated and repaired. It was used as a blacksmith shop until early 1987. It is currently not in use.
Joseph Montgomery House
This building was the home of an early physician and is one of the earliest homes in the town. Built in the 1840s, the house has solid walnut woodwork. In the kitchen a fireplace, complete with bustle oven, covers one entire wall. The architectural style is typical of that of the Mormon community in Nauvoo.
Julius Greef Home
This two-story brick Georgian style home was built in part by Julius Greef, the junior partner of the early Bentonsport firm of "Greef and Pergrin" who operated a general store and bank. The single story on the north side was constructed in 1848 and the two-story brick addition was built in 1867. It was occupied by Julius Greef and his wife, Kate, and their ward, Millie Pergrin, until they relocated to Kansas in the early 1890s. It is believed that the original part on the north side was built by Mormon craftsmen on a layover on their trek to Utah. Certain architectural details can be seen on original homes built by Mormon craftsmen in Nauvoo, Illinois. It is currently a private residence.