MAQUOKETA, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) - What started as a vision, has become a priority. A few years ago, Maquoketa’s city council made a $4 million investment in the city’s infrastructure. That means updates to the streetscapes, water, and sewer mains. But that work didn’t end there.
“We are building on that investment by the city. Trying to work on some facade improvements at this point,” Economic Development Director Dave Hire said. “The downtown is really the heart of the community. It’s kind of the part that connects the rest of the community.”
A state award named Maquoketa as one of the great places in Iowa. Meaning more money to bring the community back downtown, and enjoying what it has to offer. The focus now is making storefronts look good, and Farmer’s Creek Antiques is one of them.
“We have features in this building, like a coal shoot, and three stored cistern back there, and people just don’t know about those things, so it’s just fun to be able to show those. We have a lot of artifacts in here,” Co-Owner Sue Mayberry said.
It’s a half shop, half wine cellar with a touch of history. The store used to be a cigar shop in the 1800s. Now it offers wine tasting and art classes up top.
Just across the street from the store, you will find a green space. The spot happens to be from a devastating fire downtown, but now serves as a gathering space for summer concerts. The city is investing in the space by adding artwork to a portion of it.
Local organization Maquoketa Hometown Pride who currently puts on the concerts says it is all about bringing the community together.
“To make it a place where people want to come and visit, where people want to spend the day, they want to shop, they want to eat, they're not just driving through,” Member Stephanie Sagers said.
The city said more grants and changes are on the horizon and Hire is extending an invitation.
“I would invite people to come back, and take another look because things are changing,” Hire said.
If you would like to learn more about Maquoketa’s summer concert series visit this website.