Bellevue Historic Sites

Bellevue has a rich history. The prehistoric Woodland Indians made their homes here. Much later, so did Blackhawk's tribe.

The pioneer farmers and merchants began arriving in 1833; many floating across the Mississippi River on logs. These early settlers formed Bell View, the oldest city in the county and one of the five oldest cities in Iowa. The spelling was later changed to the French, Belle Vue and in time the two words were united and the town became Bellevue.

George Dyas House 1850-1860

23852 362nd Avenue, Bellevue
The George Dyas House is the westernmost of a group of houses and agricultural buildings know as the Dyas Farm. This limestone home is one of the first examples of limestone architecture in Jackson County.

William Dyas Barn 1850-1860

41088 243rd Street, Bellevue
The William Dyas Barn is one of only 9 standing limestone barns in the county and is still in use. The barn is built into the side of a hill with the second floor door at ground level in back, a true bank barn.

Dyas Hexagonal Barn 1921

41279 243rd Street, Bellevue
This unique shaped barn is one of a group of barns names to the National Register by Lowell Soike and included in his book "Without Right Angles"

Potters Mill 1843

300 Potter Drive, Bellevue
Jasper Mill was built by Elbridge G. Potter to mill flour and this 3 story frame structure housed an active milling business until 1969. This mill made use of terraced rapids on Mill Creek with a 20 foot rock dam constructed by Potter to serve the turbines and grist mill. At Potter's Jasper Mill they purchased grain by the bushel, ground and bagged it, and sold under the Jasper name. These products of Jasper Mill enjoyed a national reputation. Nominated to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, Potter's Mill has been restored.

Jackson County Courthouse 1845

100 South Third Street, Bellevue
Bellevue was named the county seat in 1837 before Iowa was a state. The Greek Revival style courthouse was built in 1845 to house the Jackson County Courthouse but in 1848, the county seat was moved from Bellevue to Andrew because it was a more central location. The structure was again the county courthouse from 1851 to 1861 during the controversy over where to locate the county seat and then moved again to Andrew after which the building was used as a public school. This style of courthouse is one of few remaining in the state.

Lucke Building c.1855

130-132 North Riverview, Bellevue
This 2 1/2 building is an excellent example of commercial design from the 1850's. Joseph Lucke opened his boot and shoe business in 1857 and his leather goods were widely know. In addition to local and riverborn business, his trade extended throughout the region. He did business with U.S. Grant when Grant had a leather shop in Galena.

Potters Offices c.1850

101 North Riverview, Bellevue
One of the county's earliest commercial buildings. E.G. Potter managed his extensive and varied business operations from this site. An early painting shows his wharf boat on the riverside. This limestone structure does not face the Mississippi, but backs on to the river. It appears to be a two story building from the front, but when viewed from the side, is actually four stories at the rear. Before the lock and dam was built, the river came right up to the rear of this building and river boats would tie up and unload cargo directly into the doors at the back.

Haney Campbell Dairy 1859

306 South Second, Bellevue
This limestone commercial building's earliest use may have been a salt pork processing plant for the river trade. The building served as a dairy and creamery, later a saloon, pool hall and dwelling.

Kucheman Building 1868

101 North Second, Bellevue
Originally constructed as a dry goods store by Christian Kucheman and John Hinke, this is one of the last limestone commercial buildings constructed in Bellevue and the only limestone building featuring segmental arched windows. The building's second floor served as City Hall and an opera house for decades; the 30' x 50' addition at the rear was built before WWI.

Neimann House 1870

505 Court, Bellevue
Theodore Neimann is believed to be the first resident at this address. This limestone house exhibits rare "high style" Gothic Revival elements: delicate vergeboards on a steeply pitched gable roof and balconies located outside windows on the two primary facades.

Springside Inn 1850

300 Ensign Road, Bellevue
Springside was built by William Wynkoop, a local merchant. Members of the Wynkoop family resided here for 51 years. This home represents the only example of classic "rural" Gothic Revival architecture in its pure form and setting in the Midwest. A Springfield, IL, attorney named Abraham Lincoln was among Springside's early guests.

Henry Roling House c.1840

36170 308th Street, Bellevue
The Rolings came from Ankrum, Germany about 1833 and lived in a log home which stood in the farmyard until this stone house was finished. The floor plan is similar to the home of this countryman and fellow parishioner, Theodore Niemann, with the layout reversed.

Theodore Niemann Home & Springhouse 1845

35032 308th Street, Bellevue
The 1879 "History of Jackson County, Iowa" states that "this residence is the first stone house ever erected in the county . . . the spring house provides for the farm and at one time supplied water to a small brewery across the road." The house continues to be occupied by Nieman's descendants. The two story rectangular house with gabled roof is now painted white over a thin stucco.

Fritz Chapel 1852

34804 308th Street, Bellevue
Matthais Fritz, a stone mason, erected the Fritz Chapel in thanksgiving for the safe arrival of his family of eight after a terrifying sea and land voyage from Luxemborg. He carved the Crucifix and hewed the walnut arch from a single piece of wood. Fritz Chapel continues to be maintained by Matthais Fritz Chapel Fund, Incorporated.

Robb House C.1855

30602 Mill Creek Road
Built by E.G. Potter for John Robb, his foreman for Upper Paradise farms. The spring house stands to the west. The 6 over 6 windows are typical of those found on buildings from c. 1855 and the stucco appears to have been applied originally.

Big Mill Homestead c.1845 - 1850

32575 Mill Creek Road
This property is owned by the county and nestled at the edge of a conservation marshland. The two story farmhouse has a full walk in basement exposed on the west as the first of three floors. The basement houses building furnaces and ovens. Built possibly as a dormitory for Paradise Farms.

Upper Paradise c.1850

33616 Mill Creek Road
Built originally for Potter's only son, Lucius Byron Potter, though he never lived in it. Upper Paradise is covered with a thick layer of stucco and scored to look like cut ashlar limestone.

Paradise Farms 1846

34981 Mill Creek Road
Originally Potter's home, the main house is a stucco covered three story flat roof residence with a cupola. It houses the first lending library in Iowa as well as Captain Potter's correspondence and business records. Paradise has been home to generations of his descendants. The three story rectangular dormitory housed the buttery, farm's main kitchens and bunk quarters for workers and is now a family residence.

Mont Rest 1893

300 Spring Street, Bellevue
This building was built in 1893 for $6,000 by Seth Luellyn Baker. He was a wealthy land developer who owned hotels, gold mines and paddle boats on the Mississippi. Seth Baker was originally from Bellevue and came back to buy what was known as the north bluff of Bellevue. He named the property Mont Rest. The locals almost immediately started calling Mont Rest "The Castle" because of its unusual architecture and its towering presence over the town.