In our little corner of South Central Iowa, Oskaloosa sits home to a special and welcoming community. It may be a smaller town, but our neck of the woods sparks all sorts of big adventures. 

From exceptional local restaurants to outdoor opportunities and community events, Oskaloosa has a lot to offer. And we’re incredibly grateful for the visitors who stop by to see what we’re all about.

This town is also full of surprises. So, we did some extra digging and uncovered five facts about Oskaloosa that you may not know.


Oskaloosa got its name from a Creek princess.

We’re starting things off from the very inception of the city. 

Oskaloosa was founded back in 1844 and grew rapidly with new waves of settlers. The town was named after a Creek princess named Ouscaloosa, which translates to “last of the beautiful.” 

Pretty fitting, if we don’t say so ourselves.


Oskaloosa’s Main Street hosts exceptional events every year!

Maybe not quite every year (ahem, 2020, anyone?). But beyond pandemics, Oskaloosa’s Main Street hosts a variety of events throughout the downtown area.

With the optimism of the new year, many of these events are tentatively back on the schedule for this spring and summer.

This includes the favorite Art on the Square arts festival and Sweet Corn Serenade. You can count on these events to have plenty of delicious local cuisine, family activities, and much more! 


It’s home to the very first man-made lake in the state.

It’s true! Lake Keomah was first completed in 1934, and has been a fantastic location for outdoor recreation by locals and tourists alike. 

Today, you can enjoy camping, picnics, swimming, and great hiking year-round. In total, the state park boasts over 350 acres of beautiful scenery in woods and water.

If you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the bullfrogs in the marsh or the great blue heron during the warm months.


The Edmondson Park pool has been a part of the community for 83 years.

Since being built in 1937, the Edmondson pool and bathhouse has been available for visitors and locals to enjoy a great environment to cool off, relax, and enjoy some respite from the Iowa summer heat.

Upon its renovation in 2005, Edmondson Park offers a large heated pool, 3 water slides, diving boards, and so much more.

The Edmondson Park pool has become a staple in the Oskaloosa community, offering families and folks of all ages to enjoy the chance to cool off at the pool. 


Oskaloosa is home to the Southern Iowa Fair.

The Southern Iowa Fair goes big.

Most fairs in Iowa do.

Concerts, camping, rides and attractions, fun foods, and other exhibits can all be found at this great local attraction in July.

The SIF brings in visitors from all over the Southern Central Iowa area, and is great fun for the entire family.

With the optimism that 2021 brings, the fair will hopefully be back this year! 

Stay up to date by visiting the fair’s website.


We hope you enjoyed these little-known facts about Oskaloosa.

Hey, maybe you even learned something new.

One thing is certain, though: Osk