by Leigh Michaels and Michael W. Lemberger
Ottumwa, Iowa from Turkey Island to the Mixmaster
Ottumwa has been a river town from the moment settlers chose the spot along the banks of the Des Moines River in 1844. Islands come and go; water levels rise and fall; floods sweep through; bridges are built, taken down, and rebuilt. The river changes and even moves, but it continues to provide water, food, and fun, supporting industry and transportation — and remaining the heart of the community.