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Our Community

Find out who we are and what makes our town a great place to live.

Sabula, known as the Island City, is a small community of 670 residents.  The town is one mile long and .25 miles wide and is completely surrounded by water. 

Sabula is situated along the Mississippi River on its east Side and is surrounded by lakes on the west.

Legend has it that the first settlers crossed the Mississippi on a log in 1835.  Isaac Dorman and a man by the name of Hinkley staked the first claims.  There were several families of Indians living here at the time the settlers came and afterwards.

Tourism is a big draw for this community.  Hunting, camping, fishing and boating are available for your leisure time.

On the outskirts of town, you are welcomed into our community by the Jackson County Welcome Center, a replica of an old-fashioned schoolhouse.

This center is located at the intersection of Highway 67 and Highway 64 just outside of Sabula.

GND,LLC., a business that sells outboard motors is just east of the Welcome Center as you head into town.  This business is owned and operated by Mr. & Mrs. Joe Rolling.

Driscoll's Island is off the causeway as you cross the lakes into Sabula.  This is a haven for fishermen.  This island is named for former resident, Martin Driscoll, an avid outdoorsman.  Martin and his wife started a hardware store at 413 Pearl St. in 1947.  This is one of our century buildings.  The business was sold in 1974 and has changed hands several times.  It now houses the Lucky 7 Bar owned by Janet & Reynold Giddings.

At the south end of town is the family owned and operated "Island City Harbor."  The Harbor is summertime home to many boaters from Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

The Island City Harbor has a well stocked ship's store which includes nautical gifts, loaner bicycles, and a full service diesel and 89 octane gas dock.  This business is owned and operated by Patricia and Jerry Lawson.

South Sabula Lakes Park is also located on the south edge of Sabula.  This 14 acre site is managed by the Jackson Co. Conservation Board.  Camping sites are provided with 20 and 30 amp electrical service.

Services at South Sabula Lakes Park include : camping, electricity, water, showers, flush toilets, picnicking, lake and stream fishing, boating, and handicapped facilities.

John Wall Park is on the Mississippi riverfront.  This park has picnic tables and playground equipment.  This park was built to honor former resident, John Wall.

John farmed north of Sabula for 50 years and later retired in Sabula.  He used to take old bicycles from the dump site and rebuild them.  After he rebuilt them, he would loan them out to kids in the community.

Bill Cotton Park is in the middle of town on the 500 block of Elk St.  This park has a pavilion with electricity and playground equipment.  This park is named for former city manager Bill Cotton.  Our public library is located in this park.

Bill and his brother Joe ran Cotton Bros. Plumbing & Supplies for many years. 

Maude Brooks Park is located on Pearl St.  and includes  a fountain and park benches.This park is named for Maude Brooks, former resident and co-owner of the Brooks Tent shows from years past.

In 1911 Maude and Jack Brooks opened their own show in the Sabula Opera House.  For the next ten years they played in opera houses throughout the middle west, and built up a fine reputation. 

By 1921 movies had taken over so many of the old opera houses, that they decided to put the show under canvas.  Theirs was one of the first and one of the most successful of the tent shows.  They covered the same territory year after year during their 41 years on the road.

The 500 block of River St. has a pavilion with BBQ sites and electricity provided.  This site has playground equipment.

We are reminded of the role of railroad history in our community by the "Caboose"  located in the 400 block of Vulcan St.

In 1870, the Chicago, Clinton, Dubuque and Minneapolis Railroad Company built a line from Dubuque to Clinton, which passed under the bluffs just west from Sabula's town limits.  The first railroad tracks to pass within the town's border was the Sabula, Ackley and Dakota Railroad, which began in Sabula and ended at Marion, Iowa.  This was built in 1872. 

Sabula boasts two bed and breakfasts.

The Castle Bed and Breakfast provides lodging in town and is located on the bank of the Mississippi River.  The stone faced home is 95 years old and the bedrooms face the river.

Bounded by Water is a bed & breakfast located on 601 Pearl St. across from Maude Brooks Park.  This is an 1880's home which boasts Victorian architecture.

Sabula has a Police Department,  a Volunteer Fire Department, Post Office and Law-Jones Funeral Home.

Our local bank recently became a branch bank of Clinton National Bank.

At the heart of our community are our churches, school system and public library.

East Central Elementary and Middle School are located in the center of town.  High School students commute to Miles, Iowa.

Churches in the community include Lutheran, Catholic and Methodist.

The Krabbenhoft Public Library is located at 512 Elk St.  The library is named for former residents, Arnold and Billy Krabbenhoft, who so generously remembered us in their will.

Most of Sabula's residents commute to jobs in Clinton, Iowa or factories or businesses in or near Savanna, Illinois directly across the river.

Those employed locally work at businesses such as the Clinton National Bank, East Central School, Island City Harbor, Island City Cafe, the Hop Shop Gas Station & Convenience Store.  City Hall and the Public Library also employ local residents.

There is also a local beauty shop and three taverns that employ local residents.

Jerry's Plumbing and Heating is owned by Jerald Giddings.  His office is in his home.

Lodges and organizations include the American Legion Post and Auxiliary, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Sabula-Miles Post No. 5234 and V.F.W. Auxiliary.

The Masons and Eastern Star have merged with neighboring Bellevue.

There is also an Isaac Walton League and a Senior Citizens organization that meets twice a month in the community room at City Hall.

Sabula boasts two home listed on the National Register of Historic Sites:

The Jeremiah Wood home is at 802 River St. and is now owned by James Freeman.  Jeremiah Wood settled in Sabula in 1837.  He and his brother Enoch were partners in a merchandising business.  Jeremiah Wood was also a riverboat captain on the Mississippi.

The John S. Dominy home is located at 605 Pearl St.  Mr. Dominy was Sabula's first blacksmith,  starting his business in 1843.

This resource is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by State Library of Iowa.