Roadtrippin': Avoca & Minden, Iowa

Left to right: Avoca Courthouse, Volkswagen Beetle spider in Avoca, Breezy Hills Vineyard in Minden

A giant spider made from a Volkswagen Beetle, a courtroom with items from a castle in England, and raspberry-chocolate can find all these things in Avoca and Minden, Iowa.

Rhonda Hope said, "We're very proud of this building. It was built in 1887."

Hope is talking about the 130-year-old courthouse in Avoca.

Hope said, "We had court held here and a lot of important matters were held here in this courthouse."

Hope is the president of the Avoca Courthouse Historical Board. She says court sessions at the building stopped a few decades ago.

It was decided the courthouse in Council Bluffs was all the county needed. After that some people wanted to close the Avoca Courthouse.

Hope said, "There were many, many people here that fought and worked really hard to write grants and raise money."

As she says, to keep the courthouse and its history alive.

Despite court sessions not being held at the courthouse anymore the town still uses the building. Hope says Eagle Scout ceremonies are held there and students sometimes use it for mock trials. People can also tour the building.

Hope said, "We have a lot of history circling around about the judge's bench...the story goes that it was actually brought from England from a castle in England."

The courthouse isn't the only thing to check out in Avoca. Another stop people can make is to see a giant spider made out of an old Volkswagen Beetle.

Darwin Campbell says his kids built it when they were teenagers.

Campbell said, "26 years ago my son and my daughter asked me to find a far as we know it's the oldest one in the United States.”

He says they’ve had people from Japan, China, Mexico, and other parts of the world come to Avoca to see the spider.

Campbell said, "I think it's great because it brought them to a little town of Avoca."

Another little town nearby is Minden, Iowa. That's where Breezy Hills Vineyard is.

Winemaker Andrew Morse said, "We offer free wine tasting. We do have some appetizer selections...we offer everything from dry barrel-aged reds to chocolate-infused raspberry dessert style wine.”

Morse says people can also explore the vineyard.

Morse said, “It’s an awesome place to get out of the city. You can't see the stuff that you see here in Omaha. The scenery's pretty fantastic out here."

Other things to check out in Avoca include the Farmall-Land USA Tractor Museum and the town's one-room schoolhouse.

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