FreedomRocks2016: Carroll County

When I decided to make “visiting all of the Iowa Freedom Rocks before Labor Day” my only summer bucket list item, it’s quite possible that I over-reached a bit. Visiting 45+ sites in 45+ different counties is not easily accomplished, especially with working full-time. I still plan on visiting all of them, but maybe before the end of the year is a better, more achievable goal. Did you read my post about the original Freedom Rock?  I think it’s still my absolute favorite, but man there’s some great competition out there in the other counties!

As I mentioned before in previous Freedom Rock visits, each site is completely unique and different. Some counties have added extravagant landscaping around their Rock, while others have taken a more simple approach by just featuring the Rock itself.

The Carroll County Freedom Rock in Manning is definitely not one of the simple ones. Located at 517 East Street in Manning, it’s just off the main drag through town.

{Tip: If you use a GPS, it will actually direct you to an empty lot across the street.}

The Carroll County Freedom Rock is located on a corner under a group of shade trees.It is surrounded by beautiful landscaping and rock, a stone path, and stone benches for seating.  

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The American flag flies prominently next to it.  carroll 02

“It is easy to take liberty for granted when you have never had it taken away from you.”carroll 03

The Carroll County Freedom Rock illustrates both male and female soldiers and they represent all branches of service. carroll 05

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This particular side of the Rock represents a railroad theme, as Manning was one of the places in Iowa where Iowa National Guardsmen guarded the railroad trestle, hoping to prevent attacks during WWII.  carroll 07

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Because this Rock was especially difficult to paint due to its size and its rough surface, part of it was left unpainted.  This rock was painted in June 2014 by artist Ray “Bubba” Sorensen of Greenfield.carroll 09

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Some fun facts about the Carroll Freedom Rock:

  • The rock is 9 1/2 feet tall.
  • It weighs over 55,000 pounds.
  • The paint on the rock is predicted to last 40-50 years.

I love when the sites have guest books for people to record that they’ve been there.  Such a neat added touch, and I love leafing through the pages to see LOTS of present and past military members have visited.  

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On this particular day, I had visited rocks in six different counties, and ran into the same two couples at three stops in a row.  It was quite comical, and we all got a good laugh– “I think you’re following me!” or “Where are we heading next?”  

Both men were Vietnam veterans, and they and their wives were traveling from South Dakota.  It was so interesting talking with them, and hearing their impression of the rocks they had visited so far.  

Someone placed this poem in the front sleeve of the guest book binder.  Very fitting, indeed.carroll 13

Read the poem someone left behind at the Carroll County Freedom Rock in Iowa #FreedomRocks2016 Click To Tweet

These two plaques are scattered in the landscaping surrounding the Rock.  Each with a different meaning, but both equally important.IMG_4099

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I’ll be posting about more visits to other Freedom Rocks soon, and you can follow along with my other Freedom Rock posts here, or follow along with me on Twitter & Instagram with the hashtag #FreedomRocks2016.

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