Historic Valley Junction
It all began in 1846, when James C. Jordan, Valley Junction's first settler, pitched a tent between two oak trees on the western side of the Des Moines border. Jordan eventually built a house on the site which later became a stop on the "Underground Railroad". By 1893, Valley Junction bustled with horse-drawn traffic, a trolley line, eight-foot-wide wooden sidewalks, and dirt streets lined with three banks, three drug stores and several "boarding houses" of questionable character. The railroad had made Valley Junction a popular stop where 26 passenger trains arrived and departed daily. As the boom continued and new citizens arrived, the community added many houses, two new schools, four organized churches and a newspaper. Today, visitors can enjoy more than 150 specialty stores, art galleries, fashion boutiques, restaurants and antique shops, each with a unique historic character.