What Cheer, Iowa
I frequently travel to the Iowa City and Coralville areas in eastern Iowa and every time I do I travel down Interstate-80 and see an exit for What Cheer, and every time I do, I think about how interesting of a name that is for a town, but my first actual visit revealed that the town itself is also rather interesting.
A tip from a fan mentioned that the entire main street through What Cheer is almost entirely deserted; they weren’t wrong. Very, very few businesses remain on the main drag. I usually see this level of neglect at forgotten schools or buildings in the middle of nowhere, not the middle of a town. A peek into one of the large windowed fronts revealed a cafe that could be open for business if it weren't for the collapsing roof, rotting plaster and crumbling walls.
A What Cheer local (and friend of mine) tells me that the town use to be a bustling city supported by the business from the local coal pit, however as with many small Iowan coal communities, once the coal industry dried up, so did the town.
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