Albia entered the Twentieth Century as a thriving city, center of commerce, culture, transportation and society for Monroe County. During the turn-of-the-century mining years, the county had numerous coal camps, from Hocking south of Albia, northwest to Hiteman. Another interurban line connected Albia to Centerville, to the south.
Albia’s business district and fine homes reflected the community’s prosperity. Merchants and home builders in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s selected Victoria, Italianate, Gothic, Tudor Revival, and other distinctive styles for their new buildings. In 1903, Monroe County completed construction of a three-story stone courthouse, which still commands the square today. Albia’s 92-building business district, the courthouse and several homes are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The blocks surrounding the courthouse square are a living architectural museum.
Monroe County’s Sports Complex, one of the community’s many recreational areas, has tennis courts, ball diamonds and park equipment. Picnicking, swimming at the new aquatic center, camping, fishing and hunting are easily available all over Monroe County. Honey Creek Resort at Lake Rathbun (Iowa’s largest lake) is located 15 minutes south of Albia. Lake Miami, a state-owned fishing lake, is located 7 miles to the north. Both areas allow camping, hiking and have nature trails. The community has attractive restaurants and a motel; out-of-town visitors can use local golf, handball and racquetball facilities for a fee.
Albia also hosts annual events including Restoration Days held each August, the Rodders Car Show held the last weekend in June, and the Victorian Stroll held the first Saturday in December. For more information on Albia businesses and attractions, please visit the following websites or contact the Albia Chamber of Commerce at (641) 932-5108.