The History of Long Grove is closely identified with the very early history of Scott County and the state of Iowa. The town takes its name from the long, narrow strip of timber, which stretched from Walnut Grove northeast of present Scott Park Road to Allen’s Grove several miles northwest. Having heard of the new “Blackhawk Purchase” Alexander and James Brownlie came to this area in August 1838. They followed the Mississippi River to the mouth of the Wapsi River, then west along its banks. After walking many miles, they reached a log cabin belonging to John and William Quinn. The Brownlie Brothers purchased the timber ridge from a man named Coates. The claim was purchased for $160, timberland and all the prairie they wished to own. In August 1838, the first log cabin was built, in a cluster of trees at the east edge of the timber. This is just south of the original town. The stage road to DeWitt and Dubuque passed through the village and a blacksmith shop and harness shop once lined the streets.
Long Grove is part of the North Scott Community School District, which spans 220 square miles (570 km2) in northern Scott County. Elementary-aged students from the city and adjoining nearby areas attend Alan Shepard Elementary. Junior high and high school students attend the North Scott Junior High and North Scott High School located in Eldridge.
The town’s annual celebration represents Long Grove’s claim to fame: The Strawberry Festival. Held the second Sunday each June, the day kicks off at 9 am with the Strawberry Stampede – youth fun/competitive fitness footraces followed by a parade at 11:15 am. Area strawberry farmers sell strawberries, there are games for children, a children’s Strawberry Pageant, Trivia Contest, Raffle, Strawberry Cooking Contest, petting zoo, pony rides, wagon rides, and a variety of entertainment groups throughout the day. Community organizations provide a wide variety of food choices. Strawberry shortcake, ice cream, kettle corn and other foods are available throughout the day.
Another attraction is the Alexander Brownlie Sod House, on the city’s north side. The sod house was built by the Brownlie Brothers dates from Iowa’s prairie days of the 1830s. The house, which is open for tours, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Located approximately six miles north and east of Long Grove is the Dan Nagle Walnut Grove Pioneer Village, at the north edge of Scott County Park. The village, a re-creation of an 1860s Scott County cross-roads settlement and stage coach, is made up of 18 historic buildings including an old church, a bank, a train depot and boardwalk of shops. Numerous events are scheduled throughout the year.
Scott County Park is a 1,280-acre (5 km2) county park that offers numerous amenities and camping facilities.
Organizations include the Lion Grove Lions Club, the Long Grove Civic League, the Long Grove Sportsman’s Club and the Cub Scouts.
The The Eldridge-Long Grove Recreational trail was completed in 2011 and funded with grant dollars by the Cities of Eldridge and Long Grove and by Scott County. The trail is a favorite for bicyclists, walkers, and runners. The Trail is not maintained during the winter months and is closed from December 1st through March 15th.
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