Linn County Freedom Rock

Tributes of those on the Rock

History of the Linn County Freedom Rock

The Linn County Fairgrounds in Central City is honored to be the site of a Freedom Rock®. The journey to the finished piece you see began in July of 2018 when the announcement was made that Central City was the recipient of a Freedom Rock®. Then, nearly a year later, after much planning and fundraising an enormous rock was generously donated by Tom Watson, a Vietnam combat veteran, of rural Palo. Mr. Watson also assisted with shipment and placement of the 7’ x 14’ glacier rock to the fairgrounds. Unfortunately, as the rock was being prepped and primed, it was revealed to be sandstone: an unstable canvas for the painting process that a Freedom Rock commands. Armed with fresh knowledge and experience about sedimentary (sandstone) and igneous glacier boulders, the search was on for another local rock. The sandstone was honorably repurposed to the central part of the Fairgrounds, and a second rock was identified and excavated from the generous and charitable Vern and Nancy Zahradnik family farm. This final and current rock stands 10’ high, and weighs in at just over 44K pounds. In September of 2021, Freedom Rock® artist Ray “Bubba” Sorenson laid out his design to honor Linn County veterans and painted the mural scene. This painting took 12 days to complete, and is the 99th (final county) in Iowa that is part of Sorenson’s Iowa Freedom Rock County Tour. We hope this Freedom Rock serves not only as a tribute to our military, but a place for visitors to enjoy, reflect, and give thanks to those that have served the country. May God bless the families of our service men and women and may this park bring you peace and comfort.

The Freedom Rock Shelter

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