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Discovering the Little Mermaid in Kimballton, Iowa

Little Mermaid Fountain in Kimballton, Iowa

If you’re not familiar with western Iowa, you might not know about the area’s Scandinavian heritage. Particularly in small towns like Elk Horn and Kimballton, Danish culture and customs are a major source of community pride. So in 1974, the town of Kimballton decided what better way to celebrate its Danish heritage than with an exact replica of the Little Mermaid statue that stands in the Copenhagen harbor?

The Progressive Danes of Kimballton bought the bronze statue crafted by two college students from Modesto, California as a way to honor famous Danish storyteller Hans Christian Andersen.

The Little Mermaid in Kimballton, Iowa previously ventured indoors when the weather turned cold. However, the statue was renovated in 2008 during the town’s Quasquicentennial Celebration to ensure that she remained a part of the year-round part of community for years to come.

Book cover of Secret Iowa: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful & Obscure

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Want to explore even more offbeat places around Iowa? Even at some of the state’s most well-known places, you’ll discover hidden histories and unique stories that are not often shared. Order your copy of the book, Secret Iowa: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure today!

Plan Your Visit to the Little Mermaid Statue in Kimballton, Iowa

If you’re passing through town—or if you happen to have visited its Copenhagen counterpart—the Little Mermaid fountain is a great stop and includes a delightfully informative audio tour of the sculptures’ histories.

Today, the fountain sits at the center of a small park circled in eight sculptures. These additional works were created by Kimballton’s New Century Art Guild Art Director Troy Muller, based on other short stories written by Hans Christian Andersen. Along with the Little Mermaid fountain, the park also is home to the Audubon County Freedom Rock.

Directions: From Interstate 80, take Exit 54 and head north on IA-173 N through Elk Horn to Kimballton.

Little Mermaid Fountain, 100 Esbeck Street in Kimballton, Iowa

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I would love to hear from you! Have you visited the Little Mermaid in Kimballton, Iowa? Or have you seen one of these statues somewhere else in the world?

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