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The First Avenue mural welcoming visitors to Rock Rapids deserves a closer look: from the Illinois Central Depot to the blacksmith shop, each letter depicts one of the town's historic sites. It was the mural society's 17th effort, completed by Curt Nelson in 2007. (LAURA GREVAS/DAILY GLOBE)

Rock Rapids is 'City of Murals': Iowa community takes cue from city in Washington state

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ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa -- With its sleepy streets and stereotypically low number of stoplights, it would be easy to mistake Rock Rapids for just another small town.

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But a tiny group of sideline historians are dedicated to making sure the county seat of Lyon County doesn't fall into that category.

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