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Le Mars

Trip Planner USA  /  Iowa  /  Le Mars
(4.3/5 based on 170+ reviews for 2 attractions)
Things to do: museums
Le Mars is a city in and the county seat of Plymouth County, Iowa, United States. It is located on the Floyd River and northeast of Sioux City. The population was 9,826 at the 2010 census.Le Mars is the home of Wells' Dairy, the world's largest producer of ice cream novelties in one location and is the self-proclaimed "Ice Cream Capital of the World". Wells is best known for its Blue Bunny products.HistoryLe Mars was platted in 1869, but no lots were sold until the Chicago and North Western Transportation Company arrived in 1879. According to town legend, CNW investor John I. Blair and a group of women arrived at the town, which was then called St. Paul Junction. Blair asked the women to name the town, and they submitted an acronym based upon their first names' initials: Lucy Underhill, Elizabeth Parson, Mary Weare, Anna Blair, Rebecca Smith and Sarah Reynolds.In 1885, Frederick Brooke Close, a young Englishman who had passed up attending Cambridge University to live in Iowa, founded the Northwestern Polo League in Le Mars.In 1913, Fred H. Wells opened a milk route in Le Mars. By 1925, Wells and his sons had opened an ice cream manufacturing plant there. The plant (and the Wells name) was purchased by Fairmount Ice Cream in 1928. In 1935, Fred and his sons sought to begin selling ice cream again, but could no longer use their name. They therefore sponsored a “Name That Ice Cream” contest in the Sioux City Journal. The winner of the $25 prize suggested "Blue Bunny" because his son had enjoyed seeing blue bunnies in department store windows at Easter.
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