November 26, 2022

Creston, around the world

In our little city of Creston, Iowa, agriculture is a major industry. It’s not uncommon to be stopped by a train on the daily commute. We look forward to Balloon Days every fall and the July Fourth parade in the summer.

That’s what it’s like in this Creston. But what about all the other towns of Creston around the world?

We researched towns, cities, villages and small scraps of land called Creston to find out what it’s like to be from Creston - somewhere else. There are 13 other locations in the world with the same name as our city. We narrowed it down to these sixm along with our own. Along the way, we called mayors, researched city websites, dived into social media and more to immerse ourselves in their Creston.

One of the most interesting discoveries is nearly every town called Creston is a train town - just like here. In fact, one Creston, the second-largest, was named after Creston, Iowa. Take a look at what we found, starting with the one most familiar to us.

Creston, Iowa

Like many towns and cities in this area, Creston, Iowa, was developed largely for agriculture, with related industries accompanying it.

Creston, Iowa, is a city in Union County with a 2020 population of 7,536. It was established in 1868 as a survey camp for the Burlington and Missouri Railroad. It was named for the fact that it was on the crest of the railroad line between the Missouri and Mississippi river basins.

Creston was chosen as the division point for the railroad, who built machine shops, a roundhouse, and a construction camp in the new town. Railroad employees were recruited from Chicago and other major cities to work in Creston.

Creston was hit by a tornado on April 14, 2012. The tornado caused considerable damage to the hospital, community college, Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the high school. The town’s tornado sirens did not sound, catching people off guard.

There has been a major push to beautify uptown Creston in the last few years. Market on Maple, Merry Marketplace, Southwest Iowa Hot Air Balloon Days and July Fourth festivities all bring vendors and patrons uptown.

Creston, Illinois

While we celebrated Balloon Days, Creston, Illinois, was celebrating their Booster Days - an event known throughout the region as one of the top, small-town festivals.

Creston, Illinois, is a village in Ogle County with a 2010 population of 663. It was established in 1856 and named for its supposed location being the highest point of land between Chicago and the Mississippi River.

They have a thriving agricultural industry as well as a notable K-8 public school, an outstanding library, park district and active community organizations.

The village is located 90 miles west of Chicago and 30 miles south of Rockford, along the historic Lincoln Highway. Tom Byro serves as village president.

Creston, Nebraska

Similarly to the Creston in Illinois, Creston, Nebraska, was named for its lofty elevation.

Creston, Nebraska, is a village in Platte County with a 2010 population of 203. It was established in 1886 when the Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley Railroad was extended to that point. The town was incorporated as a village in 1890.

Citizens of the village have spent the last few years renovating a historic building called The Vault on Main. The community-inspired space used to be a historic Citizens Bank building.

Personalized tiles have been sold as a way to fund the half million dollar project.

The village is located northwest of Omaha, between Norfolk and Columbus.

Creston, Ohio

Originally named Pike Station, Creston, Ohio, also got its start when the railroad was extended to that point.

Creston, Ohio is a village in Medina and Wayne counties with a 2010 population of 2,171. It was established in the 1860s with the Pike Station post office opening in 1865. The name changed to Creston in 1881.

Clerk Treasurer Pam Hostetler said Creston is known for its farmland, rolling hills and quiet community. Even in the 1960s and 1970s, she said it was a safe fun place to grow up. “We had great neighborhoods,” she said. “The neighborhood moms were like your mom too.”

She worked her first job at the Tasty Freeze in town and learned to bowl at the local bowling alley. While we’re known for the Bunn-O-Matic factory, Creston, Ohio, is known for their basket factory.

The railroad never left Creston. Hostetler said they have three railroads and a train station in town.

Their major community event is the annual Ox Fest where there’s a big roast, cotton candy and lots of rides.

The Norwayne Local School District, named for its location in northern Wayne county, was consolidated in 1950. Ryan Brown, a cartoonist best known for his work on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, was a 1980 graduate.

The village is located 45 miles south of Cleveland.

Creston, Washington

Following the bankruptcy of the town site owner, Creston, Washington, almost met its end in 1893.

Creston, Washington, is a town in Lincoln County with a 2010 population of 236 people. It was established in 1889 and after it remained in dormancy for several years, a wheat crop in 1897 gave a boost to the regional economy, bringing thousands of new settlers to the region.

The results of the strong harvest were immediate with new businesses, grain elevators, public buildings, churches and the town’s first bank and newspaper. At the same time, Creston was given a boost by a new road and ferry connecting it to the rich mineral belts in the nearby Colville Indian Reservation. Between 1900 and 1903, Creston’s population doubled to 102.

In August 1902, the last surviving member of the infamous Hole in the Wall Gang, Harry Tracy, was shot at a Creston ranch and killed himself there to avoid capture. Creston was officially incorporated on April 20, 1903.

The Creston School District maintains the Creston Elementary and Wilbur-Creston 7-8th grade. The 9-12 grade students are maintained in Wilbur-Creston Cooperative High school.

Creston is located at the foot of Creston Butte, which lies directly south of the town. The butte rises to 2,800 feet (850 m) above sea level, approximately 350 feet (110 m) higher than the town’s elevation.

Creston, Washington is on the eastern side of the state. It’s located 56 miles west of Spokane.

Creston, California

The world’s smallest census-designated Creston is in California.

Creston, California, is an unincorporated area in San Luis Obispo County with a 2010 population of 94 people. It was founded in 1884 on the Rancho Huerhuero Mexican land grant and was named after a man named Calvin Cressy.

Creston was home to Cardiff Stud Farm (Creston Farms), a place once owned by Canadian-American television personality Alex Trebek, and where a number of retired American thoroughbred racehorses were provided care. Cardiff Stud Farm was sold in 2008 and is now an event center called Windfall Farms.

The area is home to a barn and restaurant, a saloon and a general store.

Creston, California, is in the southern portion of the state, about halfway between Los Angeles and San Fransisco.

Creston, British Columbia - Canada

The only Creston outside of the United States lies in Canada.

Creston, British Columbia, is a town in the Kootenay region on the unceded ancestral territory of the Kutenai First Nations with a 2021 population of 5,583. It was founded in 1891 when three settlers landed there. At that time, it was known as Fred’s Little ranch after Fred Little, one of the three settlers.

In 1898, the name was changed to Fisher, but residents preferred the name Creston. Little selected the name after Creston, Iowa, where he had worked on the railroad. The town petitioned Canada Pacific Railway to allow the name to be changed to Creston. The request was granted in 1899.

The Creston city website states, “Creston residents enjoy a mild climate, stunning scenery and small town living at its best. There is an amazing array of ways to enjoy the community, from a thriving arts and culture scene, to volunteerism, to a quiet walk on a local trail, or a challenging hike in the backcountry.”

One of Creston’s largest employers is Columbia Brewing, makers of Kokanee beer.

The Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area sits on an area of more than 17,000 acres, home to 300 birds, 60 mammals, 17 fish, six reptiles and six amphibian species.

Creston, British Columbia is located only 6 miles north of the Idaho/Canada border.

Cheyenne Roche

CHEYENNE ROCHE

Originally from Wisconsin, Cheyenne has a journalism and political science degree from UW-Eau Claire and a passion for reading and learning. She lives in Creston with her husband and their two little dogs.