The original Freedom Rock is located in Adair County, just a mile south of Interstate 80 exit #86 near Greenfield. It is re-painted with a different tribute to our veterans annually. The rock was dug out of the nearby limestone quarry in the late 60’s. Since it was placed so close to Highway 25 it was frequently covered in crude graffiti from local teens, usually to taunt other town’s sports teams.
In 1999, Ray Sorensen II asked the owners of the quarry if he could paint a tribute to our military for Memorial Day. They agreed, and Ray, better known as Bubba, has painted a tribute each year for the past 14 years on what is now known internationally as The Freedom Rock, and during this time has been hired across the country to create his patriotic murals.
Next came the Freedom Rock Tour. That idea came about when Sorensen was thinking about traveling around painting murals for American Legions throughout the country. Ray thought that would be a cool tourism draw to have paintings in each American Legion across the country…then it hit him, what a neat draw it would be for Iowa to have a “Freedom Rock” in all 99 counties.
The hope is that this will be a one-of-a-kind statewide Veterans Memorial that will lead tourists across our state
to see each rock, providing small towns with a unique tourist attraction.
The George Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that they will be commissioning Sorensen to bring a Freedom Rock to Lyon County. The Chamber will be partnering with the City of George and the George Depot Committee to place the rock near the newly-relocated George Railroad Depot on George’s north side in Locker Park.
Over the next several months the George Chamber of Commerce will be soliciting funds and accepting donations to help cover the cost of the project. It is expected to cost around $8000.
For more information and to view a live map of counties as they commit to the project visit www.thefreedomrock.com.