Dickinson County Courthouse, Spirit Lake, Iowa

Rural Addressing

In the early 1990s, Dickinson County implemented a rural addressing system to coincide with the introduction of 911 service. The system is based on a grid layout, with east-west roads designated as streets and north-south roads designated as avenues. The numbering starts at 100th Avenue on the Osceola County line and goes up to 340th Avenue on the Emmet County line. Meanwhile, the streets start at 100th Street on the Minnesota border and go up to 270th Street on the Clay County line.

Houses and buildings were assigned four or five-digit house numbers as part of the grid system. For instance, residing on 230th Avenue between 170th Street and 180th Street places you in the 1700-block of 230th Avenue, with your house number beginning with 17. House numbers increase as you head south and east. Odd numbers are located on the west and south side of the road, while even numbers are on the east and north sides.

Upon the establishment of the system, every homeowner was provided with house number signs. It is of utmost importance for homeowners to ensure the upkeep of these signs and guarantee their visibility by removing any obstructions such as trees or bushes. These signs should be easily seen from both directions and should reflect light effectively during nighttime. In the event that your sign is missing, damaged, or no longer reflective at night, please do not hesitate to contact us at 712-336-3987 or fill out our online form to request a replacement sign. Law enforcement officers, EMTs, and fire departments heavily rely on these signs to locate your residence during emergencies. By properly maintaining and keeping these signs visible, you contribute to a faster response in times of crisis.

In 2015, Dickinson County 911 initiated the installation of new house marker signs that incorporate the road name. These modern signs are gradually replacing the older ones that have been damaged, lost, or have started to lose their reflectivity due to aging. The replacement process will take place over the course of several years, depending on the availability of funding.

If you have any questions regarding the addressing system in Dickinson County, please feel free to contact us at 712-336-3987 or send an email to mike@dcem.us.