History and Culture


Fairfield is one of the first hybrid rural communities to grow up and leverage the Internet, entrepreneurship and sustainability to attract people from across the country and the world. These newcomers have implanted urban tastes, careers, ambitions, restaurants, cultural activities and networking opportunities. Our community is an active, unique and growing rural entrepreneurial and college town. Fairfield capitalizes on its highly educated talent pool and knowledge-based economy to create a model of prosperity.

We’ve invested in our community by building a new public library, spending $7M to develop a new downtown civic and convention center with the Steven Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts. Our downtown streetscape has been beautified. A new 100mb Internet fiber network is in place for residents, businesses and other community organizations. All of these improvements and cultural opportunities have increased sales and investments for our community’s businesses, cultural and entertainment venues.

History & Culture

The history of Fairfield dates back to Monday March 4, 1839. Fairfield is the county seat of Jefferson County. In 1840, the town of Fairfield had a population of 110. By October 1847, the population had increased to 141 families, 651 inhabitants. In 1847, Oh, how far we’ve came. Today, with a population of roughly 9,500, Fairfield is may appear to be like a typical Midwestern community with town citizens embracing traditional values of hard work and leadership. We may be surrounded by corn and soybean fields, but Fairfield is not your typical rural Midwestern town.

Fairfield has become one of America’s most recognized rural boomtowns. Fairfield has quietly built a thriving and serene economy, based on agriculture, manufacturing entrepreneurship and more. Over the past 25 years, Fairfield has reinvented itself into a creative and diverse community with over 40 art galleries, live music, live theatre and international cuisine. On any given weekend in this unique southeast Iowa town you’ll discover residents from various cultural backgrounds and ages gathering to celebrate art, music and food.

Entrepreneurial Spirit

Our community has become a leader in rural entrepreneurial development and philanthropy through our community approach to improving entrepreneurship, sustainability and developing community assets. We’ve improved our entrepreneurial ecosystem, public/private partnerships, infrastructure projects that have lead to economic expansion and diversification, historic preservation, and tourism.

Fairfield is a diverse community that features a commitment to the arts and culture, sustainable living, and an entrepreneurial spirit uniquely found amongst the corn fields of southeastern Iowa. Fairfield has a long history of support for the arts through cultural groups and other focused efforts on appreciation for music, theatre and local history.

back to top