The town of New Hampton was platted in 1857 on the open prairie between the Little Turkey River to the east and the Wapsipinicon River to the west. In 1879 the town was connected to the Chicago, Milwaukee, and Saint Paul Railroad. The original town plat placed the courthouse square one block north of Main Street, and by the 1870s this public square had developed as a distinct civic center with two of the principal churches facing onto the open square. There are a number of surviving late nineteenth-century business blocks on G Avenue. The most vigorous of these is the two-story brick Central Block of 1879, located at 173–175 G Avenue. Though it has been remodeled, the Central Block retains a strong cornice, and stone-arched windows on the second floor.
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