A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada

Otranto, Iowa

Nearby Census Genealogy
Cemeteries Tidbits &
Other IA

The location of Otranto

Introduction ...

Below is our collection of tidbits, odds 'n ends for Otranto.

This page contains eight sections:

Outdoor Activities ...

As we travel, we like to pursue some of our interests (such as astronomy and bird watching).

When in Otranto, we use the following websites to find information relevant to Otranto and the surrounding area.

Weather ...

Before heading outdoors, you should check the weather:

The National Weather Service forecast for Otranto and surrounding area.

Astronomy ...

Whether using binoculars, a small telescope or the naked-eye, the Heavens-Above website can help amateurs find their way around the night-time sky. In addition to detailed sky charts, their website lists the visible planets, asteriods, comets, satellites and their track across the sky.

To give accurate results, Heavens-Above requires the latitude and longitude of your location. As a starting point, when we link to Heavens-Above, we pass the location for Otranto. Once you're on the Heavens-Above website, you can improve accuracy by giving a more precise longitude and latitude for your actual position.

The Heavens-Above Website, centered on Otranto.

Bird Watching ...

We enjoy finding new spots for bird watching and we use the eBird website to find local sighting reports and hotspots.

The eBird website is organized on a county-by-county basis. We have selected Mitchell County as the starting point when you click on the link below:

The Mitchell County sighting report from eBird.

Since Otranto is near Worth County and also Mower County, we have provided a link to their eBird sighting reports:

Sighting report for Worth County

Sighting report for Mower County

Waymarking ...

Looking for somewhere out of the ordinary? Find a unique place and want to share it with others? Then it's time to visit

The website, centered on Otranto.

How Far From Otranto to ...

We spend a lot of time looking through Gazetteers that were published in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Many of the Gazetteers include the distance from a community such as Otranto to various places of note, such as the White House.

With a nod to our favorite Gazetteers, the straight-line distance<1> beginning in Otranto and extending to:

  • Osage [Map], which is the Seat of Mitchell County, lies 14 miles [22.5 km] to the Southeast. If you could walk a straight line from Otranto to Osage, with an average speed<2> of 2.2 miles [3.5 km] per hour, it would take most of a day to make the trip. A horse and buggy averaging 3.2 miles [5.1 km] per hour would take four to five hours.
  • Des Moines [Map], which is the State Capital of Iowa, lies 132 miles [212.4 km] to the South Southwest (SSW). Driving, with an average speed of 63 miles [101.4 km] per hour, would take less than three hours, a buggy would take 6 days and walking would take 8 days.
  • The White House (Washington, DC [Map]) is 884 miles [1,422.7 km] to the East Southeast (ESE). Driving would take most of two days, a buggy would take 35 days and walking would take 51 days.
  • The shortest distance<3> to Jerusalem (specifically the Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock [Map]) is 6,291 miles [10,124.4 km] and it lies to the Northeast (NE).<4>
  • The distance to the Great Mosque of Mecca (specifically the Ka'bah - or Kaaba [Map]) is 7,043 miles [11,334.6 km] and it lies to the Northeast (NE).<5>
  • The distance to Saint Peter's Basilica (The Vatican [Map]) is 4,944 miles [7,956.6 km] and it lies to the Northeast (NE).<6>

Communities Also Named Otranto ...

We have found 2 communities that share the name Otranto.

While the name Otranto is unique within Iowa, we know of another 2 communities with the same name in the United States.

Communities Outside of Iowa

South Carolina

Barnwell County

Our profile page for Otranto, Barnwell County

We found mention of this community, but have little information.<7>

Although located in Barnwell County, we don't know the location of this community within the county.

Charleston County

Our profile page for Otranto, Charleston County   [Map]

Distance: About 1,006 miles [1,619 km] to the Southeast.

Curious and Interesting Names Near Otranto ...

As we travel, we always see a community with a name that gives pause. While there are names which are interesting or familiar, some catch our attention or strike our fancy. We always talk about such a name. If time permits and the community is not too far, we'll usually try to make a side-trip.

Carpenter   -   3 miles [4.8 km] to the Southwest of Otranto   [Map]

Deer Creek   -   7 miles [11.3 km] to the West   [Map]

Johnsburg (MN)   -   11 miles [17.7 km] to the East   [Map]

London (MN)   -   6 miles [9.7 km] to the Northwest   [Map]

Lyle (MN)   -   3 miles [4.8 km] to the Northeast   [Map]

Mitchell   -   11 miles [17.7 km] to the Southeast   [Map]

Rose Creek (MN)   -   12 miles [19.3 km] to the Northeast   [Map]

Stacyville   -   10 miles [16.1 km] to the East   [Map]

Stacyville Junction   -   2 miles [3.2 km] to the East   [Map]

Notable Births & Deaths ...

This is a new section for us and we are still collecting data.

Below is our list of notable people who were born, died or were buried in the area surrounding Otranto. Please note that while we are collecting data on an ongoing basis, it's a big task and it's unlikely that our list will ever be more than a sample.

Buddy Holly     (Charles Hardin Holley)

Musician. He was born in Lubbock (Texas) on Monday September 7, 1936 and died in Clear Lake (Iowa) on Tueday February 3, 1959 at an age of 22. He was buried at City of Lubbock Cemetery (Lubbock County, Texas) [Map].

Clear Lake [Map] is located 29 miles [46.7 km] to the southwest of Otranto

Find-A-Grave Memorial: Buddy Holly<8>

Ritchie Valens     (Born as Richard Steven Valenzuela)

Musician. He was born in Pacoima (California) on Tueday May 13, 1941 and died in Clear Lake (Iowa) on Tueday February 3, 1959 at an age of 17. He was buried at San Fernando Mission Cemetery (Los Angeles County, California) [Map].

Clear Lake [Map] is located 29 miles [46.7 km] to the southwest of Otranto

Find-A-Grave Memorial: Ritchie Valens

Robert James Waller

Author. He was born in Rockford (Iowa) on Tueday August 1, 1939 and died in Fredericksburg (Texas) on Friday March 10, 2017 at an age of 77.

Rockford [Map] is located 28 miles [45.1 km] to the south of Otranto

Find-A-Grave Memorial: Robert James Waller

Other Roadside Stops ...

Search for a Community located in Iowa

About Mitchell County

About Iowa

Off-the-Road Links ...

Unfortunately, we don't know of a website for Otranto. If you can help, please contact us through our Feedback Page.

The official website for State of Iowa:

Footnotes ...

<1>Our distances are not driving distances, but are calculated as a 'point-to-point' distance. A straight line distance ignores things like rivers, canyons, lakes, et cetera - it's truly a line from Point A (ie- Otranto) to Point B.

Our distance measurements begin at a specific point in Otranto. The point we use is located at these GPS coordinates - Latitude: 43.4583, Longitude: -92.9857     [Map].   In this case, the coordinates for Otranto have been provided by the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS).

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<2>While we have tried to pick reasonable speeds, the rate of travel is very theoretical - obstacles like fences, hills, lakes, river crossings and rest stops have been ignored. When we say 'Days' of travel, we're assuming 8 hours of travel per day.

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<3>The shortest line can be visualized by stretching a string on a Globe from Point A to Point B - this is known as a Great Circle Route. Where you might expect the shortest route from Otranto to the Middle East to be East and South, the Great Circle Route actually lies to the North and East.

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<4>The calculated bearing (or angle) to Jerusalem is 318.088 degrees.

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<5>The calculated bearing (or angle) to Mecca is 315.719 degrees.

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<6>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the Vatican is 310.883 degrees.

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<7>If we encounter the name of what might be a community, our methodology is to add that name to our Gazetteer as a placeholder. As we find more information about that community, it will be added to our Gazetteer.

Just as a reminder: Our definition of a community is rather broad and includes those places (or areas) where several families lived and had a name which identified that place. For example, you might hear somebody say that they are going over to Rock Creek to see Pete ... Rock Creek is just a gas station and a couple of homes at the crossroads. While it might not be on the map, everybody in the area knows it by that name.

Places of interest include buildings at a crossroad, several families clustered in a hollow or maybe the location of a way station. It also includes places like mines, lumber camps, ferry crossings, etc. The community might still exist, is now gone or only existed for just a short period of time.

Also keep in mind that Otranto could have been on the original document by mistake, misspelled, the original/alternate name of a community that we've listed elsewhere or was placed in the wrong county. Sometimes a post office or train station would have a different name than the community where it's located, so two names might be referring to the same community - we're working to straighten it all out.

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<8>The Find-a-Grave website is an excellent research tool with information about a cemetery's location and interments. They also offer a forum for their members which can provide additional help. More information about Find-a-Grave can be found on their website:

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This page was last modified: 13 Oct 2019