A place to jam and bite the biggest burger!


To get the most from a day in Williamson (about six miles north of Chariton), plan your trip to include the first Monday of the month. Daytime holds photo opportunities for camera buffs who are challenged to seek out less obvious shots that are interesting, curious, or thought provoking.

For lunch, the Williamson Tavern – “Home of the Papa Burger” – is a must. It is famous county-wide for its delicious hamburgers that are the size of a dinner plate! They also serve steaks, and, of course, beer and other beverages. Located at 108 W. South Avenue, the Tavern is open M-Sat 10:30 to 2:30 p.m. and again from 5 to 10 p.m.

Stick around for an evening at the community center where musicians come from all around to jam. The music is country and western and gospel and draws listeners from miles around. You can usually count on about a dozen musicians coming to play.

Williamson’s population was 163 at the 2000 census, including 71 households and 46 families. The community does have, however, an extended population. People who used to live in, or went to school in, Williamson keep in touch through a newsletter called “Williamson Highlights.” The 20 page newsletter is published regularly by Mary Jo Polo, who served for many years as the community’s postmaster. Alumni write letters about where they are and what they are doing and Polo shares the information through the newsletter. It serves as an on-going reunion of sorts.

The newsletter also includes other articles that are just fun to read. They may be tidbits from yesteryear to current news. For example, a recent newsletter included the poignant, personal story of the little girl to was sucked into the storm sewer in Chariton and after a two block ride inside, was tossed out alive and relatively unharmed at a lift station. There is also an “In Memory” page to let alumni know who has passed away. To get on the newsletter mailing list, send a request to P.O. Box 86, Williamson, IA 50272.