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Local Attractions

Elm Crest Senior Living Community is located in Harlan, Iowa. Harlan is a small Midwestern town where neighbors are friends, family is a priority, and people look out for each other. The town centers itself on a strong sense of faith, a responsibility to support the community and its members, a pride in quality education, and an appreciation of what it is to unwind and have fun.

Faith & Worship

A variety of faiths and denominations are represented within the Harlan community. You are sure to find a church family that encourages you and nourishes your spiritual growth.

  • Abundant Life
  • Bethel Baptist
  • St. Michael’s Catholic Church
  • First Christian Church
  • Congregational United Church of Christ
  • St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
  • First Baptist
  • Grace Baptist
  • Jehovah’s Witness
  • Latter Day Saints
  • Immanuel Lutheran Church
  • United Methodist Church
  • New Testament Baptist Church
  • First Assembly of God
  • Peace Lutheran
  • Seventh day Adventist

Clubs & Organizations

Various clubs and civic organizations within the Harlan community provide a forum for building kinship based on similar interests and opportunities and for working together to serve citizens both locally and beyond.

  • Knights of Columbus
  • Lions Club
  • Kiwanis
  • JayCees
  • Saddle Club

Myrtue Medical Center and Myrtue Memorial Hospital

The Harlan community offers a broad range of health services and is home to both Myrtue Medical Center and Myrtue Memorial Hospital.


Harlan has an outstanding public library with a large collection of books and periodicals. Additional books may be obtained through the library on interlibrary loan from the Council Bluffs Public Library so you’re guaranteed to always find just what you’re looking for. The Harlan Public library is also an excellent resource for genealogical research, whether you’re just starting your search or you’re an experienced pro. Computers with internet access are also available at the library.


Harlan is proud of Iowa’s heritage as a leader in education and strives to keep the education of children a top priority. The Harlan Community school district serves over 1600 students from the communities of Corley, Defiance, Earling, Harlan, Jacksonville, Panama, Portsmouth, and Westphalia. Shelby County Catholic Schools provides K-8 in the area as well. An alternate high school program and opportunities for handicapped children and adults are also available. Many extracurricular activities are offered including clubs, music programs, and athletic activities. Whether attending a band concert or baseball game, there are plenty of opportunities to watch Harlan’s students in action.

Activity/Community Centers

The recently completed C.G. Therkildsen Activity Center offers over 13,000 square feet of intelligently-designed gathering space. The facility includes meeting rooms and dining facilities for a wide variety of social and educational opportunities. This beautiful one-story prairie-style construction is home to the Shelby County Senior Center and meal site.


Veterans Memorial Auditorium is an 8,800 square feet facility perfect for celebrations, family reunions, and receptions of all kind. With dinner seating capacity of up to 700, it’s perfect for any gathering.


The Harlan park system includes a total of 84 acres spread across six parks. Facilities in the parks include playgrounds, ball diamonds, tennis courts, skating areas, fishing, swimming, and walking trails. Prairie Rose State Park is only three miles from Harlan and offers a picturesque 218-acre lake, a nature trail, and camping facilities.