Sunset Beach Auto Salvage
was not always an auto salvage yard
. In the very beginning it was a sand quarry, and then from 1939 to 1962 it was a very popular swimming beach. Patrons were charged a quarter to swim in the pond that was formerly the old quarry.
The pond is about 7 acres and even to this day has a very nice sandy beach area adjoining 38 acres of land making up Sunset Beach. My grandfather, Lee Mitchell, had been very successful building Iowa's largest transmission repair shop, Mitchell Transmission, which started out as one of Des Moines
first auto salvage yards. My grandfather and his brother Dick began working on building the transmission business after selling and installing used transmission for his customers at the salvage yard. After many years and quite a lot of trying times, the business took off and became very successful.