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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Thank you to the Pocahontas County Supervisors for their Support!

We will speak to  the Pocahontas County Supervisors soon to thank them for their support and to let them know what we accomplished in 2016. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, we put together these photos for our presentation.

The museum held 27 programs, group tours, and open houses in 2016. We worked with school classes, nursing homes, and community organizations.
county-wide School Days at Wiegert Farmstead

 hands-on tour
Horizon's Unlimited
 presentation on pioneer farming
Women, Land and Legacy Group
Pocahontas, Buena Vista and Calhoun County

 Pocahontas Area and Laurens-Marathon 
May term class

 Pocahontas Area and Laurens-Marathon 
May term class

 Pocahontas Area and Laurens-Marathon 
May term class

 ISU after-school program

 ongoing Laurens-Marathon fifth grade Iowa history

Laurens-Marathon American History class

Outreach Displays 
The museum set up new displays every three months at local libraries.
 Rolfe Public Library
 Pocahontas Public Library

Laurens Public Library

 We also displayed two trees at the Laurens Festival of Trees
fifth grade pioneer tree

museum tree
"Merry Marketing"

We provided a display for the schoolhouse at the Wiegert Fall Fest.

Building Maintenance
We put in new and retrofitted lights on the main floor.
Thanks to Laurens Municipal Power and Communications for installation! 

We installed safer handrails to the basement.

Organization and Display 
We had guest  displays at the museum.
The Laurens-Marathon American History class created a display as part of their study of WWI.

The Finders Keepers Club put together a display about 1950's housewives.

Some of 2016 New Acquisitions 

 breaking plow

umpire equipment
work horse items

Sunday, January 22, 2017

A Box Full of Stories

We can always expect to hear great stories and learn a lot when we head to area nursing homes. We weren't disappointed last week, when we entered the Laurens Care Center. We had been there a few months ago with farm items. We had lots of fun and so we made a return visit, this time with a box or two filled with household items from the museum collection. 

We started off with a glass milk bottle. Right away we heard a story about competing dairies leaving gifts of milk on the doorsteps of new neighbors. We also learned about rural delivery of milk which was new information for us.  A meat grinder lay in the bottom of our box of goodies. Not being from the Midwest, I didn't know about using a meat grinder to make egg salad and cranberry relish. Hey, I thought it was a meat grinder! 

These programs are so easy and pleasant for us to do. All we need to do is pull out an item and listen and learn. We hope the residents enjoyed it as much as we did. We'll be returning soon for another visit. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Program Postponed

From Scythes to Silos has been postponed until Tuesday, January 17 due to weather

Sunday, January 8, 2017

New Displays at your Local Library

We loaded up the car with museum goodies and took to the road again last week to provide new displays for three of our county libraries.

Pocahontas Library is now hosting the display "Lesson Learned" which was originally put together for the dedication of the school house at Wiegert Farm this past summer.

The large display case at the Laurens Library is filled with an exhibit put together by the Finders Keepers Club. You'll be shaking your head and chuckling as you read the advice doled out to the 1950's housewife.

The Rolfe Public Library has a display that we put together just for them with memorabilia from the Rolfe School. There's an old brick from the first schoolhouse in the county which was located at old Rolfe. There's a diploma from Watson W. Beam, son of one of the first doctors in the county, and a graduation class photo from 1904. There's a 1916 football uniform that doesn't afford much protection and picture of the football team that wore those uniforms. Don't miss the photo of Rolfe High School's two Rhodes scholars, Virgil Hancher (1918) and Charles Gordon Siefken (1930).  Yes, two graduates from Rolfe High School went on to receive a Rhodes scholarship considered one of the world's most prestigious awards!


Saturday, December 17, 2016

School Birthday

Before 2016 gets away we should wish the Laurens school house a happy 100th birthday. The building was first used in the fall of 1916. Although similar school buildings across Pocahontas County have been torn down, this one still looks great.
It was constructed behind the prior 1889 school which was removed once its
replacement was completed, creating the front yard of the present building.It was declared to be fireproof since it had metal floors and brick walls. It also had indoor "water closets."


Enrollment then was nearly the same as it is now, but today's students are spread out into several additional structures.

By erecting the school on the highest point in the town and at the north end of its main business district street, the community made a statement that resonates yet today.

Submitted by Jerry Depew