Remembering History in Siouxland, Ireton

25 Jul

This past spring I accidentally came across a small museum in Ireton, Iowa. It is housed in a older building and happened to talk to the granddaughter of one of the women involved with it and another historical house in the community. The Ireton Area Historical Society is made up of members who are easily over 70 and have been involved with the group a number of years. These women work hard to preserve the community history of Ireton and the surrounding area. The sad thing is that as various members pass on, there are fewer to drive that need to intimately know the community’s history and share it with people, even strangers as myself who call them up and ask about seeing their museum and the Historical House on Ash Street, which has a one-room school house next door.

As people age in smaller communities that are no longer growing, the possibility of so much history is in danger of being forgotten. How many of us have shoe boxes of photographs from our parents that without any written notes on the back of the photos we have no idea who these people are. What side of the family they may have been  on (mother’s or father’s) and anything remotely about them.

A famous quote once stated that in order to know where one is going, you have got to know from whence you came. And sadly, losing the history of a place is a loss for all.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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