Hanging onto History in Siouxland, Smithland

12 Sep

In the last few weeks I visited a small museum in Smithland, Iowa that I have driven past the log cabin museum a number of years. It was never open when I happened to be passing through, and although I wrote down a phone number off a sign, I remembered never to call. Until finally I did. And what a pleasant and yet, sad surprise. Pleasant because they are so many “treasures” and historical artifacts located in this small museum which is a replica of an earlier school built by the founder of the community, O.B. Smith. Sad because there is only one person, Katherine Mack, who is manning the “fort” and trying to keep the museum operating, functioning and a source of local pride and history.

I sat down with Katherine and talked with her and put together a short video piece hoping it my find her some help through other locals or individuals wanting to preserve area history. But for all the daunting aspects of what Katherine faces, she is full of energy and hope, and I believe will succeed in her quest to keep the museum open and available to those who want to learn more about Smithland and the surrounding area.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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