Tag Archives: small town celebration

Learning History in Siouxland, Sheldon

4 Sep

A number of communities in Siouxland have a museum. Sheldon‘s Prairie Museum is located in a former Carnegie Library building which is as beautiful today as it was when originally built.

The Sheldon Prairie Museum in Sheldon, Iowa Saturday, Aug.4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Sheldon Prairie Museum was a former Carnegie Library in Sheldon, Iowa Saturday, Aug.4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Most of the museums I visit contain local history, photos of past residents and early pioneers as well as yearbooks of now closed schools if they are small communities who have seen their school districts consolidate with other nearby communities as small towns have gotten smaller.

I found the Prairie Museum unusual in the sense that it showcased some hard, not very nice history as well as the usual past. One display case talks about Mrs. Burnice Geiger, a daughter of a bank president of the Sheldon National Bank which residents learned in the late 1950’s and early ’60’s that Mrs. Geiger had been embezzling funds for many, many years, totaling a little over $2 million.

A display in the Sheldon Prairie Museum tells the story of a woman who embezzled money from a local bank in Sheldon, Iowa Saturday, Aug.4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And in the mid 1920’s another not so savory piece of history involved a Klan Konklave which is some still prevalent in parts of the United States. But since Iowa fought on the side of the Union during the Civil War locals were astonished that such an event could happen in their midst.

A display in the Sheldon Prairie Museum tells the dark history of a Ku Lux Klan enclave that occurred in Sheldon, Iowa Saturday, Aug.4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The story of a Ku Klux Klan Konclave appears in an exhibit in the Sheldon Prairie Museum in Sheldon, Iowa Saturday, Aug.4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The museum has happier pieces of history and volunteers that help inform a visitor about various exhibits. One small room in the museum is pretty much the same as when a family occupied their home, the furniture still intact and original except for some reupholstering. Giving viewers a look backward into time at actual local residents.

Volunteer JoAnn DenBeste gives some background on exhibits at the Sheldon Prairie Museum in Sheldon, Iowa Saturday, Aug.4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The photo represents the look inside a Sheldon home in 1937, and the furniture in the photo is now at the Sheldon Prairie Museum in Sheldon, Iowa Saturday, Aug.4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The furniture in the exhibit remained the same as it was in a home in 1937 and except for some upholstery work and repairs is now an exhibit in the Sheldon Prairie Museum in Sheldon, Iowa Saturday, Aug.4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Museums such as Prairie Museum help a visitor understand a community and give a better insight of history, good or bad, that residents encountered. Making a visit more meaningful and receiving a better understanding of times past.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A variety of exhibits can be found in the Sheldon Prairie Museum in Sheldon, Iowa Saturday, Aug.4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Earlier residents of Sheldon, Iowa, now on display at the Sheldon Prairie Museum in Sheldon, Iowa Saturday, Aug.4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A photograph of early Sheldon residents, and survivors of the American Civil War, now on display at the Sheldon Prairie Museum in Sheldon, Iowa Saturday, Aug.4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Small Town parades in Siouxland, Ashton

21 Aug

I like visiting small communities throughout Siouxland. They are such a slice of small town America, at least what I remember as a child growing up in Illinois. Different people from different backgrounds and geographic locations recall different memories. But events here like the Town and Country Festival in Ashton is a community event for those specific people. And they enjoy themselves and seeing friends, family and whomever else might happen to stumble into the parade. And all take great pride.

Those who served still honor parades and their country as at the Ashton, Iowa Town and Country Festival Saturday, Aug.4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Small communities like these are still tied very much to the surrounding agriculture that occurs in places like Iowa. And so it figures that farming is part of an event or parade.

In small town parades farm equipment is part of the entourage like in the parade for the Ashton, Iowa Town and Country Festival Saturday, Aug.4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Agriculture plays a large part in many small communities even during a parade such as at the Ashton, Iowa Town and Country Festival Saturday, Aug.4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And the other part of any parade is candy that is tossed out to the kids, sometimes with parents helping, as they gather the treats that might see them through to the next holiday like Halloween or maybe just the next parade.

Kids with some assistance from parents and grandparents collecting candy during the parade at the Ashton, Iowa Town and Country Festival Saturday, Aug.4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Most everyone knows who is sitting on the sidelines watching or those in the parade itself. Enjoying a summer’s day, nice weather and a community celebration, until next year.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A driver and “passenger” waving to the “crowd” attending the parade during the Ashton, Iowa Town and Country Festival Saturday, Aug.4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Even in small towns people still line the street for parades such as at the Ashton, Iowa Town and Country Festival Saturday, Aug.4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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