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Open from 6:00 a.m. until noon on Saturdays or by appointment. Contact Dave Jackson or Scott Romine.
Larry Cuddeback and his daughter, Cheyenne Cuddeback Miller discussed their memorable project of interviewing over 110 WWII veterans in southeastern Iowa for their well known and highly praised book, "We Lucky Few," on Sunday, November 2. They also shared that their second volume "Three of Hearts" in which even more veterans were interviewed will be coming out in the near future.

The Grimm Sisters, Jeannie (Grimm) Fetzer, Rebecca (Grimm) Hadenfeldt , and Ruth (Grimm) Henson, with the help of their brother, Bill Grimm, entertained a large History Center audience on Ocotober 26. Their "genetic" harmony was pleasing to every ear in the packed house that day.

At the EV History Center last week, Carol Hodgden from Marion, Iowa, displayed and discussed over 50 of her beautiful, artistic quilts. A large audience of over 50 was on hand to admire her award-winning work and to meet this highly regarded Iowa quilt artist.
David Connon, an independent scholar from Earlham, Iowa, presented a fascinating program at the EV History Center on Sunday, August 24, that was entitled "Iowans who fought against the Union." A large, interested crowd was on hand, and his research and presentation were regarded by everyone as very well done.
"In Search of Ancient Americans" was the title of the program presented by Bill Anderson on June 22 at the History Center. Haling from the Richland area, Bill discussed specific archaelogical finds in southern Keokuk County that revealed early life in Iowa long before the first pioneer settlers of Iowa.
Diane Rattner, a Cedar Rapids artist, discussed and demonstrated the "Magic of Watercolor" at the History Center on June 1. A small but very interested group was on hand to enjoy the variety of beautiful watercolor paintings that Diane was able to display.
Dr. Jonathan Poulton, a retired professor of botany from the University of Iowa, spoke to an enthusiastic crowd about daylilies on Sunday, March 30 at the History Center. After such a long, cold winter, he and his program were truly a fine taste of spring!
On Sunday, January 23, Levi Lyle from Keota spoke to an enthusiastic crowd about his research and experience working with alternative agriculture. He focused on two specific native Iowa plants that are viewed as quite healthy and viable for cultivation, aronia berries and paw paw fruit. Afterwards, the crowd was treated with examples of both fruits in a variety of snacks.
The new year started at the History Center with warm thoughts of valentines on January 19 when June Grove brought her amazing collection of vintage valentines for her program that day. The audience thoroughly enjoyed seeing her many beautiful antique treasures and hearing her discussion of them.
The History Center was in fine display on December 7, the day of the English River Tour of Homes. With three decorated homes in the community available for touring and tables showing family place settings at the Center, the day was filled with festive fun for Christmas time.
"Plants that have affected history" was a topic many enjoyed at the History Center on September 22 when Judy Stevens from the Linn County Master Gardeners group came to North English to present her interesting program.
The "Off-the-Road Antique Appraisal Show" was a popular event last year which the History Center enjoyed presenting again on June 23. This photo shows appraiser Rick Alexander viewing a painting with appraiser Mike Burggraaf examining a stoneware item and William Taylor in the background discussing another item with a patron.

"The Art and Skill of the Farrier" was Dick Harris' program at the Center on June 9, making up for the January postponement due to bad weather. Dick worked as a blacksmith or farrier for over 60 years in Iowa and has been inducted into the International Horseshoing Hall of Fame. A huge crowd of over 120 people were on hand to honor Dick and to hear the story of his career.

Jerry Cox, an English Valleys graduate of 1982, spoke at the EV History Center on May 26th. He and his wife Renee and their two daughters told about their experiences in Papua New Guinea with the New Tribal Mission project there. His program was entitled "New Guinea: Land of the Unexpected."
A large audience enjoyed "Tea at the White House" with Rosemary Pacha on April 28th. With display items from the Hoover Library in West Branch, Rosemary presented a fine program about the history of tea and how it has been served at the White House throughout history.
It was a day for the "History of Hats" on March 17, when Clarence and Dorothy Haverkamp came to the History Center to show their hat collection and to share the stories that accompanied them. Many in the audience that day brought favorite hats of their own and told their stories, too.
Discussing early Iowa photographers and showing a variety of the first photos taken in the state, Paul Juhl of Iowa City presented another fine program at the EV History Center on February 17. In his presentation, Juhl also shared examples of the very first photographs, some of them which came to Iowa with the first settlers in the 1840s.
English River Christmas Tour of Homes - 2012
 
On November 25, Scoutmaster David Foubert presented a program at the History Center that recognized and honored the Eagle Scouts of English Valleys. In this photo, back Scoutmaster David Foubert, Steve Rose, Chris Boley, Frank Mertz, front Scoutmaster Valerie Lee, Zach Rose, Jacob Foubert, and former Scoutmasters Ken Donahue, Sherry Moffit, and Lynn Moffit.
At an event that honored the English Valleys community firemen and first responders on Ocotber 7, Coralville Fire Chief Dave Stannard spoke to the audience at the History Center about the volunteer fire service, their training facility that is open to other departments, and the Iowa Firefighters Memorial that has been established at Coralville.
"Mormons and Meteors in Iowa County" was the title of Peter Hoehnle's fascinating program about the early history of our area. As one of the regions's premier historians, Peter's programs at the EV History Center are always wonderful.
"Early Iowa History through the Writings of Women" was Michael Zahs' topic on August 26th at the History Center. He shared excerpts from diaries, letters, and other pioneer women's pieces with a large, attentive audience that has learned to always appreciate Michael Zahs.
Joel Huebner from Oldhause Fibers & Rabbits in Amana demonstrated the skill of spinning and working with natural fibers of all kinds at the History Center on July 29. Accompanying Joel was D.J., a giant angora rabbit, who appears in the lower right corner of this photo.
As a fun, fund-raising activity, the History Center invited four certified antique appraisers to present their program called "The Off-the-Road Antique Show" on June 24. A large crowd of people from all over the state came to enjoy the discussion and appraisal of some of their family treasures.

A large, attentive crowd spent "An Evening with Widow Lincoln" on June 1st at the History Center when Phyllis Verhalen renturned to introduce another famous first lady of American history. Mrs. Lincoln discussed her troubled, tumultuous life and revealed many things about her life that had been unknown to the audience.

Mary (Scandridge) Van Heukelom was a guest speaker for the Fortnightly Club at the EV History Center on Saturday morning, May 5. She spoke about her work with the "Above and Beyond Cancer" group in Iowa and her remarkable adventures with cancer survivors to the base camp at Mt. Everest in Nepal and Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa. One of the members of the survivors' group, Steve Rebelsky, spoke with Mary as they both told about the challenges they faced and the value of their experience.
He took us out to the ballgame! John Liepa of Indianola entertained and informed baseball and history buffs with his program entitled "How Iowa Met Baseball." John is well known throughout the state for his knowledge of baseball history, and he had a number of rare items on display at the History Center on April 22.
"Memories of Kitchens Past" was the theme on April 15 when June Grove of South English, with the help of her daughters displayed and discussed hundreds of kitchen memorabilia from pioneer days to the present.
Donilee Popham visited the History Center on April 1st and discussed dolls that were made of metal. She displayed an interesting variety of all-metal and metal head dolls, and a number of collectors attended that day.
Wanda Roth from Fairfield dazzled everyone with her vintage costume jewelry and sparkling charm at the History Center on March 18. With a large group on hand, she explained many aspects of the history, creation, and value of antique jewelry. At the end of the program, she also examined and discussed many fine pieces that were shared by the crowd.
Don Lund, the Iowa man who was born with no hands or feet but who went ahead in life do do many things, was at the EV History Center on Sunday, March 4. An appreciative crowd heard Don tell his story and how he has done many things in life, including working with the Iowa Hawkeye athletic teams and covering their events as a sports writer.
Linda Yoder from Marengo, an appreciated patron of the History Center, brought together several experts to speak to a packed house on February 19th. Her topic was Iowa Glass, and with the help of Keith Hemingway from Iowa City, Michael Zahs from near Riverside, and Ken Wagner from Washington, the early Iowa glass factories of Keota and Iowa City were discussed, and many fine examples of their glassware were shown.
Barn quilt art has become popular all over America as people enjoy displaying the colorful patterns from quilting on their outside buildings and in their gardens and lawns. Lynn Moffit was on hand at the History Center on January 29 to tell the history of quilt block art and to show how the colorful blocks are made. A huge crowd over over 110 people was in attendance, and many commented on how much they enjoyed the afternoon.

Nancy Evans presented the life of John H. Evans with readings from his high school diary and his letters from his college years and his WWII years as he wrote regularly to his mother, Cora. At the History Center on Sunday, November 20, all of the audience was touched by the poetry in his writing and by his poignant death in the attack on Saipan in 1944 as Nancy shared the Evans family story.

On November 13, the family of Thomas Preston Moore honored their ancestor for his service to America, his many years of teaching in Iowa country schools, and for his contributions as a great citizen. The family has also loaned his WWI uniform to the Center which is on display for all to see.
There was a large crowd at the "Local Legends & Lore" program at the History Center on October 30. With lots of good stories for everyone to ponder and enjoy, the program ended with Georgia Warner singing an original song about the joys of living in Iowa that was written years ago by Millersburg native Ellis Wilhite.
"Wind Power in Iowa" was Dan Stroman's topic at the History Center on September 25. An interested crowd was in attendance, and they had a lot of questions for Dan about this exciting, new industry that is coming to America.
The topic of interest in the August 21 program at the History Center was the Jumbo Well of Belle Plaine. Historians Paul Juhl and Marlys Dumphy enlightened a large crowd with this bit of local lore from the region.
Pat Lacina, originally from Millersburg, spoke at the History Center at the end of the Fun Days weekend on July 31. She told of her years in the U. S. Foreign Service and her recent experiences in Egypt during the revolution there in the spring.

On a float pulled by Gary Blaylock's big team, the History Center was represented in the Fun Days Parade on Ssaturday morning, July 30. Chuck and Pam Nachtman rode the float with Jacquie Barney and her granddaughter Elizabeth.

On Friday, July 29th, the History Center hosted something new and different for everyone to enjoy: a community theatre. A group of young actors from the community presented the hilarious spoof Greek Mythology Olympiaganza to a large crowd of over 110 people at the beginning of the North English Fun Days weekend.
On Sunday, June 26, Larry Yoder from Marengo presented a program entitled "Serengeti Safari and Mission Trip" at the History Center. He showed magnificent wildlife photos that he was able to take while in Africa, and he described the entire event as an "incredible experience."
Attorney Richard Gaumer from Ottumwa came to the History Center on Sunday, April 17, to present his one-man show on Governor Samuel J. Kirkwood, Iowa's Civil War Governor. He depicted this popular Iowa governor as preferring flannel shirts over formal attire when he made politial speeches throughout the state, and he shared a lot of early Iowa history.
On Wednesday evening, April 6, many of the students and adults who had recently returned from their mission trip to Guatemala spoke at the History Center and shared their memories of the trip and answered questions. The discussion was led by Pastor Kirk Statler of the North English Christian Church who is shown on the far right.
Iowa's famous artist, Grant Wood, was presented to the patrons of the EV History Center by Tom Milligan, a professional Iowa actor, on March 27. From his boyhood days to his death in 1942, Grant Wood's life and art were shared with an eager crowd as Milligan brought the well known painter to life.
With a record-setting crowd in attendance on Sunday, February 20, Trent Reedy was the featured speaker at the History Center as he told of his recently published novel, "Words in the Dust." As a former English Valleys High School English teacher from 2006-2010, and a combat engineer in Afghanistan prior to that, his experiences in the Army National Guard and his dedication to writing have been essential elements as he begins his writing career.
On January, 23, 2011, Dave Foubert, with the assistance of his son Jake, presented a fine, fun program on Mace Brown, North English's major league baseball player from the 1930s and 40s. A good-sized crowd braved the cold weather to enjoy the show, and Carolyn Warner Elwood, a great, great niece of Mace Brown, presented a shadow box of Mace Brown memorabilia to the history center which will be displayed for all the community to enjoy.
Happy New Year – 2011!!
On New Year's Day, the wonderful musical talents of Banjoy were on display at the History Center, welcoming
the new year. Mark Wilson on guitar, Paul Roberts on bass, and Bob and Kristie Black on banjo and
guitar entertained an appreciative crowd during the Saturday morning coffee hours.
An English River Christmas – Events and Mementos
Tour of Homes – Cookie Recipes – "Snowy Night in North English"
On Friday, November 19, the sixth grade at EV Elementary went on a "history walk" with one of their teachers, Mr. Mews, and retired teachers Ron Van Berkum, and Scott Romine. They viewed a few historical sites in town and then spent over two hours at the History Center. They had lots of good questions, and they all found topics of interest.
"History in a Cloth Sack" was the title of Michael Zahs' fascinating program about the sacks that our ancestors used after they bought flour, sugar, seed, feed, cement, and other items in cloth bags and then saved the fabric to use in their homes. Michael, a well known Iowa historian, provided an entertaining and enlightening discussion at the History Center on Sunday, November 14, and he displayed many examples of cloth sacks from Iowa's past.
Peter Hoehnle from the Amana Colonies, an Iowa historian, came to the EV History Center on Sunday, October 24, to tell about the Amana-Meskwaki Connection. During his program, he elaborated on the communication and commerce that has thrived between these two distinct ethnic groups in Iowa from the earliest days of settlement to the present.

Telling about the pet catfish that his grandpa taught to walk, Perry Ross entertained the History Center with many wonderful stories on Sunday afternoon, September 26. Using his vast experience as a rural Iowa boy, a teacher, and an administrator in Iowa schools, Perry has been a professional story teller for over 25 years. It’s hoped that the History Center can have him come back again with more tales to tell in the future.

"How about those Hawkeyes?" was the topic for the August 29th program when George Wine came to the History Center. From North English originally, George, a member of the Class of 1949, served as the Sports Information Director for the University of Iowa for 25 years and has continued to be involved in U of I athletics since his retirement in 1993. George regaled the audience with stories about players and coaches from the past and present and entertained a variety of questions.
Phyllis Verhalen introduced another American First Lady to the EV Community on Friday, July 30, 2010, as she impersonated Dolley Madison. This special History Center program served as the opening for the North English Fun Days celebration weekend. Over 100 people were in the audience to see Phyllis perform.
Paul C. Juhl and Ernie Rairdin presented their fascinating program, "Early Iowa in 3-D," at the History Center on Sunday, June 27. As a collector of Iowa stereograph photos, Paul provided a large number of Iowa scenes from the 1880s and earlier. Ernie, a retired professional photographer, has converted these stereo views into 3-D slides. With special 3-D glasses, the audience was able to appreciate these Iowa photos for their depth and detail.
Just look at how "smart" the sixth graders look after learning all about the EV History Center. On Friday, May 6, Mrs. Pilkington and Mr. Mews brought their students to the Center after a walking tour of the town, and the kids had a chance to see lots of new and different things while they were there.
Michael Zahs presented a fascinating program on Sunday, April 18, at the North English Cemetery as part of the History Center's ongoing series of programs. He explained many of the symbols, inscriptions, and ideas that are recorded on the grave markers of most cemeteries in America.
Mike Burggraaf and Matt Schaeffer visited the History Center on Sunday, April 11, to discuss and demonstrate their hobby entitled "The Iowa Privy Project." They are experts at locating and uncovering antique treasures from early Iowa as they excavate 19th century privy sites.
A large crowd was on hand to hear Steve Miller speak about the Kalona Amish community at the History Center on Sunday, March 21. Steve, originally from Kinross and a 1967 EV graduate, has been an active member of the Kalona Historical Society for over 15 years. In his discussion at the Center, he told about his own Mennonite-Amish family roots and about the Amish experience in America and in Iowa.
Tammy Renderneck, Angie Nolte, and John Rotter visited the History Center on Saturday morning, March 20, to meet with community citizens and discuss the creation of a newspaper for the English Valleys community. John and Angie, the owners of Our Town Publications, plan to serve as publisher and editor with Tammy working with advertising sales in this new publication that will be called the English Valleys Star.
Sunday, February 21 was a very good day at the History Center when Phil Hester, North English's nationally known comic book artist, spoke to a large, enthralled audience. Not only did Phil discuss his career and how comic books are created, he also gave away signed samples of his work.
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Performing in the Coffee Shop at the History Center, Von Ketelseon of Fort Dodge
amused and entertained the Saturday morning crowd on November 14. Ketelsen is the Farm Services Director
with radio station KWMT AM540 who has the midday "Power Lunch" show during the week.
"Communal Societies of Iowa County" was the topic of interest at the History Center on Sunday, October 25,
when Peter Hoehnle of Amana came to North English and told us about the Jasper Colony and Amana Colony,
two similar but different utopian groups in the northeastern corner of the county.
On Sunday, October 18, Brian Moore, a young man from Omaha, spoke at the History Center on behalf of the Tourette Syndrome Association. Explaining how he, also, has this neurobiological disorder, Brian spoke at length about this syndrome and narrated a Power Point Presentation that enhanced our understanding.

The ever so popular and well known Kitchen Band from Keokuk County performed at the History Center
on Saturday morning, October 3. Many agreed that their stand up comedy was just as entertaining
and enjoyable as their wonderful musical performances. Thank you, girls!

Iowa historian and author Paul Juhl from Iowa City spoke at the History Center on Sunday, September 20
about the Harlan-Lincoln Home in Mount Pleasant. This was the home of Senator James Harlan and his family
that eventually became the home where Abraham Lincoln's grandchildren spent many days of their childhood.
Paul told a series of interesting stories about the Lincoln and Harlan families,
and the audience greatly appreciated his expertise.

On Saturday, September 19, the History Center hosted a gathering that remembered Tim Carson, the well known English Valleys teacher and coach who died suddenly and unexpectedly twenty years ago in 1989.
More views of those who remembered and honored their teacher, coach, colleague, and friend are available here.

Dr. Kenneth Lyftogt told an enthusiastic crowd about Iowa's involvement in the Civil War
on Sunday, August 16, at the History Center. Lyftogt, a lecturer and author from the
University of Northern Iowa was sponsored by Humanities Iowa and the Iowa County Historical Society.

A large crowd enjoyed getting to know Mrs. Calvin Coolidge, as portrayed by Phyllis Scandridge Verhalen,
on Friday evening, July 24, at the History Center. Mrs. Verhalen's first lady reenactments are a special treat
for our community since she is originally from the English Valleys area and now living
in Virginia and frequently presenting her programs in Washington, D. C.

Location:

108 North Main Street

North English, Iowa

 

Scenes from the Grand Opening

Scenes from the first History Center

A Day of Hunting at Flint Ridge Column

The North English Violi

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