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The Gazette KCRG
Posted May 16, 2012
A Walking Tour through the Civil War Era set for this weekend in Iowa City

2012 Parade of Historic Homes

A Walking Tour through the Civil War Era in Iowa City

Two Part Series:

Civil War Diaries and Letters:  Sharing the stories

May 19, 4:00 p.m., Iowa City Public Library


A Walking Tour through the Civil War Era in Iowa City

May 20, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.



May 15, 2012, IOWA CITY, IOWA  The annual Parade of Historic Homes, presented by Friends of Historic Preservation, returns this year to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War in an exciting two part series.  On Saturday, May 19th  Greg Prickman, head of Special Collections and University Archives and Jen Wolfe, Metadata Librarian, both from the University of Iowa Library will present Civil War Diaries and Letters: Sharing the stories.  Prickman will discuss how the Civil War diaries and letters are preserved and Wolfe will describe the ongoing Civil War diaries transcription project.  The presentation will describe how the project is taking diaries and letters from the closed library stacks and bringing them into the public’s view and how you can help.  The presentation will be held at the Iowa City Public Library, located at 123 S. Linn St at 4:00pm.

The following day, Sunday, May 20 from 1:00-5:00pm A Walking Tour through the Civil War Era in Iowa City will be held in downtown Iowa City.  The tour will display some of Iowa City’s oldest remaining buildings, including Old Brick, Old Capitol, Dey House, Wentz House, and St. Mary’s Church.  In addition, a number of performances and exhibits are part of the tour, including Civil War Ball style dancing and music by Acoustic Mayhem held in Old Brick from 1:30-3:00pm, items and documents from the Civil War on display in the State Historical Society, and the Murphy-Brookfield Books at the Wentz House.

The tour will also contain Iowa City’s First Pop-Up Museum, a new phenomenon happening around the county, where anyone can bring their own artifacts to share with others and become part of the museum.  The Pop-Up Museum gives individuals a chance to ask others enlightening questions about their own artifacts, while browsing other items and learning more about their family connection to the Civil War. Anyone who has an interest in the Civil War or has items they would like to display are invited to participate in the Pop-Up Museum from 2:00-4:00pm at the Congregational Church, 30 N. Clinton St.


“This is a very exciting and educational event for our community,” explained Alicia Trimble, executive director of Friends of Historic Preservation. “We have been very lucky to have the interest and help of the State Historic Society, the Old Capitol, University of Iowa Libraries, as well as all the different locations that are opening up their doors to display the history and architecture of some of the oldest buildings in Iowa City.”



Friends of Historic Preservation has been active in Iowa City, Iowa since 1975 when its founding members helped save “Old Brick” from demolition. In 2007, Friends was recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation with a national Preservation Honor Award for the massive recovery effort after the April 3, 2006 Tornado.  In years prior, Friends invested in the community with both volunteer labor and funds to restore the Englert Theatre, purchased endangered homes in historic neighborhoods to restore and return to the community as single family residences, and many times stood with other citizens and groups to save endangered structures like the Carnegie Library and the Weatherby House.  In addition, Friends operates the Salvage Barn, an architectural salvage warehouse in cooperation with the City of Iowa City at the East Side Recycling Center.






Schedule of Events: Friends of Historic Preservation

A walking tour through the Civil War Era

Sunday, May 20, 2012

1:00 P.M. until 5:00 P.M.


 Old Capitol

Clinton Street at Iowa Avenue

View the 1865 photographs by Isaac Weatherby. The Capitol was draped in bunting for the memorial service of the assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. Read excerpts from Governor Samuel Kirkwood’s eulogy.  View photos of Civil War Regiment reunions. Tour the Capitol on your own.

Old Brick

26 East Market Street

 Examine the restoration of the stained glass windows in this 1856 Presbyterian Church. Tour the building. View the original foundation and brickwork.


è Event: 1:30-3:00- Civil War Ball- Watch the ball re enactors demonstrate

dances from the 1860′s.  Learn an authentic dance.


èEvent: 2:30-3:30 – Listen to Music from the Civil War Era

Provided by Acoustic Mayhem.


Dey House

507 N. Clinton Street

Step back in time to a house built in 1857. Learn about its builder and its unique architecture.   Enter the foyer area only.

Gilmore House

109 E. Market Street

 View the 1860’s home constructed from original stones left over from the building of Old Capitol. Exterior only.

 Congregational Church

30 N. Clinton Street

 Enter on Jefferson St. to view the timeline history of this church. Go upstairs and see the original Tiffany Window.


è Event: 2:00 – 4:00 Iowa City’s first Pop-up Museum of Civil War

artifacts. Share your own artifacts and browse others as you

learn about family connections to the Civil War.


 Burkley House/Park House/St. Agatha’s

130 E. Jefferson Street

View the architecture of this early hotel built to accommodate legislators coming to the capitol.  Exterior only.

  St. Mary’s Church

228 E. Jefferson Street

Tour the church that was in use by 1843. Learn the history of one of Iowa City’s oldest structures.

 Bostick House

115 N. Gilbert Street

This was the original city hall of the 1860s.  Learn about its architecture and its role in the Civil War. Exterior only.


 Wentz House/ Murphy-Brookfield Books

219 N. Gilbert Street

 Tour this former 1847 home constructed of random ashlar and yellow brown sandstone.  Browse the collection of books about the Civil War and Walt Whitman.


State Historical Society of Iowa

402 Iowa Avenue

Enter the foyer to view documents and items from Iowa City during the Civil War.


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