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Off the Map: Stories of Abandoned and Disappearing Towns Around Iowa

June 12 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Thousands of towns and communities were established during Iowa’s pioneer and railroad era. In some instances, they were small towns built around the time of the height of a coal industry that just could not thrive while others supplemented the needs of the countless farmers, and still others were established for very different reasons. Many existed for a few years, some slowly faded away over time, and a few never existed except as “paper” towns. Regardless of why they originated or why they diminished, each community has its own unique story. Towns are truly windows to our past and have helped form the history of our state. Discovering and learning about them helps to keep their names and memories from oblivion. Take a tour around Iowa exploring a sampling of these idiosyncratic communities in photographs and stories.

Rosa Snyder is a graduate of Iowa State University with degrees in child development, art education and interior design with additional history courses from Drake University and Iowa Wesleyan College. She taught art in Ames, Iowa and worked as a design consultant and artist for the Meredith and Hearst Publishing Companies. In addition, she did design work for several area churches, commercial enterprises and at private residences. After receiving an apprenticeship grant from the Iowa Arts Council, Rosa was hired as a state restoration painter, scaled 20-foot scaffolds in white bib overalls and helped re-create the intricate designs hidden under layers of paint on the ceilings and walls of Iowa’s State Capitol. Rosa is the only woman in the history of the building hired for this position. After retirement, she gave tours of the building to thousands of visitors, and later engaged as a “history detective” for the state and architectural firms who were restoring the building to its original grandeur. IPTV employed her as a researcher for their production of the video/DVD, “This Old Statehouse,” which covers many aspects of its history and restoration. Rosa is the author and publisher of the unique souvenir book, Glimpses of Iowa’s Capitol (2005). For the past several years Rosa has been researching old towns, traveling around Iowa to explore these old sites, taking photographs and interviewing people who still live in the area.


This event is free and open to the public. Register on Eventbrite or at the door.


June 12
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


German American Heritage Center & Museum
712 W 2nd St
Davenport, IA 52802 United States
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