Special Exhibits

Olin’s Musical Box Collection

Olin's Music Box Collection    Olin's Music Box Collection

As avid collectors, Mrs. Bertha Olin and Dr. William Olin Sr. have been longtime supporters of the Johnson County Historical Society and the preservation of their community’s history. Part of their music box collection was donated on temporary loan to view at the Johnson County Historical Society’s exhibit hall.

This exhibition can now be accessed online! Learn about the collection as you hear these machines play music. Visit: http://olinexhibit.wixsite.com/jchs.

Street View: Downtown Iowa City, Then and Now

Two displays of Then and Now

Street View: Downtown Iowa City, Then and Now highlights images of the downtown area’s buildings and businesses from 1960 and 2016. The 1960s photographs were taken by an Iowa City firefighter and donated to JCHS by Rex Brandstatter. The scenes were recreated by Rubin Flores, a local photographer. The side-by-side views encourage visitors to compare the buildings and businesses of downtown Iowa City.


Early Americana: Planting and Harvesting Corn by Hand (1850s-1930s)

You’re invited to view the latest exhibit at JCHS! Our new temporary exhibit showcases the life and tools of early Iowan corn farmers.

The exhibit, created by freelance curator Doris Montag, displays all the farming tools you never knew you were interested in: double-thumbed gloves, husking hooks, horn seed planters, and more!

Early Americana: Planting and Harvesting Corn by Hand (1850s-1930s) narrates the journey taken along the 19th and 20th century planting process, from seed to sale. The evolution of agriculture is given from 12,000 BC all the way up to current days.

Wrist hook, used for shucking corn.

Display of husking pegs, husking hooks, and wrist hooks. The husking pegs were advertised as “one-size fits all” and featured “no moving parts.”











School Days

This exhibit, crafted by freelance curator Doris E. Montag, showcases the everyday objects of One Room Schoolhouses.

Included in the exhibit are games children played, pitch pipes, flashcards, and a collection of ink pots…and much more!

A copy of Baldwin’s Readers Eighth Year.

A peek at one side of the exhibit.