Tag: Lecture

Using Archaeology to Follow Meskwaki Leaders across Pre-Statehood Iowa

Cindy Peterson shares the stories and artifacts that uncover the history of Meskwaki migrations in the early 1800s. She’ll use her 20+ years of research and first-hand experience in the field of archaeology to bring to life the culture, ideas, and implications of the Meskwaki’s migrations westward—moves that were sometimes chosen for themselves and other times imposed by the U.S. government under the pretense of political treaties.

The University of Iowa’s Office of the State Archaeologist (OSA) investigated several sites related to two important 1830s-1840s Meskwaki leaders: Chief Poweshiek and Chief Wacoshashe. Their villages moved from the Mississippi River to Rochester, Iowa City, the Coralville Reservoir, South Amana, the Skunk River, southwest Iowa, (possibly) Kansas, and finally, Tama County. While much remains to be discovered, a glimpse into village movements and layouts has been discerned through OSA’s archaeological work at trading posts, villages, winter camps, and a maple sugaring camp.

This event is free and open to the public.

Meskwaki woman at her winter dwelling. Photo courtesy State Historical Society of Iowa.

Cindy works at The Office of the State Archaeologist as their Research Director. Her research interests include:

Midcontinental Late Prehistoric traditions, archaeology and ethnographies of Iowa’s historic tribes, archeology of European immigrant groups to the Midcontinent, industrial archaeology, public participation in archaeology.

Office of the State Archaeologist


POSTPONED: Atlases, Maps, and More: The Melchoir Huebinger Lecture

UPDATE: This event has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak. This event has been rescheduled for the 11th of October.

This lecture, presented by Mike Flaherty, will provide a wealth of information about Melchoir Huebinger and his creation of the first Iowa road atlas. Melchoir Huebinger worked as a cartographer in the later part of the 1800s and the early 1900s. His work helped convince the nation that Iowa had “stepped out of the mud” and had new, modern paved roads. Huebinger and his company, the Iowa Publishing Co., were features at the Chicago and St. Louis World Fairs.

Mike will show off part of his collection of rare maps and atlases during this event.

This event is free and open to the public.

Melchior Huebinger

Melchior Huebinger’s employees hard at work!

Gangster in our Midst Lecture and Book Signing

Author Betty Passick (click here to visit her website) will share A Ray of Hope, her presentation on her new book Gangster in our Midst: A Historical Novel.

In the midst of recounting the true story of gangster Louis La Cava, bookkeeper to Al Capone, authoress Betty Passick also tells the tale of main character Emma Bierkoff, a woman undergoing treatment for TB at Oakdale Sanatorium in northern Iowa City. The novel spans 60 years and touches on powerful topics such as WWII, the tension between Catholics and Protestants in the early and mid-1900s, and the effects of the Great Depression.

Betty will be on air with iHeartRadio Tuesday the 18th. Hear her segment at 10:08 a.m.! She will be featured on News Radio 600 WMT with Justin Roberts and you can listen to it from your favorite radio or right here.

This event is free and open to the public.



Betty is the author of three books, two of which are centered in her hometown of Fairbank, Iowa.

“Authoring books infused with earthy soul, faith-isms, and Midwestern values.”

Czech Tea Party—EVENT FULLY BOOKED, waiting list available

This year’s annual tea party is a Czech Tea! Come to this annual event to eat traditional Czech food, drink hearty amounts of tea, and learn about Czechs in Iowa from our guest speaker Marybeth Slonneger.

Sandra Hudson will share her personal journey of growing up in a Czech community where English was the second language…and explain why that changed dramatically around the time she was in 6th grade.

Vocalist Wayne Neuzil, who has sung in 34 operatic roles and has gained recognition for singing the national anthem for major league baseball clubs, including the New York Yankees and the Cubs, will sing two songs that have been translated into Czech.

$25 for members | $30 for non-members

Please RSVP at (319) 351-5738 or email programs@johnsoncountyhistory.org with the following information: how many attending, membership status of all attendees, any known food allergies.

Oakdale Sanatorium Lecture

Kathy Fait presents her collected research on Oakdale Sanatorium. Learn about the history of medical knowledge and care in the 20th century. Specifically, as it applies to tuberculosis—a leading cause of death for the past 100+ years. Our presenter will touch on the history of Oakdale Sanatorium, the history of TB and its care, and the Oakdale community which was built around the care of TB patients.

Lost Buxton Lecture

Join JCHS in celebrating Black History Month! Come hear beloved authoress and sought-after public speaker Rachelle Chase talk about her latest book Images of America: Lost Buxton.

Celebration of History

Join Johnson County Historical Society for our “Celebration of History” fundraiser at the Coralville Marriott & Convention Center.

Enjoy a delightful afternoon which will include a silent auction starting at 12:00 pm, with lunch starting at 12:30 pm. Monticello author Douglas Monk will present “Iowa’s First Highway: On the Trail with Dillon Lyman,” a presentation sharing the story of Dillon’s travels from Iowa City to Dubuque, Iowa. In 2008, Monk spent six days walking the same route that Lyman Dillon plowed between Dubuque and Iowa City in 1839. While on this historic trail, Monk gathered information for his book which will be available for purchase, On the Trail of Lyman Dillon. The Johnson County Historical Society will also recognize the 2017 Irving Weber Award recipient, Margaret Probasco. The Irving Weber Award is conferred by the Johnson County Historical Society in recognition of distinguished contribution to the research, writing, or preservation of Johnson County history.

Register for this event here or call JCHS 319-351-5738. The cost for this event is $45 for JCHS members, $50 for non-members. All proceeds go toward the preservation and interpretation of Johnson County history. The Johnson County Historical Society is thankful for the generous sponsorship from Eldon C. Stutsman Inc. and Iowa Office Services.

Packing Up – A Program Presented By Sarah Uthoff

JCHS will be hosting the program “Packing Up” in honor of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s 150th birthday!

This program features a twist on Wilder’s life as the audience looks in on her as she is packing up to move to Mansfield, Missouri. Wilder moved around a lot in life and collected a lot of experiences. As she is getting ready to leave De Smet, South Dakota for the last time, she is going through an old trunk to see if there is anything that can be left behind. Each artifact in the old trunk holds a story, one story for each of the places that Wilder lived.

This program is presented by Sarah Uthoff. Sarah is an active Laura Ingalls Wilder researcher. She currently serves as President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association.

Funding for this event is provided by Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities. This event is free and open to the public. Questions? Call (319) 351-5738 or email us at admin@johnsoncountyhistory.org.

Brinton Entertainment Collection


Historian Michael Zahs will offer a historic perspective on Frank and Indiana Brinton who were traveling entertainers from Washington, Iowa. Between 1879 and 1915, the Brintons entertained audiences throughout the Midwest, including Iowa City. This program will also include examples from the Brintons’ collection of magic lantern slides from 1860-1900 and films from 1895-1908. These are some of the oldest films in the world, and some are the only copies known to exist.

To RSVP, please use the form below or call (319) 351-5738. This event is free to Johnson County Historical Society Members and $5 for non-members. Sponsored by University of Iowa Community Credit Union.

This program is part one of The Brinton Projected Entertainment Series. More information on this series to follow.

First and Last Name : Number Attending :
Email Address :

The Life of Harriet Tubman

In honor of Black History Month, Johnson County Historical Society is hosting a program on Harriet Tubman, as portrayed by Coralville resident, Portia Byrd.

Harriet Tubman was an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the American Civil War. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made about thirteen missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. She later helped John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry, and in the post-war era struggled for women’s suffrage. (American History USA)

Portia Byrd is a professional storyteller who has won many awards for her performances. She has fought against segregation and prejudice her whole life, even attended the March on Washington in August 1963.

This event is free and open to the public.