Tag: Meet the Author

Creating the Black Utopia of Buxton, Iowa Book Signing and Lecture

Author Rachelle Chase (visit her website here) returns to the JCHS with her second book on Buxton: Creating the Black Utopia of Buxton, Iowa. Buxton, IA was a place of racial inclusion in a time when our country was anything but.

Come to the JCHS’s Community Room this September to hear Rachelle Chase discuss her research into this one-of-a-kind town.

This event is free and open to the public.






“Extensively researched and pleasantly written, Chase covers all facets of daily life. Rare photographs augment her coverage of this unique Hawkeye State place.”
–H. Roger Grant, professor of history, Clemson University


Available now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Arcadia Publishing and more!

2019 Barn Tour

The annual Barn Tour is a yearly staple for Johnson County natives in the know. Barns around northern Johnson County are on our list to explore and experience in full! Don’t worry about the summer heat, the tour will travel in style in an air-conditioned motor coach. Lunch, catered by local Iowa City favorite The Cottage, is included in the price of admission.

To register for this event, please call JCHS at (319) 351-5738 OR email programs@johnsoncountyhistory.org with the following information: names of attendees, preferred phone number, how many attending, and membership status of all attendees. $40 for members; $45 for non-members. Please arrive to the JCHS museum (860 Quarry Rd., Coralville) 15 minutes early at 8:45 for check-in.

This year’s lunch is provided by The Cottage. The Cottage, located at the corner of Benton and Gilbert, is a local bakery, caterer, and deli. They will provide a pasta bar with a selection of three sauces for your enjoyment: meat marinara, vegetable marinara, and mushroom wine. Garlic bread, a fresh salad with strawberries, almonds, oranges and more, and a selection of fruit round out the meal. An assortment of The Cottage’s famous cookies will be offered for dessert.

If you have any questions regarding this event, please contact JCHS at (319) 351-5738 or email programs@johnsoncountyhistory.org.

This just in! Authoress Karlene Kingery will be present on the tour.

Iowa Barns: Yesterday and Today cover

Her book Iowa Barns: Yesterday and Today will be available for purchase. You can learn more about the book at Karlene’s website at iowabarnbook.com.

Photo of author Karlene Kingery.


Karlene Kingery received a grant to research Iowa barns in 1979. She prepared a program to create an awareness of saving barns and presented it over 300 times. In 1985 she and her husband moved to Omaha and work was suspended until she retired from teaching in 2012. From 2012-2017 she researched barns in all 99 counties and combined the earlier work with photos and stories, resulting in the book Iowa Barns: Yesterday and Today. The book will be available for $32.

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.”

Irving Weber Days: All In One Room


All In One Room, by Franklin L. Yoder

Frank Yoder presents his new book All In One Room: A History of Country Schools in Johnson County, 

Iowa. This book is a culmination of five years of hard work and dedication. All In One Room is a history of the country schools in Johnson County, but it is also the history of the children and teachers who made up these schools. Visit the Iowa City Public Library on May 29th to discover your history!

This event is free and open to the public as a part of the Iowa City Public Library’s Weber Days.

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.