Tag: Spring Event

Events from March to May.

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.

Season Opening Celebration at Plum Grove

Looking for something fun to do with the family this Memorial Day weekend? Get out of the house and get to the Season Opening Celebration at Plum Grove! Family-friendly activities will engage children and adults of any age.


This event will be riddled with clues to the past! Follow the clues around beautiful Plum Grove to learn fun (and sometimes crazy) facts about the Lucases, their home, and their life together.

RIDDLE COMPETITION! Submit your favorite riddles on the form provided by JCHS. Submit the riddles by 5 p.m. The JCHS’s favorites will be published on our Facebook page and our next newsletter!




The Master Gardeners will be giving tours of the 1840-era gardens that produce beautiful blooms every year. Visit Plum Grove and tour Friendly Lucas’ Flower Garden, Wildflower Garden, and Kitchen Garden.

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.

Plum Grove Season Opening Celebration and Picnic

The Season Opening of Plum Grove will feature the talents of many Johnson County locals: a spinner from the Amana Colonies, weavers from the Craft Guild of Iowa City, a local Civl War historian, and a scholar of the Littleton Brothers. Come to Plum Grove to make crafts, use a table loom, and learn about Iowa City’s local history before, during, and after the Civil War.

The Picnic at Plum Grove is from 2-4 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to bring a sack lunch to enjoy on Plum Grove’s beautiful back lawn. Samples of 1800’s food will be provided by the Historic Foodies of Iowa City.
This event is free and open to the public.

Earth Day Celebration (JCHS Activities)

As part of the larger Iowa City Earth Day Celebration, JCHS will be giving open house-style tours of the Poor Farm and Asylum from 2-5 p.m. Why were there farms associated with the poor? Come to the Poor Farm to learn about how poor people, mentally and physically disabled people, headstrong women “who read,” and other disenfranchised groups were treated in the 1800s and beyond.

Chinese Heritage Tea

Join JCHS for our annual tea party! This year’s tea is celebrating the 2nd largest demographic in Johnson County and the thousands of Chinese and Chinese Americans who have chosen JC as their home. This event will feature a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, a local erhu musician, and traditional dim sum made by the Historic Foodies of Iowa City.

$25 for members and $30 for non-members. Call (319) 351-5738 for more information or to make a reservation.

Plum Grove Season Opening

Join us in celebrating this year’s season opening of Plum Grove Historic Home! Visitors will explore the home of Iowa’s first Territorial Governor, view Plum Grove’s vegetable and flower gardens, and enjoy treats provided by the Historic Foodies of Iowa City.

“PLAY BALL!” the early Iowa way: Participants at this year’s Plum Grove Season Opening will also have an opportunity to partake in a 19th-century style game of American cricket. Historian Tom Melville will conduct short, informal cricket games from 1:00 to 4:30. The games will be run on a continuous walkup basis during that time and are open to all. No experience required! Come and discover what “play ball” meant to the people of Iowa!

This event is free and open to the public. Questions? Call 319-351-5738.


Brinton Silent Film Project


The Brinton Silent Film Project features Red Cedar Trio members, flutist Jan Boland, guitarist John Dowdall and cellist Carey Bostian, performing live to accompany an exceptionally rare and unique collection of silent films from 1895-1908. Film owner and historian Michael Zahs will also provide a historical narration about the films.

The concert features music by Harvey Sollberger, which accompanies four of the films. Arrangements by Boland and Dowdall and music from Red Cedar Chamber Music’s repertory complement the remaining 18 silent films, ranging in length from 10 seconds to 10 minutes. The films include comedy, drama, special effects, foreign scenes and magic by Georges Méliès, whose life story was featured in the film Hugo. The Brinton Silent Film Project allows audiences to experience films as they were seen in the early 1900s.

Tickets are $22 for Adults, $18 for Members of Johnson County Historical Society, Friends of the Englert, and FilmScene Members, and $16 for Seniors, Students, and Youth. Purchase tickets at the Englert Box Office or Online.

This event is presented by Johnson County Historical Society, FilmScene, and The Englert Theatre. Sponsored by University of Iowa Community Credit Union.

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.

[SOLD OUT] Afternoon Tea on the Titanic

Discover what tea time was like on the Titanic!

Traditional afternoon tea will be served featuring menu items from the Titanic. Author Lilly Setterdahl of Moline, Illinois, will present a program on the significance of the Titanic and its legacy. Setterdahl has written three books about the Titanic, two historical fiction and one nonfiction. Johnson County Historical Society will provide information on Iowans who were aboard the Titanic.

Special thanks to the Historic Foodies of Iowa City for helping prepare the food!

Members: $25 Non-Members: $30
Call 319-351-5738 to RSVP
Period clothing is encouraged!

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