Tag: Volunteer Opportunity

Lucas Farms History Day (JCHS Activities)

Notice: Activities have switched from the 27th!
The Lucas Farms History Day is a festival just south of downtown Iowa City. Easily accessible, the festival includes free food, games, and much more!

This event is part of a summer series highlighting the Meskwaki Nation and their history in Eastern Iowa. As a part of the Lucas Farms Neighborhood, the JCHS is happy to welcome the John Hauberg Indian Museum to Plum Grove. The Hauberg will provide activities for people of all ages and is a good source of information about the historical lives of Native people in Iowa.

Project GREEN will be at Plum Grove the 27th and 28th. They will give tours of local gardens in the beautiful Lucas Farms Neighborhood area! Project GREEN is a citizen-volunteer nonprofit organization that “invests in public landscaping projects and promotes environmental awareness in the greater Iowa City area.” —ProjectGREEN.org

POSTPONED: Plum Grove Season Opening Celebration

UPDATE: This event has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak. More information will follow when possible.

This event is the perfect opportunity for families to get out of the house over the long Memorial Day weekend. Kids can burn off some energy making crafts and running around the beautiful yards of Plum Grove; adults can savor the relaxing atmosphere and participate in activities that are designed with them in mind (visit this page periodically to stay updated about the activities and special guests that will be featured at this event).

POSTPONED: East Frisian Tea Party and Musicale

UPDATE: This event has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak. More information will follow when possible.

This annual event will feature delicious German food researched and provided by the Iowa City Historic Foodies. East Frisia, a cultural region that spans northwestern Germany, has a particular style of drinking tea that is recognized by UNESCO as part of Germany’s Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The musicale will commence after the meal and will include lively music performed by a range of musicians, both instrumental and vocal. This year celebrates anniversaries of Iowa City staples: the Preucil School of Music and the University of Iowa’s Division of Performing Arts. German composer Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday is also being celebrated with the East Frisian theme and the classical selection of music being performed at the musicale.
To register for this event, please email programs@johnsoncountyhistory.org or call our office at (319) 351-5738. Cost of admission is $30 for members and $35 for the general public. 

Photo from the University of Iowa






The University of Iowa’s Division of Performing Arts was founded in 2000 and is turning 20 years old this year. The Division consists of the School of Music and the departments of Theatre Arts and Dance. The Division is well-known for encouraging creative minds and contributing new compositions to the music world.


Photo from Preucil School of Music

Preucil School of Music was founded in 1975 and turns 45 this year. Preucil is a non-profit learning organization that follows the The Suzuki Method of teaching. The Suzuki Method was created by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki as a way to teach children—or anyone who wants to begin learning a musical “language”—and puts importance on principles such as repetition, learning with other children, and encouragement.

Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer who unarguably impacted the face of western music. Beethoven was born in 1770 and the world of music celebrates his 250th birthday this year. His most famous compositions include his nine symphonies, the most famous of which are the Fifth and Ninth Symphonies. He started losing his hearing in his late twenties and was completely deaf by the time he was 46 years old. He wrote several of his most beloved works after he became deaf, including his Ninth Symphony.

… For two years I have avoided almost all social gatherings because it is impossible for me to say to people “I am deaf.” If I belonged to any other profession it would be easier, but in my profession it is a frightful state…

2019 Cemetery Walk

Come experience history in a new way at the most mysterious time of year. Meet some of Johnson County’s earliest residents at their final resting place. Emerging from the night in period costumes, they will tell tales of those buried in the East Union Mennonite Cemetery. Tours are every half hour; the last tour starts at 7:30.

This event is free and open to the public. Donations are welcome.

Photo by Bill Miller

Unfortunately, Laurie Taylor will no longer be providing headstone symbolism tours this year. We’ll miss you, Laurie!

Parking and restrooms will be available at the East Union Mennonite Church. Treats and apple cider will be available too!

It’s recommended you bring a flashlight to this event.

If there are any more people out there who are interested in being a tour guide, please email programs@johnsoncountyhistory.org or call (319) 351-5738. The responsibilities of a tour guide are very simple. Guide a group of people to the next spirit? Easy!

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.

WinterFest 2019

Coralville creates a special place to interact with local business while having the time of your life. Visit JCHS to complete a special craft and warm up with a hot drink. Free admission to the Heritage Museum!

Aisle of Lights (JCHS Activities)

JCHS takes part in the annual luminary extravaganza this December. Visit Coralville to see the beautiful luminaries set up around town. Free admission to the Heritage Museum!

Cemetery Walk—POSTPONED until the 21st

Postponement: Due to the weather and how it has affected the cemetery, the 2018 Cemetery Walk has been postponed until the 21st of October.

The Cemetery Walk is the perfect time to stretch your legs and learn about some little-known history of Johnson County. During this yearly event, visitors tour a Johnson Co. cemetery and learn the ins and outs of the lives of a select group of people who are buried there. This year’s Walk will be held at Ridgewood Cemetery in North Liberty. Tours start every 30 minutes.

Please note:

  • Bring a flashlight! Lights will be at every grave and with every tour guide, but the majority of this event is held after dark and the light you’ll have to see by is the light you bring.
  • The closest public restroom to the grave is the McDonald’s located at 675 Pacha Pkwy (about a four minute drive or 30 minute walk from the cemetery).
  • The last tour will be at 7:30 p.m.

An additional tour will be offered by local Grave Topics instructor Laurie Taylor. She will be speaking on headstone symbols. The tour will run throughout the night. It’s 15-20 minutes long and will start at the old cemetery gate at the top of the hill.

Volunteers Needed: If you’d like to volunteer as a Tour Guide, please email the Event Planner at programs@johnsoncountyhistory.org to volunteer or if you have any questions. Your duties would be simple: guide a tour group from grave to grave.

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