Tag: Volunteer Opportunity

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.

Little School on the Prairie Summer Camp 2018

Come experience the life of an 1876 Johnson County student in the Coralville schoolhouse! Campers are invited to dress in period clothing while they participate in lessons, crafts, and outdoor activities that follow the 1876 theme.
Dates: June 18 – 22, 1pm – 5pm
Location:  1876 Coralville School House
entering grades 2 – 6 in fall 2018
Registration Options:  Space is limited so be sure to register early! There are two options to register.

  1. Download, print, and mail the registration form (PDF) with payment.
  2. Register online using the form below and follow instructions to pay online.

Note:  your registration is not complete until payment is received.

For more information email Becky Dewing.

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.

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