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State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release April 15, 2009

Contact: Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov, (515) 281-3858

WHTC explores history of Icarian Colony Sunday

“Icarian Women and the Icarian Colony of Corning, Iowa”

(COUNCIL BLUFFS) – The history of the Adams County Icarian Colony will take center stage Sunday at the Western Historic Trails Center in Council Bluffs.

 WHTC Museum Guide Saundra Leininger will present “Icarian Women and the Icarian Colony of Corning, Iowa” at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 19, 2009. WHTC is at 3434 Richard Downing Avenue in Council Bluffs, at Exit 1B off Interstate 80. The event is free and open to the public.

 The Icarian Colony was part of a social experiment that began in France in 1848. The Adams County Icarian Colony was established in 1852 and disbanded in 1898, making it the longest-lived, non-religious, communal experiment in American history.

 The Icarian Colony was significant as part of a major east-west transportation corridor across Iowa from 1854 through 1898.

 The colony served as a major supply depot for early westward immigrants – including the Mormons who crossed from Nauvoo, Ill., to Salt Lake City, Utah – to purchase supplies. The U.S. Army also relied on the colony for horses, meat, oats, wool and other supplies.

 Pioneers traveled to the Icarian settlement in Adams County near Corning, along what is known today as U.S. Highway 34. The settlement also was a stop on one of the early mail routes across Iowa in 1854.

 In addition to being a WHTC museum guide, Leininger is the Site Director of the French Icarian Colony Foundation in Corning.

 Visit www.iowahistory.org or call the Western Historic Trails Center at 712-366-4900 for more information.


The State Historical Society of Iowa is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and is a trustee of Iowa's historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa's past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa's historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state.


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