Local History Projects Earn Statewide Recognition

For immediate release May 9, 2005



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

Des Moines, Iowa—A special awards ceremony at the State Historical Building was held today for the recipients of the State Historical Society’s 2005 Loren Horton Community History Awards. These awards, as well as many others, are presented annually in conjunction with National Historic Preservation Week. Groups were presented certificates of recognition by Anita Walker, State Historical Society administrator, and Peggy Whitworth, State Historical Society Board chair.

Loren Horton Community History Award certificates of recognition are given in four categories: Outstanding Event, Outstanding Use of Volunteers, Outstanding Project for an Educational Activity, Outstanding Research/Publication and Overall Winner.
The award is named in honor of Loren Horton, who represented the State Historical Society of Iowa in many capacities from 1973 until his retirement in 1996. As the Society’s field services coordinator, and later, as senior historian, Horton’s work brought him in close contact with many local historical organizations. In keeping with that legacy, this award recognizes the best project that increases awareness and participation in Iowa history on a local level. The award recognizes an individual, group, or organization whose outstanding local history project was completed during the previous calendar year.

The recipients of the 2005 certificates of recognition and their projects are:

Certificate for Outstanding Program or Event
Recipient: Dr. Hugh Hammond, “Salute to Southern Iowa Coal Mining.”

This project was a community educational event celebrating Oskaloosa’s coal heritage and educating its young people. Ten different workshops were held in October, 2004, and two bus trips were taken to area mines. Michael Gipple of Mahaska County Conservation Board conducted a program on fossils in the coal mines. Students from William Penn University conducted a program illustrating the life of miners in Buxton and how residents of Mahaska County interacted with the miners. Contact: Dr. Hugh Hammond, Oskaloosa, 641-673-1116.

Certificate for Outstanding Project for an Education Activity
Recipient: Laurens-Marathon High School Speech Department – “58,000 Names”.

“58,000 Names” is a 15-minute choral reading presentation honoring the Iowa Vietnam veterans. The presentation highlighted three separate groups (parents, protesters and soldiers) and their feelings over time from anger and misunderstanding to understanding and honoring the men who paid the ultimate price. Contact: Kristy Mather, Laurens, 712-845-2311.

Certificate for Outstanding Project related to Historic Preservation
Recipient: Henry County Historic Preservation Commission – Historic Markers.

In 2004, the Henry County Historic Preservation Commission identified the sites of 18 abandoned towns and five historic sites in Henry County. Using funds from a local grant, the Commission purchased signs and placed them to identify the sites. The Commission then prepared a 200-page book, “Looking Back: Abandoned Towns of Henry County, Iowa,” with a section devoted to each of the 23 sites including maps/plats, photos, personal stories and reproductions of documents. Contact: Donald E. Young, Mt. Pleasant, 319-385-8143.

Certificate for Outstanding Research or Publication
Recipient: Iowa Gold Star Museum, “With Us Still…The Camp Dodge Story.”

This project is a Web page on the history of the Iowa National Guard base at Camp Dodge utilizing archival photos, maps, artwork, documents, printed research materials, and state-of-the-art computer mapping technology. Also in booklet form, this project tells the story of Camp Dodge with an emphasis on its role during World War I as the largest military base in Iowa’s history. Interactive mapping activities and computer models allow visitors to experience the activities associated with camp operation during World War I. Contact: Col. Russell V. Bierl, Iowa Gold Star Museum, Johnston, 515-252-4531.

Certificate for Outstanding Youth Project
Recipient: Brenten Barglof, “L is for Laurens”

Brenten Barglof is a 7-year-old who wrote this book to highlight the unique characteristics and interesting places in his community of Laurens (he was 6 at the time the book was written). The book has touched many lives and continues to draw interest to this community and to his writing skills. Contact: Carrie Barglof, Laurens, 712-841-2374.

Overall Winner
Recipients: Martha Long, Alice Meyer and Karen Finley, Bear Creek Cemetery Project

There are more than 100 plots in Bear Creek Cemetery with no burial stone, and old township records of the burials at the cemetery were destroyed in a fire many years ago. Research was done for death records in the Buchanan, Black Hawk and Benton County Recorders Offices as well as in issues of local newspapers in order to identify plots. Some stones were buried, others broken or worn down by age and environmental conditions. A local 4-H group came on board to help restore these aged stones. Contact: Martha Long, Vinton, 319-472-4465.


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