Celebrate Iowa and Fort Madison History at FM library

FM Public Library Director

FORT MADISON – While the history of Iowa spans back thousands of years, on December 28, 1846, Iowa officially became the 29th state and there are many ways to explore Iowa’s history online.  Over the past 175 years, Iowa has made significant contributions to our country.  As I learned from Rudy Daniels’ talk at the beginning of October, Iowa played an important role in the development of the national railroad system. Iowans have also influenced Hollywood from its golden age with Donna Reed, John Wayne and Phil Stong (the author of State Fair) to more contemporary stars including Tom Arnold, Elijah Wood and Ashton Kutcher.  Iowans have also looked at the world around them and found ways to make it better, like Norman Borlaug and Aldo Leopold.  This only scratches the surface of Iowa’s influence in arts, education, industry and agriculture.

If you want more information on these, or other, topics look at the State Historical Society of Iowa’s series, “Iowa History 101”.  You can sign up to watch live webinars, or visit the archives of past programs.  “Iowa Stories” is another series from the State Historical Library, highlighting scholars and historians sharing their knowledge on a wide array of Iowa topics, found online here.

If you have kids 12 or younger, they may be interested in free membership in Goldie’s Kids Club, a program designed to introduce children aged 12 and under to Iowa history – starting with Goldie the eastern goldfinch, the state bird.

Finally, you can visit the State Historical Museum of Iowa’s virtual “Iowa’s People and Places” display.  “Iowa’s People & Places” invites visitors to explore the stories and artifacts of the earliest people who called this land home as well as more recent Iowans who have helped make Iowa truly unique.  Journey through 13,000 years of history in this exhibition that features both common and monumental events. American Indian settlements, statehood, court rulings, legislation, immigration and elections all set the course for Iowans and still affect Iowans today.

Iowa History 101 – https://iowaculture.gov/history/iowa-history-101-series
Iowa Stories – https://iowaculture.gov/history/programs/adult-programs/iowa-stories
Goldie’s Kids Club – https://iowaculture.gov/goldie
“Iowa’s People and Places” – https://iowaculture.gov/history/museum/exhibits/IowasPeopleandPlaces

Fort Madison History Scavenger Hunt

Fort Madison, which has been a city longer than Iowa has been a state, has a lot of history of its own and we have created a puzzle scavenger hunt to help you explore some of that history.  Pick up a scavenger hunt packet beginning December 6 and track down the locations around town that will lead you to a small prize.  You can also take pictures and share on Facebook for fun, if you want.

Iowa History at the Fort Madison Library

  1. Frontierswomen: The Iowa Experience by Glenda Riley (305.42 RIL)
  2. Growing Up in Iowa: Reminiscences of 14 Iowa Authors edited by Clarence A. Andrews (977.7 GRO
  3. Prohibition in Eastern Iowa by Linda Betsinger McCann (364.132 MCC)
  4. Answering the Call: A Tribute to Tri-State Area Veterans (355.003
  5. 60 Years of Tri-State Rodeo (791.840977 SIX)
  6. Outside In: African-American History in Iowa 1838-2000 (977.700496073 OUT)
  7. Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression by Mildred Armstrong Kalish (977.7 KAL)
  8. Between Two Rivers: Iowa Year by Year 1846-1996 by Allan Carpenter and Randy Lyon (977.7 CAR)
  9. The Fort: 177 Years of Crime & Punishment at the Iowa State Penitentiary (DVD)
  10. The 175th Anniversary of the Catholic Church in Fort Madison (DVD)

Upcoming Events at the Fort Madison Public Library –

For the safety of library employees and other patrons, please do not come to library programs if you feel ill, have a fever or are waiting on the results of a coronavirus test.  The library is still offering curbside book pick-up if you need something to read, watch or listen to but want to keep your community healthy by temporarily quarantining.

The Library will be closed on Friday, December 24 and Saturday, December 25 for the Christmas holiday.  The Library will be closed on Friday, December 31 and Saturday, January 1 for the New Year’s holiday.

Thread Library – Check out this pop-up art installation in the library meeting room on December 3 and 4 during regular library hours.  You can also register for the “Collecting as a Creative Practice” workshop on Friday at 3:45 or attend the lecture at 11am on Saturday.

5th Annual Christmas Ornament Workshop – Join us on December 23 to make some pretty ornaments to finish up your tree.

Pre-School/Toddler Story Hour –Wednesday morning at 10:30.

Thursday Crafternoon –Thursday, 3:30-5:00, for ages 14-adult.  This program is an opportunity to spend some time working on an in-depth project for the whole month.  December’s craft is a holiday angel.

Hang Teen – Tuesday, 3:30-5:00 (except for December 14) for ages 12-19.

Minecraft –3:30-5:00, ages 9-18 on Mondays. 

Wacky Wednesday – School is out early on December 1 and 15.  Join us from 1:30-2:30 for a Christmas craft on December 1 and a Christmas gift container on December 15.

All Booked Up! – The library’s book discussion group meets on the first Thursday of the month at 1:30 p.m.  On Thursday, December 2, we will be discussing “Brooklyn” by Colm Toibin.  On Thursday, January 6, we will be discussing “Before the Coffee Gets Cold” by Toshikazu Kawaguchi.

Cook the Book –This month’s cookbook is “Brunch @ Bobby’s” by Bobby Flay and is available at the library.  Pick a recipe and prepare it to share with the group on December 14 at 5:30 pm.  In January, we’ll be picking recipes from “Do You Know the Muffin Pan?”, proof that muffin pans aren’t just for baking muffins and sweets.

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