Hello Readers and welcome back to the Hometown Heritage Blog!
Today is a short post, as we have been busy all day moving our office across the street! That's right, Hometown Heritage is now located in the Carnegie Library. We will have the same hours as we did in our old office, but now if you visit us you can also enjoy the beautiful Carnegie Library. In addition to all the services we already provide, we will also be overseeing a new Genealogy station that has been installed in the Carnegie. If you wish to contact us to get more information, you can swing by the Carnegie or call us at our new number, 515-465-7713. We hope to see you at the Library!
Hello readers and welcome back to the Hometown Heritage Blog!
I am excited to tell you that this week is our last event! Tomorrow night, starting at 4:30 P.M. in the Hotel Pattee lobby in Perry, Iowa, is the last Art Tour Odd # Thursday. As this is the last Art Tour, this is also your last chance to see the art on display in the Hotel Pattee, Town Craft Building, and Security Savings Bank. Soon the art in these places will be returning to their original locations and owners. Although you will still be able to see the art that is from the Hotel Pattee, many pieces will be returning to California and Minneapolis. Come and see these works before they are gone! In addition, the pieces in Ames will all also be returning to their original locations as well. If you have not gone to see the landscapes of Gary Ernest Smith, make sure you do soon! Finally, this Art Tour Odd # Thursday will be special, as a Perry Area themed gift basket will be given out to one lucky winner.
Again, this event is tomorrow, Thursday December 29, at 4:30 P.M. in the Hotel Pattee in Perry, Iowa. We hope to see you there, and have a happy New Year readers!
Hello Readers and welcome back to the Hometown Heritage Blog!
Yesterday, America chose who was going to be its 45 president. The candidates campaigned hard all across America, but they both spent a fair amount of time in Iowa. This trend does not appear to be new, either. Presidents have been making stops in not only Iowa, but also small towns such as Perry for a long time! Today I thought I would share with you some of the Presidential visits I found in our collection.
This Presidential visit took place in 1948. Some of you may be able to remember that during that time, the President was Harry Truman. Although the pictures we have, such as the one you see here, are of him visiting Dexter and not Perry, Perry still played a big part: the Perry High School band was invited to play at his speech! Our records do not show what President Truman spoke about, or why the band was invited to play, but it must have been quite an honor to play for the President.
Other presidents also have some ties to Perry, Iowa. A presidential hopeful made many stops in Iowa, particularly in Perry, during his many candidacies. This man was William Jennings Bryan, who spoke twice in Perry, trying his best to win each presidential race (although he ultimately he lost three times). We have a picture of one of his speeches on display in the Chautauqua room in the Hotel. Perry native Robert Dean Harrison had some contact with the presidential office, as he served in the Secret Service protecting President Eisenhower. George Soumas also met President Eisenhower. Overall, it seems like even small towns like Perry, Iowa can have some big connections to the highest office in the land.
On a different note, I want to let you all know that Hometown Heritage will be open this weekend during Art on the Prairie! This time we will have Rick Stewart, the man behind the two most recent Wall of Witnesses reliefs, down in our office demonstrating some of his craft. If you are participating in the events, make sure to come down to the lower level of the Town/Craft Building to see a sculptors work in person!
Hello Readers and welcome back to the Hometown Heritage Blog!
Today I want to take the time and tell you about the Art Tour Odd # Thursday #4 event that we are holding tomorrow. This time, Adrienne Gennett from Brunnier Art Museum in Ames will be here in Perry! This is a great chance to meet one of the driving forces behind the Gary Ernest Smith Exhibition. In fact, she was instrumental in the hanging of many of the pictures in the Town Craft building and the Security Savings Bank. If you ever had any questions about hanging art, putting on an exhibit, or something similar, this is the perfect chance to ask them! The afternoon will start at the Hotel Pattee, at the table behind the fireplace near the Canning painting at 4:30 P.M. There will be time to talk with Adrienne, and afterwards she will lead some tours of the Exhibition. These tours will be different from previous tours, as she will be lending her on perspective on all the art. The afternoon will then conclude at 6:30 P.M. I hope to see all of you there!
Hello and Welcome back to the Hometown Heritage Blog!
September is almost upon us and with it a new group of events for the Gary Ernest Smith Exhibition! I thought I would take this time to let you all know what and when September’s events are, if you have not seen them already!
The first event this month is tomorrow, September 1. This is the first in a series of events we are calling “Art Tour Odd Numbered Thursdays” (or Art Tour Odd # Thursdays, ATO#T for short). This time, the tour will be introductory tours. Similar to the Opening Reception, this Art Tour Odd # Thursday will feature simple tours given every half hour of the art that we have on display. It starts at 4:30 P.M. at the Hotel Pattee, and goes until 6:30 P.M.
The next event we have this month is Creative Mornings, another series of events that will continue throughout the Exhibition. This Creative morning will happen on September 6, from 10:00 to 11:30 A.M. at the Hotel Pattee. This event features both art and coffee, and will be hosted by Betsy Peterson and Carolyn Guay. The next event after this is another Art Tour Odd # Thursday on September 15, from 4:30 to 6:30 P.M. at the Hotel Pattee. This tour will be different from the first, as it will be a tour led by Bill Clark, the Hometown Heritage Board President and local businessman. It will feature looking at the art from a businessman perspective.
The fourth event in September is the big event that should get everyone excited. On September 22, Gary Ernest Smith himself will be here! Starting at 7:30 at the Hotel Pattee he will be leading an Art Walk! This is a great time to learn about the art on display directly from the artist himself. Prior to the Art Walk, Pam Jenkins Phd, a Research Professor of Sociology (Emerita), at the University of New Orleans and a Permanent Trustee of Hometown Heritage will be giving a presentation entitled “Growing Up in a Small Town and the Art of Gary Ernest Smith” at 6:30 P.M. at the Hotel Pattee. We encourage you to come to both and experience a great night of Art and learning! The next day, September 23, Gary Ernest Smith will be in Ames at the Brunnier Art Museum for a reception there. For anyone who wants to go that night, we will have a bus available to take people there and back at 5:30 P.M. from the Hotel Pattee. The cost is $20 per person and seats are first come first serve.
Finally, we will hold another Art Tour Odd # Thursday on September 29, from 4:30 to 6:30 P.M. at the Hotel Pattee. This tour will be led by host Rachel Schwaller, Associate Professor of Art & Design at Grandview University in Des Moines, Iowa. We encourage you all to come to as many of these events as you can, as each tour will be different. Do not forget either that the more events you come to (and get the back page of our printed schedule signed) the greater your chance of winning the Perry Area Gift Basket at the end of the Exhibition! I hope to see you all at these events in the future!
Today is another short blog post, but we wanted to get the word out to all of you about an event coming up this month.
Hometown Heritage and the Perry Historic Preservation Commission are pleased to invite you to the unveiling of a new relief for the Wall of Witnesses in Perry, Iowa. The new relief depicts Michael Kanealy, who was not only the owner and operator of Michael’s Pub for 25 years, but also a longtime supporter and promoter of Perry. The Perry Historic Preservation Commission chose to honor Mike after receiving numerous nominations earlier this year, and Newton artist Rick Stewart created the relief. The unveiling and a short program will take place on Friday, December 18th in the gallery of the Town Craft Building at 4:30 pm. There will be light refreshments, and the event is free and open to the public.
I hope to see you all there to honor Mike at this special event.
Sorry for the late post this week, we are rather busy here at Hometown Heritage as of late.
However, there is something interesting that I would like to share with all of you. First, let me ask you this question: have you ever wondered if you, or someone you know, appeared in one of the Perry Newspapers? Well, all of us here at Hometown Heritage are excited to tell you that now, you can find out! We have recently installed on our public research station a database of all the Perry Newspapers that have ever existed from 1874 to 2013. Not only do we have this database, but it is also super simple to search! So now you can find out if you have ever appeared in The Perry Chief, or any of the other local publications. Or, perhaps you have wondered what was happening on this day 100 years ago? The database can do that as well! The database is a wonderful tool, and we are very lucky to have it. All of this is possible thanks to Mary Murphy and the Perry Public Library. They were the ones who put in the hard work to create this database, and then shared it with us. For this reason, we would like to extend a big thank you to Mary and the Perry Public Library!
I highly encourage anyone to come down either to Hometown Heritage in the Town Craft Building (see the below map if you do not know where we are), where we have this database on our public research computer, or to the library to have a look at the database, and conduct a search for their own name. Not only could you find something interesting in the database, but there is plenty of fun and exciting things here at Hometown Heritage as well. Plus, it gets a little lonely down here. So please, do not hesitate to come down and take a look!
First, I must apologize for the lateness of this blog post. We were having a few hiccups with our website yesterday, but everything is fixed now. Please enjoy the rest of the post!
There are many cool and interesting things here at Hometown Heritage, ranging from pictures to clothes, and even to weapons. All of these things are different in their own unique way, but they also share something: their home (see slide show below this post!)
Here on the lower level of the Town Craft Building, all of our items are stored in our vault, and it is quite the interesting vault. “Why is it interesting?” you may be asking yourself. Well, I will tell you! To start, our vault is very old. It was originally the vault of the First National Bank (as you can see from the words above the door), and was made by Diebold Safe and Lock Company. According to what I have researched, this dates the vault back to sometime between 1876 and 1943. Since First National Bank was first established around 1913, that means this vault is probably at least one hundred years old! Now most of you have probably not heard of Diebold Safe and Lock Company. This is because they changed their name in 1943 to Diebold, Incorporated. Currently, people know them more for their production of ATMs.
Anyway, back to our vault. As you can see in the pictures, the vault has seen a lot of use. It is worn, and even missing a few screw caps on the hinges. Fortunately, it has not rusted, and still opens and closes perfectly fine (even if it is quite heavy). It even has a double set of doors, which I only found out recently. They are behind the main vault door, and have bars that extend up and down to keep them in place if the vault needs to be completely sealed. Of course, this brings me to the one rule that we have with our vault: always bring your phone in with you! Even though there are not many people down here, we always make sure to bring our phone with us into the vault, since it is impossible to open the vault from the inside.
The inside of the vault is actually not as interesting as the outside is. Mostly it is just a bunch of shelves, tightly packed together, with tons of boxes on them. In fact, it is almost impossible to retrieve things from the shelves efficiently. There is even a pole in the middle of where a row is! It really needs a good reorganization, but that will be a project for a different day.
Aside from all of this, there is one curious thing about our vault. On the front, it has the name of Diebold, but it also has another name lower on the door. This part reads “David Blair, AG’T., Chicago, Ill.” For all my research, I am unable to find out what this means or who David Blair is. I do not think there is documentation about the vault that remains either, so this will remain a mystery. However, if any of you want to come and see our vault for yourself, we always welcome visitors, so please stop by!