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History of Walnut Grove Pioneer Village in Iowa ~ Pictures ~ A Look Back
Walnut Grove Pioneer Village in Long Grove, Iowa
Walnut Grove Pioneer Village
This article addresses looking back into a bygone era and learning some history by visiting the Walnut Grove Pioneer Village in Iowa.
Not too far from where my aunt and uncle live in Iowa is the Walnut Grove Pioneer Village. It is located at 18817 290th Street, Long Grove, Iowa 52756. It is a part of Scott County Park and the pioneer village provides a tangible and interactive history lesson as one can step back into time and see how people used to live and work from the 1830s to the 1930s.
Except for special occasions where charges might be incurred, the park is open daily from 9 AM to 6 PM, from April to October, and the admission is free.
The school, blacksmith shop and at least one of the cabins were all original to this site and the remaining total of 18 historic structures were relocated to this three-acre area from other locations where the buildings might have been in danger of neglect or eventual demolition.
A stage coach stop in the 1860s, this original settlement of Walnut Grove would have been a hub of activity for that day and time. There was a grist mill and people came from the surrounding farmlands to this site to also receive and send their mail.
St. Ann's Church
St. Ann's Church (c. 1853 - 1870) was relocated to this spot. It is a beautiful little white steeple Catholic Church with an ornate altar and colorful stained glass windows.
Today it can be utilized for weddings and some newlyweds choose to have their nuptials performed in this charming little historic church.
Interior photos of St. Ann's Church in Walnut Grove
Walnut Grove Bank photosClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Walnut Grove Bank
The Walnut Grove Bank building (c. 1890) has an interesting free standing safe relocated from another bank, the German Savings Bank, in Eldridge.
I wonder if there were any bandits that ever succeeded in robbing that secure looking safe?
Keppy and Nagle General Store
The Keppy & Nagle General Store is filled with crocks, jars and other containers that would have held the usual supplies offered for sale in those days of yesteryear's.
All of these historic buildings are open for viewing. Some of them have bars or screening through which one can view the room contents so that they stay untouched and in good shape for everyone to enjoy.
The Keppy & Nagle General Store
Butler Township Schoolhouse #2
The one roomed Butler Township Schoolhouse #2 (c. 1870) is typically furnished with the double wooden desks and a pot bellied stove for use as a heater in the center of the room. Adorning the walls were the slate blackboards along with framed photos of United States Presidents and geography maps of that era.
Of course every school house had a world globe and an American flag at the front of the room.
An eighth grade education was a really good one in that day and time!
Inside photos of Butler Township Schoolhouse #2 at Walnut Grove
Some of the other buildings that can be seen here include a barber shop, doctor's office, firehouse, saloon, carpenter shop, telephone office, soda fountain shop, two one-roomed cabins and the Donahue Train Depot (c. 1870) along with the Ox Locomotive and the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Caboose # 14353.
In addition to all of this there is much old farm machinery to be viewed and a boot-hill cemetery.
Making History Come Alive!
This would be a perfect outing to take a picnic lunch and enjoy the ambiance of seeing these rural buildings dating back to pioneer days in Iowa. Restrooms are provided and picnic tables which are scattered throughout the pretty grounds provide seating.
School children are often taken there by the busloads when school is in session. Parks like this one make history come alive.
Visiting the Walnut Grove Pioneer Village was not only an enlightening step back into history for us that day, but it made for a very pleasant summer's day sojourn while we were visiting with our relatives in Iowa.
Do you enjoy seeing old historic places?
Walnut Grove Pioneer Village location...
© 2009 Peggy Woods