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Your Village: Is it Lake Macbride or McBride?

According to the maps I find online, the lake in Lake Macbride State Park is Lake McBride. Are they named after the same person? Or did Macbride get the park and Macbride Hall at UI named after him, and McBride basically didn’t get anything other than me, years later, doubting his existence? —Matt, Iowa City […]

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Cosmic cowboys, quarter beers and nightmarish bathrooms: The history of Gabe’s

In the beginning there was the Pub, opening inside a nondescript two-story brick building on East Washington Street in Iowa City, which previously housed ACT, Inc.’s offices, in 1970. The restrooms have been on a steep decline since then, but there have also been many highs, both musical and chemical. […]

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House built more than 150 years ago on Iowa City’s north side to be torn down

A demolition permit has been issued for the house that has stood at the corner for E Market and N Johnson Streets in Iowa City for more than 150 years. The house is still in good shape, but Mercy Iowa City, which bought the property for $240,000 in November, has no use for the structure. […]

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‘Bright Radical Star’: When John Brown came to Iowa

Halfway to Springdale, Iowa — a town about 15 miles east of Iowa City — on a snow-laden December evening in 1857, Owen Brown decided to journal. “Very cold night,” he wrote, “prairie wolves howl nobly.” He recounted the “hot discussion” had on the road that day: about the Bible, war, racial prejudice and abolition […]

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Iowa City’s oldest douchebag

Douchebags. Some might say Iowa City is full of them. Others might argue they’re a rare find. While locals eligible for this title might be thought of as callous, the oldest douchebag in town is actually quite fragile. So fragile, in fact, University of Iowa project archeologist Angela Collins said, “By just touching it, I could tell it wanted to crumble.” Collins is referring not to an aged alumnus, but rather to Dr. F. Wilhoft’s (Original) Lady’s Syringe, meant for vaginal cleanliness. A literal douchebag. […]

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Hard-cider, tetanus deaths and poisoned ice cream: ICPL launches an online archive of historic Iowa City newspapers

On Tuesday, decades of Iowa City history suddenly became much more accessible, when the Iowa City Public Library launched an online archive of newspapers covering the years 1841 to 1925. The searchable archive features editions from seven different Iowa City newspapers previously available only on microfilm at the library. “Having a primary resource is an […]

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Iowa City Municipal Airport celebrates 100 years of history

About 15 years after Wilbur and Orville Wright made the first flight in a powered aircraft, the Iowa City Municipal Airport opened on local farmland, where it remains today. Though its role and services have evolved since 1918 — as has flight itself — the airport continues to grow, and this weekend it’s celebrating a century of history. […]

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Keeping the faith: Iowa City’s Bethel AME Church celebrates 150 years

In a city with few remaining historic buildings and a population constantly in flux, Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church is a rarity. Bethel, Iowa City’s only historically black church, is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. The church still stands on the same Governor Street lot its founders bought for $50 in 1868, just three years after the end of the Civil War. […]

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Gardens, bikes and pony rides this weekend at Lucas Farms

Plum Grove, the 1844 home of the first territorial governor of Iowa Robert Lucas and his wife Friendly, still anchors the neighborhood of Lucas Farms in Iowa City. The Lucas Farms Neighborhood Association invites the community in to explore the neighborhood’s past and present at the third annual Lucas Farms History Days. […]

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Church holds a century of Iowa City history, its future is part of a proposed development

The Unitarian Universalist Society Church on the corner of Iowa Avenue and Gilbert Street is turning 109 years old this year. The building, dedicated in 1908, housed the Unitarian Universalist Society of Iowa City up until they voted in February 2015 to move to new location in Coralville. Today the brick building, made to look […]

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Historic Iowa City women’s seminary paved the way toward equal access to education

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I live in a female seminary. It’s an apartment building now, mostly remodeled, but I can imagine the history trapped between the brick walls. I sleep in the same rooms where some of the first young girls in our nation were allowed to educated themselves. I make coffee in the same spot where I imagine […]

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