with our two sesquicentennial exhibits currently showing at the Octagon
Center for the Arts, the Historical Society will be presenting Gallery
Talks on a wide array of topics relating to Ames History.
Gallery Talks will be held at the Octagon Center for the Arts in the Main Gallery.
Tuesday, August 26, 7:00 pm "150 Years in 50 Minutes: An Overview of Ames History" Presented by Margaret Vance, Ames Historical Society Research Assistant
As the trains
were pushing westward across Iowa, the choices made by "advance man"
John I. Blair spelled the beginning of new towns and the death knell to
others. Learn how his decisions, along with the aid of a feisty pioneer
woman, brought Ames into being. Learn also the fascinating stories
behind many of the places and buildings that are part of our everyday
Thursday, September 4, 7:00 pm "By the Side of the Road: How Transportation Shaped Ames"Presented by Jeff Benson, Lincoln Highway Historian
The earliest businesses in Ames established
themselves at the east end of Onondaga Street near the first railroad
depot, which expanded into the "downtown" district over the next 50
years. With the switch to automobiles, business growth moved and since
1913 all of the houses on the Lincoln Highway south of downtown were
replaced with businesses, 77 of them by 1955. The speaker will explore
this trend and some of these businesses as an illustration of how
transportation influences urban design.
Thursday, September 18, 7:00 pm "Culture
Under Canvas: Chautauqua Comes to Ames by Train and Tent"
Presented by Dr. Charles Kniker, Emeritus Professor of Education, Iowa State University
you were an Ames resident from 1904 to 1926. What would you do for
entertainment One option was to attend something called "Chautauqua."
Performers and the large tent they used arrived by
The entertainment in Ames ranged from a Shakespearean play to
instrumental music; from watching a demonstration of the wireless
telegraph to shaking hands with a presidential candidate like William
Jennings Bryan or lecturer Booker T. Washington
Thursday, October 2, 7:00 pm "The Ames Connection to WWII's Manhattan Project" Presented by Kathy Svec, daughter of a Project researcher
desperate, top-secret race during World War II to master the military
technology of nuclear fission before Nazi Germany played out in 32 sites
across the U.S. and Canada. The story of how Ames became one of these
sites will be told by the speaker, whose father, Harry J. Svec, was
pulled into the research while a graduate student in Chemistry at Iowa
State. The role that small group of scientists played was critical to
the timing and success of the Project.
Thursday, October 16, 7:00 pm "Ames Has Been Home to Many"
Presented by Sharon Wirth, Historic Old Town Neighborhood Association,
and Peter D. Englin, Ph.D., Director of Residence at Iowa State
Ames was platted in 1864, the development of housing has had a major
impact on the Ames community. Explore where residential development
began, early architecture, early builders, and early connections. The
growth of the Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm impacted the
growth of housing for students and faculty. Learn how creating a home
for many has produced longstanding connections between Iowa State
University and the Ames community.
Sunday, October 19th, 2:00pm Ted Kooser will be reading poetry and signing books
in Ames, Iowa, in 1939, Kooser earned a BS at Iowa State University in
1962 and an MA at the University of Nebraska in 1968.. Two-time United
States Poet Laureate (2004-2006), the highly regarded Nebraskan poet Ted
Kooser was the first poet from the Great Plains to hold the position. A
professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he is the
author of eleven full-length collections of poetry, including Weather
Central (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1994) and Delights and Shadows
(Copper Canyon), which won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize.