Chamber members learn about Historical Village

By Ron Slechta
Posted 1/11/22

Kalona Historical Village managing director Nancy Roth gave those attending the Monday, January 10, Kalona Chamber brunch hosted by the Historical Village Visitors Center a preview of the plans for …

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Chamber members learn about Historical Village

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Kalona Historical Village managing director Nancy Roth gave those attending the Monday, January 10, Kalona Chamber brunch hosted by the Historical Village Visitors Center a preview of the plans for the new Streetscape design for the Wahl Museum.

The conceptual plan is to be presented to the Kalona Historical Society Board of Directors on Jan. 13. The conceptual designs were developed by Edwards Creative of Milan, Illinois.

When completed, the Wahl museum will feature scaled down store fronts for a variety of store fronts in the early Kalona history. Stores will include a hardware store, doctor’s office, variety store, a newspaper office, a theater and skating rink, a gas station and many others.

Roth pointed out that Edwards Creative has done a number of similar projects such as the Johnson County Historical Museum, The Iowa City Car Museum and the theatre at Old Threshers in Mt. Pleasant.

Once the board approves the conceptual design, the Historical Society will be launching a fundraising campaign to raise funds.

Chamber Director Tonia Poole gave those attending ideas of how they could stimulate their business during these slower months of the year. She also encouraged store owners to partner with other businesses in developing more traffic to their stores

Roth also explained how the Village is working more closely with the Chamber and the Iowa Mennonite Museum on projects to help attract more tourists to Kalona and the Historical Village.

Roth said that the Village worked hard during the COVID slow down to revamp displays and get displays updated. Last year they featured a display on the Allen and Dunlap families. Emma Allen was the founder of The Kalona News and an early promoter of improvements to the city. Mr. Allen was a doctor.

This year, that corner of the Visitors Center features items from the Kalona Hotel.

This past year Mike Zahs has had his Feed Sack quilt collection in the English Quilt Gallery. That display will be removed on February 1 and a new quilt display from the Village’s collection will be displayed.

This year the Village will also partner with the Kalona Optimist club for the community Halloween party.  Some of the Optimist members are also volunteering on other projects.

Roth invited chamber members to visit the Village more often to find out what is being offered to attract tourists to Kalona.

Village events

Roth announced the following planned activities for the Kalona Historical Village activities:

• Feb. 17 – Program on “Mules Hardworking & Stubborn” by Bob Gerrard.

• March 18 – Soup Supper.

• April 2 – Iowa/Illinois Quilt Study Group.

• April 16 - Easter Egg Hunt & Vendor Show.

• May 6-7 – Tag Sale.

• May 7 – Booth at Farmers Market.

• June 4 – Tea.

• June  10 – Golf Benefit.

• June 20-23 – Summer Camp.

• June 27-30 - Summer Camp

• August 5 -6.  Iowa/Illinois Quilt Study Group.

• September – 23 -24 – 50th Annual Fall Festival.

• October – TBD  “Beyond the Grave”

• October 27 - Jack O’Lantern Jaunt

• November TBD – Village Open House in conjunction with Christmas in Kalona.

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