Muscatine Magazine, Fall 2021

Page 1

ISSN 2475-7128 Fall 2021

Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce & Industry

UnityPoint Health – Trinity Muscatine is a

2021 Top 100 Rural & Community Hospital Trinity Muscatine has always been committed to providing the best care possible and the best patient experience. We want the Muscatine community to know we are invested in your health and you can always trust in receiving excellent care when you walk through our doors. Learn more at *Compiled by The Chartis Center for Rural Health

Editor’s Corner

Mark Your Calendars! Don’t miss out on the fun this holiday season in Muscatine!

Happy Holidays!

In this issue Shop Muscatine. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Muscatine Gift Card. . . . . . . . . . . 5 Pet Rescue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 CASA Volunteers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 People You Should Know . . . . 10 Native Americans in Iowa. . . . 12 Future of Programming. . . . . . 14 Programming. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Art Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

With the Holiday season fast approaching, I would like to encourage you to take a look at pages 2 – 4 for our Chamber Members that offer Muscatine Rebecca Paulsen, Editor of themed items! They Muscatine Magazine are perfect for gift giving during the holidays or any time of year! We are also pleased to announce the new Make It Muscatine Gift Card, which is replacing our previous Chamber Dollar program. For details check out page 5. I hope you have a festive holiday season! n

On the Cover This picture of the Muscatine Arboretum was taken by Mark Washburn. Visit his website at:

Muscatine MAGAZINE Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce & Industry 100 W. 2nd St. • Muscatine, Iowa 52761-4027 563-263-8895 Muscatine Magazine is published quarterly by: Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce & Industry 100 W. 2nd St. • Muscatine, Iowa 52761-4027 Email:

• Holiday Open House Sunday, November 14th, 12-4pm Downtown Muscatine kicks off the Holiday Shopping Season with the Annual Downtown Muscatine Holiday Open House. Enjoy in-store specials, entertainment and refreshments at participating merchants • NEW! Art Appreciation Week November 16th-21st Celebrate our local galleries, museums, and artists! Different art venues and what they have going on will be highlighted, including workshops, special deals, and a kick off to the Lego Exhibit at the Muscatine Art Center! • Small Business Saturday November 27th Shop locally to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities! • Holiday Stroll December 3rd Events and activities for the whole family in downtown Muscatine.

— Rebecca Paulsen, Editor

Absolutely Free Checking For personal and business accounts. Learn more at:

ISSN 2475-7128 Editor: Rebecca Paulsen, GMCCI Creative Director: Mike Shield, Shield Design Contributors: Rebecca Paulsen, Mike Shield, Mark Washburn, Jessica Hubbard, Virginia Cooper, Tina Roth

Aim High. Bank Strong. Member FDIC

For advertising info: Contact Rebecca Paulsen at (563) 263-8895 or Muscatine Magazine is a quarterly publication focused on Muscatine, Iowa, and the surrounding area. The publisher reserves the right to refuse and/or edit any materials submitted for publication. Published articles and advertising do not constitute endorsement. ©2021 Minimum opening deposit $25; no minimum balance requirement thereafter, and no monthly fees. See bank for details.

Muscatine Magazine • Fall 2021 1

With the holidays fast approaching, now is a great time to start thinking about gift giving. There are lots of places in Muscatine that carry items for your favorite Muscatine lover! Muscatine themed items make a great gift for people of all ages or those family members coming back to town for the holidays.

The Gift Gallery Features a wide variety of gifts and home decor for any occasion! • Muscatine themed coffee • Muscatine ornaments

• Muscatine tumblers

Flowers on the Avenue A wide assortment of fresh flowers, plants, decorative items, and collectibles. • Muscatine Maps • Iowa Art • Ardon Creek Wine, made locally

Letters from Elliot

Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce & Industry Pop-Up Shop Open M-F, 100 W. 2nd St. Located inside the Muscatine Chamber of Commerce, everything in the shop is Muscatine themed! • 52761 Home Décor • Watermelon themed items • Laura Palmer designs

2 Muscatine Magazine • Fall 2021 Specializing in custom hand lettered designs and personalized products. • Muscatine magnets and stickers • Muscatine mugs • Muscatine apparel

Rivers Edge Gallery Custom frame shop, art gallery and live music venue located in an 1880’s mansion. • Muscatine photography • Muscatine prints and postcards • Art by Muscatine Artists

Meg’s Vintage Collective Featuring a variety of Vintage finds highlighting multiple vendors and spread over 3 floors. • Muscatine Year Books • Vintage Muscatine company collectibles • Stop in and see what you’ll find, Muscatine items change regularly!

Feather Your Nest The destination for all things custom for your home, including kitchen and bath design, furniture, drapes, and accessories. • Muscatine themed kitchen items • Muscatine cutting boards • Muscatine coasters

MuscaStuff Unique gifts celebrating Muscatine, Iowa. • Wooden art prints • Ornaments

Muscatine Magazine • Fall 2021 3

National Pearl Button Museum The gift shop located inside the museum features locally made items. • Pearl Button Jewelry • Artwork Featuring Muscatine • Muscatine books

Fresh Home & Lifestyle Market A charming downtown shop thoughtfully and joyfully curated with home décor, candles, and assorted home goods. • Jewelry by Muscatine Native Kenda Kist • Muscatine Watermelon Tote

Sunrise Galleries Fine art gallery featuring local area artists, also offers art supplies and custom framing. • Hand painted wine glasses • Muscatine artwork • Muscatine post cards

Muskie Apparel Shop with Phelps the Uniform Specialists muskies/shop/home Muscatine School District apparel and accessories. Online only, shop early to allow time for delivery! • Muskie Sports • Muskie Pride • Muskie accessories

Flipped Out Furniture Unique, one of a kind, custom and repurposed furniture, home décor, candles. • Muscatine themed candles • Locally made jewelry 4 Muscatine Magazine • Fall 2021

Have that certain someone who is difficult to shop for?


GIFT CARD Look no further! The #MAKEITMUSCATINE Gift Card makes the perfect gift and allows the recipient to choose how to spend the card at a wide range of local businesses. You can feel good about giving something they will be sure to like, while also supporting the local economy and helping our community thrive! #MAKEITMUSCATINE Gift Cards also make the perfect gift for employee or client appreciation! The #MAKEITMUSCATINE Gift Card supports local spending at over 150 of Muscatine’s Chamber Member Businesses. From boutiques, large retail stores, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, entertainment, salons, grocery stores, to



straight to you or the recipient within 7 to 10 business days. It functions just like a debit card and do not expire. Visit to see the online directory of participating businesses. To purchase bulk cards of fifty or more, contact Hannah Howard at the Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industries at

Whether you are buying something services and more, this gift card makes SCAN TO LEARN MORE for yourself, your family, or a gift for the perfect gift for anyone! you know…spend your dollars When you make your purchasessomeone at businesses Gift cards can purchased in the our local economy in be Muscatine it helps locally andthrive #MAKEITMUSCATINE! n and our community Whether you are buying amounts of $25, $50, $75, $100grow. or more. something for yourself, your family, or a gift for The card is ordered online and sentspend your dollars locally someone you know… and Make It Muscatine!

Visit When you make your purchases at businesses in Muscatine it helps our local economy thrive and our community grow. For every dollar spent at locally owned businesses, 68 cents stays in the community. Purchase your #MAKEITMUSCATINE Gift Card today at or scan this QR code!

Muscatine Magazine • Fall 2021 5

Start Up Pet Rescue Fills a M When Meagan Koehler selected “It Takes A Village” as the name for the animal rescue she envisioned last February, she knew it was a philosophy she believed in, but she never dreamt how a self-fulfilling it would be. It Takes A Village Animal Rescue and Resources operates as a fostering rescue. While they primarily work with dogs, cats and kittens are also fostered. After a mere six-months of operation, It Takes A Village has placed over 100 animals in new loving adoptive homes. According to President and founder Koehler, it would not have been possible without the Muscatine community embracing their goals and efforts. “I feel the Muscatine community craved this,” Koehler stated confidently. “The support we have received is unheard of. From the finances, the community encouragement, to the response to our events, it has been – is -- incredible.” The positive response from the Muscatine community, both businesses and residents, was immediate. It Takes A Village quickly qualified for 6 Muscatine Magazine • Fall 2021

grants and other financial support from organizations such as the Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and the Community Foundation. Local veterinarians and groomers clear schedules and work overtime to provide animals desperately needed care. Residents and area businesses have responded generously with donations of supplies and services, and sponsoring events such as The Dog Days of Summer Fest held last August and the Hurricane Ida Pet Supply Drive. Even local artists and crafters have created hand-made items such as adoption blankets/ bandanas and doggie diapers. Koehler and her husband, Casey, who serves as vice president, have long supported rescues in the eastern Iowa area, both as home fosters and as board members. Koehler was in her last semester of the nursing program

at Scott Community College when she decided to follow her heart and start a rescue for Muscatine County in early 2021. Koehler’s affinity for fostering pregnant and new mother dogs is born in part by her nursing instincts. “I knew there was a need,” she said. “I was often helping residents of Muscatine county with owner surrenders and unclaimed animals.” It is truly a family affair. Casey, a hometown Navy recruiter by day, has become chief dog bather by night. Their two children, Griffin, 12, and Isabelle, 10, assist with fostering and taking care of

Muscatine Community Need dogs they have in their home. The entire family traveled to Louisiana this summer to transport animals displaced by the Hurricane Ida.

The Koehler’s experience and devotion to the cause is aided by the efforts of a troop of volunteers, including their foster families and other board members Missi Broders, Karen Hartman and Jennifer Wulf. “Our board members and foster families are incredible,” said Koehler. “No way could we do this without them.” “We are always looking for fosters,” stressed Koehler. “The number of animals we can help is limited by the number of people we having who are willing to take these animals. Cats, in particular, are more difficult to place.” The families care for the animals who may or may not require medical care or grooming (paid for by the rescue through donations), as well as work on socializing and training the animal. Food and all other supplies are also paid for by It Takes A Village. All the foster families have to give is love and time. Future plans are in the works for a physical location,

but It Takes a Village intends to remain primarily foster based.

“I believe in the benefits of fostering,” stressed Koehler. “A kennel-based situation does not really allow you to get to see the true personality of the dog, nor provide the opportunity to do much training.” Animals remain in foster care until Koehler and her staff deem them ready to be adopted into their forever home. This includes recovery from any medical procedures or illnesses, as well as any training needs. When that time comes, Koehler has several safeguards in place to ensure each animal is the best possible match with its adoptive family. Adopters have to complete a thorough approval process that includes providing references and a home visit. In addition to local surrenders, Koehler and her volunteers have established relationships with high kill shelters in the south and have arranged several transports to bring dogs from their overcrowded facilities to waiting families in Iowa.

“Many of these animals are highly desirable breeds that due to lack of space are being euthanized,” Koehler emphasized. “They are truly in a crisis down there with their animals. Spay and neuter programs are almost nonexistent.”

Finally, Koehler is working on grants and funding to establish a low cost spay and neuter program that pet owners here at home to afford such services. They also hope to be able to assist pet owners in need with other pet-related expenses. This is why we have the ‘and resources’ in our name,“ concluded Koehler. “We want to help with all areas of making sure pets are in a loving home.” n

You can follow It Takes A Village Pet Rescue and Resources on Facebook. Information on adoptable animals, as well as links for donating or applying to be a foster can be found on their page. Donations can also be sent to: It Takes A Village Animal Rescue and Resources, PO Bo 634, Muscatine, IA 52761. Muscatine Magazine • Fall 2021 7

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MuscatineMagazine Magazine••Fall Fall2021 2019 99 Muscatine


Karey Hawkins Brandon Welsch The Muscatine Community School District wants all students to be successful during their time at MCSD and long after they take off their cap and gown. “We hope to provide students with the skills they need to succeed upon graduating from Muscatine High School.

What lead you to a career in education?

All students should be prepared for what comes next, and that is why as a district, we are proud of the work that continues to be done with ‘Portrait of a Muskie Graduate.’ Not all students will follow the same path after high school. Let’s set them all up for success regardless of where they end up after high school.”, says Clint Christopher, Superintendent. To assist in their success, whether it be going to college, a trade school, or entering the workforce, Karey Hawkins and Brandon Welsch are focused on helping students find their path after graduation. Helping students achieve success is their top priority, and why we think they are Someone You Should Know.

Karey: I had some amazing Social Studies teachers in high school who had a big influence on me. I went into education hoping to be able to have a positive impact on students like they had on me. After a couple of years of teaching I was approached by my administration about the School Counselor position at our high school and started my graduate degree program.

Tell us a little bit about you! Brandon: I was raised in Muscatine and attended the Muscatine Community School District. I originally graduated with a degree in Business and started in the business sector my first 5 years with Musco Lighting before getting my degree in school counseling and pursuing education. This is my 15th year in education. My wife Lyndsay and I have 3 children. 10 Muscatine Magazine • Fall 2021

Karey: I grew up in West Liberty and after graduation went to UNI where I earned my BA in Social Science Secondary Education. I taught for four years in California and completed my MS in School Counseling at the University of Laverne. We moved back to Iowa in 2003 and I have worked as a School Counselor at MHS since that time. My husband DJ and I have three children.

Brandon: The chance to make in a difference in the lives of others along with the opportunity to coach.

Tell us about your role at Muscatine High School Brandon: I currently am the Work Based Learning Counselor. I help students with career exploration and to obtain work experiences including job shadows, internships and apprenticeships. My focus also lies in those students that are looking to go to a technical or trade school after high school or go straight into the workforce.

Karey: I am currently serving at the College and Career Counselor at MHS. I work with students grades 9-12 to explore post secondary education and training options, taking concurrent and dual credit courses for college credit, supporting them in the college application, financial aid and scholarship processes.

What are the advantages to offering Career Exploration and Work Based Learning opportunities to students? Brandon: Career Exploration and Work Based Learning opportunities allow students to first, find out what areas they may be interested in and second, to verify this through experiences within that line of work. The truest way to explore a career is to experience it first hand. There is just as much value to the realization that a particular area might not be for them as it is for a work experience to confirm their initial choices. Our goal is for students to explore these options before graduating from high school and before enrolling in college or a technical/training program. What is involved in Career Exploration and WBL? Brandon: Career Exploration is a process that will hopefully advance throughout

a student’s school career. We would first want to make students aware of the numerous career opportunities that are available. Then to explore those careers. That process can include guest speakers, work inventories, meetings with counselors and other MHS staff, job tours, job shadows, and interviews. We also would like students to prepare for their career of choice by taking junior high, high school, or MCC courses geared towards their future work. This preparation can also include longer term internships (paid or unpaid), volunteer opportunities and pre-apprenticeship programs. Finally, we hope students will begin their career training which can include apprenticeships, employee mentorships, and on the job training. The partnership with local businesses and industries are crucial for any of this to work. Fortunately, Muscatine employers seem very eager and willing to cooperate in this process with the Muscatine Community School District.

grades 8-12 complete the assessments prior to course selection to help guide their decisions. Students are able to save information in MAP but they are not tied to a particular career cluster. They can retake assessments at anytime to explore other options.

Can you explain the career cluster and the process of getting students connected to one?

How can local businesses get involved or support these programs if they are not already?

Karey: We use a program called My Academic Plan that is run through Iowa State University. The program allows students to complete Interest and Work Values assessments and matches their results to career clusters. Students in

You can contact either of us at Muscatine High School at 563-2648637. Brandon can be reached at and Karey can be reached at karey.hawkins@ n

What makes Career Exploration and WBL opportunities important for the future? Karey: Career exploration and Work Based Learning opportunities are important to the students of Muscatine High School because it helps them make informed decisions about their futures and make sure that they are on the right path. These experiences are also important to our community because it gives students an opportunity to network and explore opportunities for them in Muscatine, filling the pipeline for our local business and industry with highly qualified professionals.

Muscatine Magazine • Fall 2021 11

P R O G R A M M I N G Due to Covid-19, please check with the individual organizations for the most up to date details on programming


Agricultural Information

Join us for FREE nutrition classes at the Muscatine County Extension Office! We can help you: save money, shop and waste less food, save time at the store and in the kitchen, help picky eaters try new foods, learn to make easy and low-cost meals, strengthen family relationships. Contact April Kauffman at (319) 523-2371 or via email at for more information and to sign up today! Find out more at humansciences/nutrition-education

Land owners and operators can access research-based resources through our Ag Field Specialists and attend informational meetings and trainings hosted throughout the year at our office. The Ag Decision Maker is a great resource.

Join 4-H!

Connect with us!

Any 4th-12th grader in Muscatine County is welcome to join 4-H! 4-H allows youth to try new things through hands-on learning, make new friends, and support their community. Youth in K-3rd grade are welcome to join Clover Kids to explore a variety of topics through science, art, and literature. Learn more at www.extension.iastate. edu/muscatine/page/join-4-h.

Like us on Facebook at MuscatineExtension. Visit us online at Stay up to date by joining our e-newsletter to see our upcoming events and trainings! Feel free to reach out with any questions by calling us at 563-263-5701 or visit our office at 1601 Plaza Place, Muscatine.

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels

MUSSER PUBLIC LIBRARY Programming also available on MPW Channel 5

O Baby Lapsit Circle time and social time for the very youngest, ages birth to three plus parent or caregiver. Meet for songs, fingerplays, and stories, then adjourn to the children’s department for play and social time. 12 Muscatine Magazine • Fall 2021

Sparkplugs Aimed at 4 through 8-year-old’s, but everyone in the family is welcome to attend and participate. We start each program with a big, healthy snack. Adult Book Club - Virtual Join your fellow book lovers for a

book discussion of our monthly read. New titles are chosen every month ranging from local authors and best- sellers all from different genres. Tai Chi - Virtual Practiced as a graceful form of exercise involving a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing.



AG E S !

MUSCATINE ART CENTER View Local LEGO® Brick Creations Local builders of all ages will display their LEGO® brick creations in the showcases by the front desk for the duration of Sean Kenney’s Nature Connects® Made with LEGO® bricks from November 16 – February 20. Saturday Kids Workshops In these workshops designed for kids ages 7-14, kids can celebrate another culture, paint like a famous artist, and more! Celebrate Laura Musser’s birthday in November with an old fashioned tea party, and decorate gingerbread houses in December. Workshops are free, except gingerbread houses. Visit for more information and to sign up. Registrations required.

Preschool Storytime Stories, songs, fun, and something special in Betty’s basket, for ages 2-6. Mother/Daughter Book Club Enjoy a book together at home, then join friends for club activities at the library.

Family Workshop with LEGO® Bricks Join this family workshop presented by Living Proof Exhibit and learn how to use LEGO® bricks to create art. Drop in on December 4 between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. for this free workshop. Then, enjoy the Nature Connects® exhibit in the Stanley Gallery. Sant-O-Rama Families can drop in Sunday, December 12 between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. to create Santa-related crafts with Miss Julie. While at the Muscatine Art Center, view the beautiful Christmas decorations in the historic Musser-McColm home. Registration is not required for this free workshop. Mini Masters Introduce your little ones ages 2 - 7 to the world of art with free art classes. Each class consists of a story and two art projects, and a different theme is offered each month. Classes meet Wednesday mornings at 9:30 a.m. and Thursday afternoons at 3:30 p.m. Registrations required.

Skeleton Key Calling all brave and adventurous tweens, ages 7 through 12! Skeleton Key Adventure Club brings you handson science exploration. All those who participate in the adventure receive a skeleton key to wear on a lanyard each time they attend. Julie’s Kitchen Table Homeschoolers! Enjoy a literature and activity program with Julie.

Adult Studio There are various Adult Studio classes to join this fall. Explore watercolor and more with Vada Baker in Red Barn Studio, and get crafty in the Thursday Night Makerspace. Visit for a full class schedule. Registrations required. Family Fun at Home! Stop by the Muscatine Art Center during open hours and grab a “Take & Make” kit. Each bag contains a project you can complete at home with just a few additional supplies. These bags are free to pick up while supplies last. Pick up a festive Holiday Cheer bag December 17-23.

For the most up to date information: Check our Facebook page and message us on Facebook. Call us at (563) 263-3065 to talk to the children’s department or reference desk Visit us on the web at

Check the library’s event calendar for programming dates & times Muscatine Magazine • Fall 2021 13

CASA Volunteers:

The Key to Child Recovery By Jessica Hubbard Volunteerism is the foundation on which the Child Appointed Special Advocate agency is built upon. Better known as CASA, this organization provides the opportunity for children who have been impacted by abuse and neglect to have a chance at life, to grow and learn, and discover who they are. CASA has had a visible presence in Iowa for the last 35 years and falls under the umbrella of the Iowa Child Advocacy Board. CASA’s goal is to support a child or siblings who have been assigned to the juvenile court system until they are either reunified with their parent(s) or placed into new permanency settings. Many of these children, 60-70%, have been removed from parental care and are in need of guidance, support, and stability in order to move on to the next chapter in their lives. Nancy Manion, Program Manager for Cedar, Clinton, Jackson, Johnson and Muscatine Counties states, “The goal is to get every child back into a permanent home. This is where CASA volunteers come into play.” Volunteers are the backbone of the agency and provide the much needed support to the children who are being served. Volunteers come from all walks of life and have varied experiences. The desire to provide consistency, and a nurturing environment are key to the success of the child’s recovery. Manion’s decades-long experience working in a variety of social services fields reflects the importance and need for those individuals who wish to help at risk children find the path to a fulfilling life. Manion began her career in human services working with a teen program in the Quad Cities area. She came to realize her passion was tied to working with children, watching out for their needs and interests with the goal to help them thrive and move forward. Her career with CASA began more than 26 years ago. Manion started out as a coordinator with CASA, and worked her way up from there. She recalls talking with children in the program about the possibility of attending college one day. She felt surprised to hear many kids express the idea that college wasn’t for them, or they wouldn’t be able to attend. It wasn’t even a thought for many of them. “Hearing 14 Muscatine Magazine • Fall 2021

this made me want to help them realize their potential and the endless possibilities life could offer.” The CASA volunteer’s work begins here. Their role is vital in the stability of the children they work with. Providing a safety net and a connection to the world, CASA workers are varied in their lives, their work, and their experiences. Volunteers initially receive 30 hours of training before becoming child advocates, and they receive additional training as their volunteer service continues. Child advocates are then paired with a child or siblings who are in the juvenile court system and are often no longer living in the home with their parent(s). The advocate provides support, encouragement, and resources for the child as

they prepare to transition to new, permanent housing or back into the home with their parents. This time frame can be anywhere from a year to a year and a half. Volunteers see the child at least once every 30 days and do check-ins with the child’s therapist, teachers, and other family members, anyone who can offer insight into the child’s progress and identify and address risks to the child’s safety and well-being. Manion says of the volunteers, “They also advocate that appropriate physical and mental health assessments are completed and that the child’s needs are understood by the family and everyone is involved in the case through a trauma-informed approach. They also verify that educational assessments are completed and educational supports are in place.”

In turn, CASA volunteers have a support system of their own. Seasoned advocates often go on to become mentors and coaches for the volunteers who are providing direct services to the children. There is 24 hour support available to all child advocates. They never have to feel they are alone in their work. Volunteers are well-supported so that they in turn are able to provide exceptional services and support to the children they are advocating for. To learn more about how to become a CASA volunteer in Muscatine and surrounding areas, be sure to visit their website at https://childadvocacy.iowa. gov/ or to speak directly with Nancy Manion, call 563-323-3616, Ext. #2. n

Muscatine Magazine • Fall 2021 15

Our roots

run deep

Chances are, you’ve seen us around the house, or around the yard. In the store, or even out in the field. In fact, families and farmers have turned to Bayer for six generations and counting. Because for over 150 years, we’ve been right by your side. Advancing the health of the people, plants and pets you love.

Thank you for trusting us, then and now. 2500 Wiggins Road, Muscatine, IA 52761 For more information or request a tour of the Muscatine site call 563-262-7533 or email



Musser Public Library:

The Future of Programming By Jessica Hubbard Libraries have long been synonymous with books, card catalogs, and whisper quiet voices, but that culture has begun to shift over the last couple of decades as these public spaces aim to keep up with technology and appeal to an ever-expanding and diverse audience. That shift has become even more apparent throughout this last year and a half as the world worked to adjust to pandemic life. Day to day operations changed for many businesses and organizations, and Musser Public Library was no exception. The mission of libraries across the country is to provide a variety of free services to individuals and groups within the community. From borrowing books, to meeting spaces, to children’s programming, the heart of what they do is focused on in-person activities. Musser Public Library was already providing some virtual programming via Facebook Live. From O Baby Lapsit, to Caleen Pagle’s tai chi sessions, Musser aimed to appeal to a broad audience. So, when in-person options were tabled for an undetermined amount of time, 17 Muscatine Magazine • Fall 2021

staff had to brainstorm additional options to remain visible and maintain their connection with the Muscatine community. Youth Services Manager Betty Collins had been working with videographer Chad Yocom on current Musser programming. Yocom had a lease on Muscatine’s Public Access Channel 5 along with recording equipment, and so it seemed only natural that they began using the equipment to film additional children’s programming. Thus, making it available not only through social media, but through television as well, broadening their reach into more homes within Muscatine and the surrounding area. Pam Collins, Musser Public Library Director says of Channel 5, “The on-air option provided a sense of normalcy for people, reminding them of the things they could do, even if they weren’t in-person. Having an on-air option is also a way in which to equalize access to materials for individuals and groups who might not have internet availability.” Videographer and Musser staff member Chad Yocom says Channel 5 can be seen as an extension of the services the

library has to offer. “It can include entertainment, informational and educational. It feels good to be on the cutting edge of programming that libraries can offer to the public.” Eventually, the library was able to take over the lease of Channel 5, along with the equipment, and is currently researching additional programming to add to their already extensive list. From Julie’s Kitchen Table, virtual ukulele lessons, to winter reading programs, the possibilities seem endless. “While in-person programming is our goal, the ability to offer virtual options is a way in which we can still provide quality service to the community. We’re also open to suggestions as to what the public might like to see regarding programming”, says Collins. Staff at Musser agree it’s a true asset to have on-air programming as an option and to be able to provide multiple viewing platforms for the Muscatine community. For more information on available programming, including in-person options, visit their website at or call 563-2633064 for assistance. n Muscatine Magazine • Fall 2019 17

Scenery of the Upper Mississippi. An Indian Village Currier & Ives, Francis Palmer, c1866

Native Americans in Eastern Iowa By Virginia Cooper and the Muscatine Art Center

from the Early Archaic through the Late Woodland periods.

Native Americans have lived in Iowa for more than 11,000 years. Until 2,500 years ago, small bands lived by hunting game and gathering wild plants. These people, referred to as Archaic cultures, relied on stone, shell, bone and wood tools, and built covered huts to live in. Following the Archaic cultures, Natives of the Woodland culture became less nomadic, and began cultivating native plants along the Mississippi River valley to supplement their hunting and gathering. They also made pottery from local clays and established trade networks.

Site excavation exposed evidence of an Archaic village with multiple dwellings, a ‘commons area’, roasting pits, and cultural debris. Uppermost layers of the same site, revealed Woodland village features, that included houses and pottery.

In 1998, the Muscatine Art Center curated an exhibit from artifacts collected during the archaeological excavation of the Highway 61 reconstruction project on Eisele Hill. This historic site in southern Muscatine County is known as the ‘McNeal Fan’, which is part of a grouping of prehistoric sites containing habitations 18 Muscatine Magazine • Fall 2021

Later in history, many white settlers and pioneers ventured into the Mississippi River Valley, exploring and mapping the region. The settlement of Iowa began in 1833 on land known as the Black Hawk Purchase. Prior to this, text from an early print titled Western View of Muscatine (gift of E. Bradford Burns), lists the Muscatine area as an Indian trading post known by the name of “Manatheka”. There was an influx of settlers in 1835, and the town of Bloomington (later changed to Muscatine) was laid out in 1836.

In 1884, Josiah P. Walton noted in his Recollections of Muscatine Island (gift of Musser Public Library), “the 1836 Indian camping ground in a grove of jack oak trees about 4 miles down on the river shore” and that “during one of those early winters the small-pox broke out among the Indians and quite a number were buried on the bank of the river.”

Original Birch Bark Canoe Tip From the private collection of Josiah Proctor Walton (1826-1899) Gift of Mary Simons

According to the biography of Muscatine pioneer Stephen Whicher (gift of E. Bradford Burns), upon erection of his new home, “Old settlers remembered the unique housewarming…in the spring of 1839 Stephen Whicher, Esq., made a large social party at his house at which were about twenty Indians, in calico breeches, round-abouts, and moccasins ornamented with beads and trinkets. The Indian men were dressed for the party also with faces painted and gay blankets, with war trophies on, jewels in their ears and noses, brass bands on their arms, long ornamented pipes, weasel and skunk-skin tobacco pouches, war-

clubs with feathers attached to them, bears’ claws and tusks, buck-skin breeches and waumises highly ornamented. All the elite of the town were present, ladies and gentlemen, young and middle-aged, including George Lucas. The center of the large room was cleared and an Indian war-dance introduced.” As late as 1850, state maps, such as Map of Eastern Iowa (gift of First National Bank) by Henry Schenk Tanner, were showing the eastern side of Iowa divided by counties & other subdivisions, while the western half of the state was divided into Indian territories including: “Sioux”, “Neutral Ground”, “Sauks and Foxes”, “Iowas”, and “Pottawattamies.” From Hunters & Hunting at Muscatine, Iowa (gift of Bob & Gayle Rada), written

by C.C. Braunwarth and Phil J. Mackey in 1909, Early Bloomington settler Suel Foster is noted as saying “the first winter I spent here 1836-37 there were many Indians about. A lodge of them lived across the river opposite lower town, with ‘White Hawk’ their chief. The Lodge being one of many belonging to the Sacs and Foxes. The Indians who after the Black Hawk war were in possession of these lands, although many smaller tribes such as the Iowas, Pottowattomies, Musquakies and others of whom ‘Chief Black Hawk was Grand Sachem and preminent over all’, had access to these hunting grounds.” Foster stated that Chief White Hawk crossed the river to play checkers with his early white neighbors at Bob Kinney’s hotel, the Iowa House. These and other similar artworks will be on display at the Art Center fall of 2022. n

Left: Portrait of Kel-o-kuk (Keokuk - the running fox) Chief of the Sacs and Foxes Indian Tribes Nicolino Calyo, Watercolor, c1840 Right: WA-PEL-LA Chief of the Musquakees, Charles Bird King, McKenney & Hall, c1838 Gift of the Muscatine County Fine Arts Association. Below: Upper Mississippi River (near Cap a L’ail) Henry Lewis, oil on canvas, 1855 Gift of Mrs. Roy (Lucille A.) Carver

Muscatine Magazine • Fall 2019 19

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The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Details about programs and exhibitions are posted on Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is free of charge.

You’re invited on an inspirational and

moving journey at Nature Connects, on view at the Muscatine Art Center from November 16th through February 20th. In this awardwinning, record-breaking exhibition of art made with LEGO pieces by acclaimed artist Sean Kenney, the whole family can marvel at gravity-defying and astoundingly precise structures while discovering new ways of looking at our world!

From the delicate suspension of a hummingbird on the edge of a flower to the ferocity of a fox on the hunt— Kenney’s art sparks a joyful sense of wonder in those both young and young-at-heart. Using the beloved LEGO bricks as a medium, Nature Connects begs the question: just as LEGO bricks interconnect, how is our natural world interconnected? At times whimsical, gripping, and aweinspiring, the exhibition is sure to inspire budding artists, ecologists, and builders to dream big! n

Members of Friends Preview Days: Nov. 12, 13, 14, 2021 On View to the Public: Nov. 16, 2021 - Feb. 20, 2022

Free Admission Nature Connects is made possible by a bequest from Stanley M. Howe. Additional grant-funded support was received from Travel Iowa, the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and Muscatine Charities.

Muscatine Magazine • Fall 2021 21

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Muscatine’s MORC Recycling Superheroes: Front - Director Jon Koch; middle - Supervisor Jim Allen; back (L-to-R) Mechanics Dean Schlapkohl and Kenton Hitchcock.

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