The State Historical Society of Iowa has presented nearly $600,000 in grants to help preserve Iowa’s historical collections and country schools, invest in communities through historic preservation and promote Iowa history. The grants support 26 projects in 24 Iowa communities. The grant funds come from the State Historical Society’s Country School Grant Program and the Historical Resource Development Program, which receive funding through the Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) program.

“Today’s grant recipients have a strong connection to the history of our state and we’re delighted to partner with them to preserve our past,” State Historical Society of Iowa Administrator Susan Kloewer said. “Their passion and commitment to Iowa history will inspire the next generation of Iowans to make sure our state’s legacy lives on. Congratulations to this year’s grant recipients.”

The Country School Grant Program helps to preserve or maintain Iowa’s one- or two-room country schools or to provide historical interpretation or educational activities related to the school.

The Historical Resource Development Program provides grants to help preserve, conserve, interpret, enhance and teach the public about historic preservation, museum collections and documentary collections.

Locally, grant recipients include:

The Cedar County Historical Society in Tipton
Digitization & Microfilm of Tipton Advertiser, Conservative Newspapers 1853-2021, $18,295
This project will digitize newspaper microfilm of the Tipton Advertiser, Advertiser & Gazette, Conservative & Gazette, Conservative & Advertiser (1853-2012), the Tipton Conservative (1890-1943) and the Tipton Conservative & Advertiser (2012-2021).

City of Burlington
Central Fire and Police Station Roof Replacement, $50,000
The Central Fire and Police Station has been the primary fire station for the Burlington Fire Department since 1907. The grant will help replace and improve the roof with new shingles, gutters, downspouts, underlayment and a metal drip-edge along the perimeter.

Central Fire & Police Station, Burlington
(State Historical Society of Iowa)

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Dubuque
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Dubuque Storm Window Project, $24,000
This project will install storm windows that will improve energy efficiency, enhance its historic appearance, protect recently restored wood window sashes, and allow fresh air to circulate inside the building during warmer months.

Wilton Historic Preservation Commission
Intensive Level Survey On Two Historic Neighborhoods In Wilton, Iowa, $17,500
Funding will be used to hire a historian to survey two potential historic districts in Wilton, Iowa. The historian and volunteers will research properties and explain the benefits of districts being listed on the National Register of Historic Places to the community.

German American Heritage Center and Museum in Davenport
Restoring Paintings at the German American Heritage Center and Museum, $3,900
In Spring 2024, the German American Heritage Center and Museum will hold the exhibition “Art from the Archive,” with artworks from its collection. Five paintings will be restored and two frames will be repaired before they go on display.

Mississippi Valley Blues Society in Davenport
Educating and Celebrating the History of Blues Music at Davenport’s new MLK Park, $25,000
This project will create and share a local history resource that focuses on Black musicians, including local musicians, who made major contributions to blues music. The 40 blues artists who received the Blues Society’s River Road Award will be honored with interactive physical and digital exhibits at MLK Park in Davenport.