April 15, 2022
In this first issue – we want to update you on just a few of the exciting pieces of news surrounding the development of Remembrance Park – a wildflower park on a small piece of land – set aside so that it will be remembered what an earlier generation of Johnson County residents did here a long time ago…
Recently, we had the honor of meeting Wayne Pushetonequa – Director of the Meskwaki Language Preservation (MLP) Program. Wayne has graciously provided us with a vision statement written in the Meskwaki language (see below)….
As you probably know, Our Iowa Heritage includes many rich traditions from the Meskwaki people and you simply can’t tell the story of Johnson County without including the amazing contribution of the proud Meskwaki tribes who tended this land long before white fur traders and settlers came here in the 1820’s and 30’s. Our big thank you to Wayne and the entire Meskwaki Tribe for this generous gift! You can read more about the MLP program here.
Editor’s note: It’s believed that the Iowa River channel has moved further westward than where it was in the 1820’s-30’s – thus the above map (above-red x) approximates the location of today’s Remembrance Park – about 1/2 mile east of the present day Iowa River channel.
Located near the intersection of Sand Road and Napoleon Road (see map below), Remembrance Park is a triangular tract of farmland (less than an acre) generously set aside by the owner – who chooses to remain anonymous. We plan to add a historical marker to the site and would love to have your generous contributions toward that effort. The land owner has already placed a large chunk of Iowa River limestone near one of the trees on the land (see pic below). This piece of limestone came from a field located very near the spot where Sumner Phelps’ trading post was first built!
We are working diligently to pull together all the necessary details for a dedication ceremony of Remembrance Park – to be held hopefully in the late summer 2022. It’s our desire to involve a good number of local and state-wide contacts – all of whom can join in the celebration of the great diversity found in our Johnson County history. More details are coming soon!
Word of mouth, quite honestly, is the best form of marketing & promotion. We are so thankful for:
- The Iowa City Press-Citizen’s Dick Hakes and his April 2022 article – Read The Full Story Here!
- Iowa City Artist Jo Myers-Walker and her four amazing watercolors – depicting early Johnson County and John Gilbert’s Trading Post – site of Johnson County’s first business meeting. See Jo’s beautiful work here and link to her website.
But, there’s so much more work to do. You can help by sharing our Remembrance Park story with friends and neighbors. We are particularly interested in reaching young people in Johnson County, and those who represent the rich diversity of our county. Anything you can do to spread the message of Remembrance Park will be greatly appreciated.
Do you have a copy of Marybeth’s book? This beautiful volume has a limited printing and it makes a wonderful gift for those who appreciate our rich heritage here in Iowa. Learn more here.
That’s enough for now. We will keep you informed in future newsletters and look to hear from you as you share with us your creative ideas. Thank you for journeying with us. Until next time…
Peace & Joy…
Marty Boller, Editor – Visit Our Iowa Heritage website.