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Historic Iowa Postcards

Grinnell College Libraries' Historic Iowa Postcard Collection. A collection of postcards from 1900 through the middle of the 20th century, covering all parts of Iowa.

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Campus scene. 1908 postmark.

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View of children on a spring day in Central Park. In 1885 the city of Davenport acquired the property that had been the Scott County Fairgrounds. It is a significant example of landscape planning, and of the civic improvements that were being made by the city in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Five years after the land was purchased and improved it was named Central Park after New York City's park of the same name. Central Park was renamed Vander Veer after an early Davenport park commissioner in 1911. Located at 215 West Central Park Avenue, Davenport, Scott County, Iowa, the park consists of 70.8 acres, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 1908 postmark. Number 13206.

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Circuit Chautauquas were part of a travelling adult education movement started at the turn of the century reaching Iowa in 1904. Special reports, pronunciation tests, and a variety of other exercises are introduced at the meetings. 1908 postmark. Number B1165A6.

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Interior room with fireplace. 1908 postmark.

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Lake with man and women in a boat and chutes in background. 1908 postmark.

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Looking northwest at the 1903 three-story Beaux Arts style building designed by Des Moines architects, Gutterson & Smith, and constructed of salmon pink Minnesota limestone. It was the project of the Works Progress Administration. The building originally featured a fountain and stone steps, which were removed in 1955. It is no longer a library, but was acquired by the World Food Prize and is being renovated to serve as a museum to recognize great achievements in agriculture, a convocation center that will hold the World Food Prize International Symposium, a home for the Global Youth Institute, an educational facility that will feature interactive displays on hunger and food security and a conference center and community hall. It is located on Locust Street and listed in the National Register of Historic Places. 1908 postmark.

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The first Clearfield High School was built in 1898 of pressed brick containing 11 rooms at a cost of $20,000. The building was destroyed by fire on March 24, 1940, on Easter Sunday and a new building was completed in 1941. That building was closed in 1986. 1908 postmark.

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Looking northeast at a one story wooden building with bell tower located at 121 Third Avenue NW, Clarion, Wright County, Iowa. 1908 postmark.

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Looking northeast on Broad Street. Often called the "Old Stone Church". Erected in the year 1877. 1908 postmark. Number 156898.

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Looking southeast from North Walnut Street with lunch room and billiards room in the foreground and the Hotel Centropolis in the background. 1908 postmark. Number 9475.

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Looking northeast at an Italianate-Classic style building which was completed in 1880. The red and buff-colored brick used in its construction were made in the old McMillen Brick Plant. The courthouse association paid $5705.90 of the building cost, the county furnished $1040, and the contractors (B. D. Everingham and J. L. Harlow) were said to have lost $1825. There have been additions to the building, but the main structure is still much as it was when completed in 1880. The courthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places and is located at 130 North Park Place, Cresco, Howard County, Iowa. Civil War Soldiers Monument is 30 feet high with a soldier atop a round granite column. There are inscriptions of soldiers on four sides at the base. Twenty-four Iowa courthouses had a civil war monument erected on the grounds. The courthouse is located at 137 North Elm Street, Cresco, Howard County, Iowa. 1908 postmark. Number 464.

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Looking at a one-story wooden building with a Notary Public sign near the front door. The Cumberland Saving Bank was organized on January 7, 1905, with a capital stock of $10,000. Edgar S. Harlan was the founding president of the bank. V.E. Benedict, a photographer, was from Cumberland, Iowa. 1908 postmark. Title supplied by cataloger.

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View of a 3 story wooden building with front porch. 1908 postmark. Number 7.

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Looking northeast at the front entrance of Drake University's Administration Building, now known as Old Main. Drake University was founded in 1881. The architectural style is High Victorian Gothic. Old Main is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is located at 2507 University Avenue, Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa. 1908 postmark. Number 1747.

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Looking at streetcar line passing under a bridge in Fairmount Park. Acquisitioned and developed by Andrew C. Graham (“father of the Council Bluffs park system"), Fairmount Park was once considered the greatest park in the area and has a history of being one of the premier parks in the country. It featured a greenhouse, ice skating, sledding, a petting zoo and an old bell tower. 1908 postmark. Number 14.

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A family gathered around the picnic table outside their home near Clarinda, Iowa. 1908 postmark.

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On September 24, 1908 a devastating fire swept throught the business district destroying the whole city block. Pictured is the aftermath with townspeople picking through the rubble. 1908 postmark. Number 1.

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On September 24, 1908 a devastating fire swept throught the business district destroying the whole city block. Pictured in the foreground are the Enterprise building a jewelry shop and the Rowland Restaurant and Lunch Room. 1908 postmark. Number 6.

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On September 24, 1908 a devastating fire swept throught the business district destroying the whole city block. Pictured is the aftermath with townspeople picking through the rubble. 1908 postmark. Number 3.

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