Celebrate Local History in May at ICPL


Get ready to learn more about local history with the Iowa City Public Library’s Weber Days.

Our annual celebration of local history is held every May in honor of Iowa City’s historian, the late Irving B. Weber. Weber was instrumental in helping Iowa City preserve its history, writing more than 800 articles detailing what it was like to grow up in Iowa City. May also is National Historical Preservation Month. This year’s lineup of programming is perfect for anyone interested in learning more about the community they call home.

Prohibition, German Iowans, and the Iowa City Beer Riots of 1884
Wednesday, May 1, 7 p.m. in Meeting Room A
On August 13, 1884, violence broke out at the trial of Iowa City brewers Conrad Graf and John Dostal, who were charged with having violated the state’s new Prohibition law. Local Czechs, Germans, and Irish were not about to give up their drink without a fight. The riots made national headlines and are still part of local lore. Come help us commemorate one of Iowa City’s more notorious moments in history and find out why tensions between temperance advocates and anti-Prohibitionists boiled over in the hot Iowa summer of 1884. This program will be presented by Glenn Ehrstine from the University of Iowa Department of German.

Introduction to Genealogy Class
Tuesday, May 2, 10:30 a.m. in the Digital Media Lab
We’ll get you started on your genealogy search, from what questions to ask to how to keep track of the information you find. The class is limited to 10 participants; registration is required.

History of Beer in Iowa City, 1840 to Today
Wednesday, May 8, 7 p.m. in Meeting Room A
Doug Alberhasky, manager and third generation owner of John's Grocery, will talk about the history beer and breweries in Iowa City.

Using Ancestry.com for Genealogy
Thursday, May 9, 10:30 a.m. in the Digital Media Lab
Learn how to use the Library’s online genealogy resources to help solve your family tree mysteries. It is suggested, though not required, that Introduction to Genealogy is completed before attending this course. Registration is required.

Birth of a Ped Mall: A History at the Grove Presentation
Wednesday, May 15, 5:30 p.m. at Big Grove Brewery & Taproom, 1225 S Gilbert St. in Iowa City
Just in time for the launch of the final stage of the City’s Pedestrian Mall Improvements Project, come learn about pre-Urban Renewal downtown, controversies plaguing its redesign, and favorite hangouts and watering holes of Iowa City literary legends. ICPL Information Services Coordinator Maeve Clark and Librarian Melody Dworak will lead this free presentation.

Military Records and your Genealogy Search
Thursday, May 16, 10:30 a.m. in the Digital Media Lab
Military records are great resources when trying to further your genealogy search. There are some key things you need to know about using these records and this class will teach you what you need to know. Registration is required. It is suggested, though not required, that Introduction to Genealogy is completed before attending this course.

Irving Weber Storytime
Thursday, May 16, 10:30 a.m. in the Storytime Room
In celebration of Historian Irving Weber, we will learn about his historical connections to Iowa City including his local history bus tours, his swimming career at Iowa and his days as an ice cream maker!

Storytime with Johnson County Fair Queen Caroline Young
Saturday, May 18, 10:30 a.m. in the Storytime Room
We will have a special guest for a Fair-themed storytime today: Johnson County Fair Queen Caroline Young. After stories, songs and information about the county fair, Caroline will introduce us to one of her animal friends from her family's farm!

Genealogy Lock-In
Saturday, May 18, 3 to 8 p.m. in the Digital Media Lab
Join us for ICPL’s 2nd Annual Genealogy Day in the Digital Media Lab. During the afternoon, guest speaker Theresa Liewer from the Iowa Genealogical Society will discuss naturalization records – what they are and how to find them. ICPL Librarians will give a quick introduction to some of the genealogy sources and databases available in the Library. After ICPL closes, stay and use its print and online resources. Library staff will be on hand to help where we can. Participation is limited to 30 people; registration is required.

Sunday Fun Day: Ice Cream Cones for Weber Days
Sunday, May 26, 2 p.m. in the Storytime Room
Historian Irving Weber was an owner of an ice cream shop! Just in time for summertime, create your own ice cream cone to your liking.

Weber Days Family Night: Mural Walk with Thomas Agran, Director of Public Art
Tuesday, May 28, 6 p.m. in the Lobby near the Linn Street entrance
You may have noticed that some amazing murals have appeared around downtown Iowa City. Take a tour with Thomas Agran, Director of Public Art for the Iowa City Downtown District, to learn more about them. Iowa Citizens of all ages are invited for this evening stroll and art tour. We will meet in the Lobby at 6 p.m. This event will be canceled in the event of inclement weather. Registration is not required, but is strongly encouraged.

All In One Room - A History of Country Schools in Johnson County
Wednesday, May 29, 7 p.m. in Meeting Room A
“All In One Room: A History of Country Schools in Johnson County, Iowa” by Franklin L. Yoder is the culmination of a five-year research and oral history project conducted by a committee of dedicated members and volunteers at the Johnson County Historical Society. Yoder and Alexandra McKendree, Executive Director of the Johnson County Historical Society, will discuss the project and the creation of this book.