Forest Grove School Preservation project earns prestigious Iowa Historical Society award

Forest Grove Preservation project wins prestigious Iowa Historical Society award
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 5:14 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 14, 2023 at 4:31 PM CDT
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BETTENDORF, Iowa (KWQC) -The Forest Grove Schoolhouse was erected after Pleasant Valley subdistrict No. 5 formed in 1873. It was one of five schools in Pleasant Valley Township at the time. The school closed in 1957.

The property was more recently acquired by Forest Grove School Preservation, a group that worked diligently for seven years to restore the building to its 1920 appearance. Their plans (and hard work) came to fruition when the schoolhouse reopened in May of 2021 as a museum where people of all ages could learn about rural education.

Sharon Andresen, project coordinator for the project, discusses how the museum has been very recently honored as a recipient of the prestigious Adrian D. Anderson Award from the State Historical Society of Iowa

This award recognizes outstanding preservation of a smaller historic preservation project that uses tax credits from State Historic Preservation and Cultural & Entertainment District programs. The award is named for a highly regarded archaeologist who helped found Iowa’s State Historic Preservation Office and served as its first leader.

The project has brought new interest in nearby housing and is being chronicled in a 60-minute documentary, “Resurrecting Forest Grove,” which will premiere in Fall, 2023.

Re-enactments for school children began over the last year have been a huge success according to post-experience surveys from children, teachers, and parents. Full-day re-enactments are offered to all schools, focusing on the 4th grade level. Children experience a day of school in the period of the 1920′s using authentic curriculum and learning methods of the 1920s.

The museum will reopen soon for the 2023 season with visiting hours for patrons on Saturdays. Follow the museum on Facebook for more details. Volunteer docents are trained to welcome visitors.

Forest Grove School Preservation / 24040 195th Street / Bettendorf, IA / Phone: (563) 349 7805 / FACEBOOK

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