Bremer Co. Historical Society hosts cruise | Waverly Newspapers



The Bremer County Historical Society’s first Cruising Thru History fundraising event, held on Sunday, September 26, was a success.

Participants arrived from Denver, Tripoli, Plainfield, Shell Rock, Fredericksburg, Cedar Falls and Waterloo. Some came in various models of classic cars and those who did not own a classic car just drove their daily vehicle.

The concept of having a classic car cruise combined with historic presentations in Bremer County was conceived by Barb Lovejoy-Hess and Gary Emkes, a couple from Waverly.

Both are longtime residents of Bremer County who love history and have been involved in several vintage car organizations. They have also attended a number of regional and international Kaiser-Fraser conventions held in the United States and have regularly participated in various local and national auto shows and events in recent years.

Lovejoy-Hess, who sits on the company’s fundraising committee, and Emkes first shared their idea with this writer, who chairs the fundraising committee.

I was excited about the proposed project and asked Lovejoy-Hess to present his idea to the third committee member, Priscilla Blanchard. The committee members, who are part of the non-profit organization’s board of directors, felt that historic cruises would provide a unique opportunity for the organization, so they presented it at a board meeting. administrators for their comments.

Several other members of the Company’s Board of Directors, unfamiliar with the world of vintage car ownership or the cruise hype, asked what a cruise typically is.

“It can be whatever you want it to be,†Lovejoy-Hess said, adding that neither she nor Emkes knew of an auto club or other organization that had organized such a cruise.

With the rest of the Board of Directors sharing the committee’s enthusiasm for such an event, the committee has taken off, at full speed, with project planning for its first two events for this fall.

Wanting to keep the admission fees reasonable, an educational-type grant from the Bremer County Community Foundation and the Readlyn Community Fund was provided to help cover expenses so that the committee could make a profit from fundraising for their children. efforts.

The weather was perfect for the recent first cruise, especially for those who drove in their latest red model Ford Mustang Cabriolet, which was broken down for the event. Classic cars of that day included a ’69 Plymouth Barracuda, a ’63 Chevy C10 Fleetwood, a ’65 Dodge Coronet with double hood, and a 5-window coupe from the mid to late 1930s. the cruise was a 1951 Willis, owned by the couple who first envisioned the historic cruise concept to help raise funds for the museum.

Dr Terry Lindell, professor of history at Wartburg College, shared the tradition of the days gone by on people, events and places in the Waverly area. Registrations began at the museum, where notice boards offered pictures and information about the sites featured that day.

Highlights included the importance of the Company’s own museum, originally known as Waverly House, Slimmer House (Waverly Health Center), Osincup House, Rock Island Depot (4 Queens), Farmers Exchange, the crypt of Harlington cemetery, the lynching of the Barber brothers, ice harvesting, sawmill, Russell Court and Wartburg College.

The Bremer County Historical Society has partnered with fundraising efforts with The Sturdevant House, Waverly’s oldest surviving house, with Kris Brunkhorst and his son, Zach, sharing Sturdevant’s story at home. Their board members served refreshments including various delicious pies and ice cream.

Another site included the radar base south of Waverly. During the historical presentation, Jeff Hay, of Waverly, explained that he lived and worked there while the base monitored potential threats to our country during the Cold War. The crowd thanked and applauded the veteran for his selfless service.

The responses to the survey of the events provided useful information for future cruises and reinforced that the cruise was “very interesting”, the speakers were “very knowledgeable about the history of Waverly” and also shared that they “loved the whole Waverly story”.

The latest cruise for 2021, featuring the story of Janesville, promises to provide some interesting information that even I, from Bremer County, may not know anything about. This cruise will take place at 1 p.m. on Sunday, October 24, with registration starting one hour before the event at the Bremer County Historical Society Museum at the corner of Fourth Street Northwest and West Bremer Avenue in Waverly.

“Many classic car owners store their vehicles in early October until the following spring,†Lovejoy-Hess said.

Therefore, the Janesville cruise was chosen for this day since most sites require driving on gravel roads. While some may come with older classic cars / trucks that have not been fully restored to a pristine shine, most will drive their daily driver.

The cruise, which is expected to last around 3 hours or less, will include historical landmarks at Janesville’s famous Riviera Ballroom with a bowling alley (current location of the Riviera-Roose) and the former POW camp sites and of the underground tunnel.

Those who attend will also hear about Thunderwoman, that Turkey Foot is something other than the anatomy of a bird, and the person who nowadays could be called a “wildlife whisperer.”

Come and learn why those who worked for so-called ten cents an hour at the Waverly Cannery were happy to be there.

At the end of the cruise, everyone will park for a final tale with refreshments at Ingawanis Woodlands.

Dashboard plaques will be given to the first 25 participants with RSVP. Pre-registration can be done at or by leaving a message on the museum telephone 319-352-1862. The organization accepts payment by cash, check or by VISA and Mastercard.

The aim of the fundraising committee is to generate interest in future cruise events that will be held at different locations in Bremer County. The committee is seeking volunteers from Plainfield / Horton, Tripoli, Readlyn, Sumner and Frederika to coordinate their community’s historic significance for future cruise events that will continue into next year and beyond.

Those interested in more information on how they can contribute their time, talents or knowledge can call Barb Lovejoy-Hess at 319-352-6348.


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