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Grout Museum District

upl_grout-museumThe region’s history, culture, and sciences come to life at the Grout Museum District in downtown Waterloo.  A SSNHA Strategic Investment Partner, the Grout Museum District includes:  the Grout Museum, the Rensselaer Russell House Museum, the Snowden House, and the Bluedorn Science Imaginarium. The District strives to provide a better understanding of our world by collecting, preserving and interpreting history and illustrating scientific principles.

Over the last two years, Silos & Smokestacks has partnered with the District on projects such as Pioneer Hall at the Grout Museum, Hawkeye Explorers Youth Camp, Rath Packing Co. collection, television marketing, and Sunday Afternoon Live!

Pioneer Hall has been enhanced by adding a 22 ½ foot by 10 foot Prairie Mural,  offering visitors a stunning image of pre-settlement Iowa with its gently rolling hill and tall waving prairie grass.   An interactive kiosk will be added in May.  The interactive kiosk will connect the visitor to life during the Pioneer era through the five dioramas in Pioneer Hall.  A Grand Re-Opening of the newly enhanced Pioneer Hall will be held on Thursday, May 29, at 4:30-6:30 p.m.

With the assistance of Principal Financial Group and SSNHA, the Grout sorted, cleaned, and cataloged over 400 architectural drawings of the Rath Packing Co. Building.  This project took two years to complete.

In 2002, the Grout Museum District had an 11% increase in visitation after partnering with SSNHA and KWWL television. The year-long marketing campaign featured monthly television commercials highlighting programming throughout the Grout Museum District.

Two Sunday afternoon presentations of living history vignettes showcasing Cedar Valley Agri-Business were successfully produced and attended at the Grout Museum.  Those featured include John Deere, inventor and manufacturer of agricultural equipment; William Galloway, manufacturer and owner of Galloway Co. and later a successful seed company and dairy farm; Maren Christensen, immigrant from Denmark on her own to work on the dairy farm; John W. Rath, president of the Rath Packing Co., the largest privately owned packing company in the nation; and Ernest VanArsdale, shackled hogs at Rath.  Over 125 people attended each Sunday Afternoon Live! event.

In the coming year, SSNHA and the Grout Museum will also work together to tell the story of how “The War is Won on the Home Front.”  For more information, you can contact the Grout Museum District at (319) 234-6357 or by visiting their website at www.groutmuseumdistrict.org.

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