Thursday, December 10, 2015

History for Christmas

Books for Christmas!

We have a good supply of the three most recent books of Sandra Kessler Host and Dorothy (Dee) Kessler Engstrom, Ph.D. which you may want to consider for Christmas gifts this year.  They can be found for sale at the Iowa State Bank and at the Rural Schools Museum.

The newest book,  A New Look at Iowa One-Room Schools, is a colorful book, full-of-details and stories, about the ground-breaking rural school system of Iowa.  It is filled with memories of former students and teachers and Odebolt area folks. 

Iowa Historic Schools – Highlighting Victorian Influence is a photo study of the architecture of many of the preserved country school houses all across Iowa.  Sandy found, while photographing these schools in preparation for her first book, that many of the buildings had the design features of the Victorian era.  She has also listed the preserved schools by county so that one can find the locations and photos of buildings you may have wondered about or wish to go to see.  While many buildings have been re-purposed for houses and other uses, this is a good reference of school houses being preserved. 

Iowa’s Rural Settlement, Shaped by Railroads and a System of Rural Schools was written as a curriculum resource for students of Iowa History.  This easy-reading book tells the story of the Rural School system in relation to the other development of Iowa in the 1800’s.  Sets of this book have been provided to the OA-BCIG School history departments.

If you need a gift for a history buff, a former student or teacher of a country school, or something unique about our local community, consider one or all three of these books. All book sale funds are used for the development of the Iowa Rural Schools Museum of Odebolt and the Rural Legacy Projects.

Books are available on-line at

For more information, call Carol Raasch at 712-668-4285.

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