Postal service was established in the unincorporated Scott County town of Pleasant Valley on February 25, 1837, nearly a decade before Iowa was officially a state. The first postmaster operated the office from his a log cabin which also served as a home and general store. The office is now located within the former Trinity Lutheran Church, which was constructed in 1906. The church disbanded in 1960, and the post office moved in four years later. It’s the only post office in the state housed in a former church.
Concerns began in early 2004 when a mold contamination was discovered in the McCausland Post Office. Services were quickly relocated to a temporary facility, but in April 2006, the U.S. Postal Service notified residents they were planning to let the temporary lease expire and add McCausland residents to a rural route based in nearby Long Grove. Over half of the town showed up for a town hall meeting, and community members were given additional time to secure and prepare a permanent facility.
A replacement building was purchased, and over the next two years, over $25,000 was raised from local residents via fundraising efforts including bake sales, hog roasts, and soup suppers. Just days before a closure date was set, the American Postal Workers Union stepped in with a $30,000 gift to fund remaining renovation work. On September 11, 2009, the new, permanent McCausland Post Office officially opened its doors. Check out the McCausland website to view photos from the community’s fight to save their Post Office.
Update: Less than two years later, the Post Office in McCausland is again being considered for closure.
The Capitol Theatre opened inside the 10-story Kahl Building in downtown Davenport on Christmas Day 1920. At the time of opening, it was considered a state-of-the-art movie palace and was the largest such venue in the state, with a capacity for 2,500 patrons. The stage was expanded in 1925 to allow for a wider variety of theatrical productions and vaudeville performances. By 1977, the Capitol Theatre ceased operation as a working movie theatre.
In 1994, the theatre, along with the entire Kahl Building was donated to Scott County Community College, part of the Eastern Iowa Community College District. Two years later, the building opened as an education facility and currently, 1,000 students take classes in the building each semester.
In February 2008, the Community College entered an lease agreement with a newly-established local organization, Capitol Theatre LLC. In exchange for the lease cost of $1 per year, the organization would be responsible for maintenance, renovations, and booking of the historic venue. Though the slowly gained traction and saw several successful events booked, Capitol Theatre LLC was unable to secure the estimated $2 million needed to renovate and modernize the building’s 90-year-old physical systems, and the theatre’s last event was held June 5, 2010.
Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, the community of Le Claire is home to one of the finest downtown districts in Eastern Iowa. You can easily spend a few hours in the community perusing the gift and antique shops, many of which are located in historic buildings and homes dating to the late 1800s. Families may enjoy exploring the Buffalo Bill Museum, which includes a tour of the Lone Boat Steamer, the only remaining wooden hull steamboat in the United States.
Whether you’re planning on spending an hour in Le Claire or just passing through, one place you won’t want to miss is Kernel Cody’s Popcorn Shop. Open every daily except Monday, this unique locally-owned shop produces over twenty varieties of popcorn. My favorites include Sour Cream and Chives, a combination of flavors usually reserved for chips, and Caramel Apple, which features superb caramel corn mixed with artificially-flavored (but ridiculously tasty) fruity, green apple popcorn.
Continue reading Feature: Kernel Cody’s Popcorn Shop (Le Claire, Iowa)