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Ottumwa Stories: Iowa Heartland History Connection Grand Opening!

Published April 12, 2022

The Iowa Heartland History Connection is excited to celebrate new exhibits in a new museum location with a new director at their Grand Opening on Saturday, April 30.

Start the day with the Research Library dedication in honor of Charles and Darleen Ayres at 9 a.m. at the back of the building. Stay for the museum’s ribbon cutting at 10 a.m., then explore the newly created exhibits and gift shop. They will be open until 4 p.m. on Saturday and from Noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children under 13, under age 4 are free. 

"The Iowa Heartland History Connection is striving to display and tell the story of the history of southeastern Iowa to our diverse community," said Tom Leinhauser, the organization’s president.

Now located at 700 Farm Credit Dr., the museum welcomed Director Erin Naylor in October 2021. She and the Iowa Heartland History Connection volunteers have been working diligently to organize and display the Wapello County Historical Society and Museum’s collection from the Burlington depot downtown in the new building.

"The new building gives us an area to provide research and meeting space for public use or to just enjoy the peaceful landscape. It has expansive collection storage areas that are secure and climate controlled to make our collections last for generations to come," Naylor said. "Our new exhibit space will help us highlight the treasures in our collection while telling the story of our history without overwhelming visitors with information. We also have a dedicated Children's Education room to keep the younger visitors engaged and learning too."

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