Ackley Heritage Center

Ackley Heritage Center - Preserving the past for the future.
Recording and preserving the history and artifacts of the community is the goal and purpose.

Scenes from the Appreciation Picnic.....

Ackley Heritage Center's cover photo

The rain scared us off. The Appreciation Pucnic is over a little early. Thanks to everyone who stopped out.

Last chance for funnel cakes! We’re getting out of the business! Get yours today until 4 at the Settlement on the Prairie!

Come on down! The Appreciation Picnic is going strong. We’re here until 4 pm

Ackley Heritage Center's cover photo

Did someone say funnel cakes?

Join us in Iowa Falls for them beginning Thursday.

The funnel cake stand is the primary way we financially support this organization. Your support is needed and greatly appreciated. See you there!

Ackley Heritage Center's cover photo

[06/19/18]   Keeping up with our properties and all the artifacts we have been charged with is getting more and more difficult for us. The average age of our volunteers is - well, lets just say we aren't spring chickens!

We need YOUR help to assist with cataloging items, sorting photographs, emptying a building that needs to be replaced and taking inventory of what's inside. We simply can't do it all ourselves.

We are also looking for help for the Funnel Cake trailer. Our current volunteer will be giving up the job and it is one of our largest fundraisers, providing us with the majority of our operating funds each year. Are YOU interested?

There's something here that we're sure YOU'D enjoy. Could you find it in your heart to help us out? Give us a call at 641-847-8070 or contact any of our current volunteers.

Please help us continue to preserve Ackley's past for the future.

It doesn’t come any fresher than this! Get your funnel cakes....fresh, hot and guaranteed to be tasty!!!

It's FUNNEL CAKE time!

The stand will be near the Aplington City Park yet tonight with our famous and wonderful funnel cakes, served hot, with powdered sugar! Mmmmm. Melt in your mouth!

AND THEN - We'll be in our wonderful hometown of Ackley for Sauerkraut Days beginning Thursday evening. Just the smell makes your mouth water. You HAVE to have one. Or two. We won't tell anyone how many you've had!

Please join us! Your purchase supports our mission of preserving Ackley's past for the future.

And thank you for your support!

Most of you have ‘met’ Agnes, but we’d like to introduce you to William. William joined us this week and will share his love of Ackley’s heritage by sporting many of the vintage men’s clothing pieces we have.

Both Agnes and William (and all of us!) would like to wish you a safe Memorial Day weekend and remind you that Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of our country. Please take part in services planned across the area!

A shout out to Jimmy Wessels who took time to fill our planters with flowers from Anderson's Flowers & Greenhouse and the AGWSR FFA. Thank you all!

[05/08/18]   UPDATE -- Location of the work day has been changed to the Depot Museum where we'll work on getting newspapers on the new shelving. Gather there at 1:30 p.m.

Spring volunteers needed! Monthly meeting to follow!
We'll be having a work day at the Depot Museum beginning at 1:30 p.m. this Wednesday, May 9. Plans include putting newspapers on the new shelving.

Please plan to help us out. It could be a dusty job, but without your help we can't accomplish our goals!

Our monthly meeting, held at the Depot Museum at 4:30 p.m. will follow the work.

See you Wednesday!

Our Greatest Generation

14th of April 1935 Great Depression.
A major Dust Bowl storm strikes.

In what came to be known as “Black Sunday,” one of the most devastating storms of the 1930s Dust Bowl era swept across the region on this day. High winds kicked up clouds of millions of tons of dirt and dust so dense and dark that some eyewitnesses believed the world was coming to an end.

The term “dust bowl” was reportedly coined by a reporter in the mid-1930s and referred to the plains of western Kansas, southeastern Colorado, the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma, and northeastern New Mexico. By the early 1930s, the grassy plains of this region had been over-plowed by farmers and overgrazed by cattle and sheep. The resulting soil erosion, combined with an eight-year drought which began in 1931, created a dire situation for farmers and ranchers. Crops and businesses failed and an increasing number of dust storms made people and animals sick. Many residents fled the region in search of work in other states such as California (as chronicled in books including John Steinbeck s The Grapes of Wrath), and those who remained behind struggled to support themselves.

By the mid-1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt s administration introduced programs to help alleviate the farming crisis. Among these initiatives was the establishment of the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) in the Department of Agriculture. The SCS promoted improved farming and land management techniques and farmers were paid to utilize these safer practices. For many Dust Bowl farmers, this federal aid was their only source of income at the time.

The Dust Bowl era finally came to a close when the rains arrived and the drought ended in 1939. Although drought would continue to be an inevitable part of life in the region, improved farming techniques significantly reduced the problem of soil erosion and prevented a repeat of the 1930 s Dust Bowl devastation.

Stanton County Museum

April 14, 1935

Heads up folks! It's snowing again!

Just kidding! (Well it IS snowing, but that's not the intent on this post!)

Our regular monthly meeting is planned for Wednesday, April 11 at 4:30 p.m. in the Depot Museum. Please plan to attend.

Grand JiVante

COMING SOON! Our newest GRAND plan, here at Grand JiVante is in the beginning stages. From this picture can you tell what we are brewing up next?

Our volunteers and the passion they share for keeping history alive in Ackley is simply AMAZING! We recognized these special individuals last night with dinner at Pizza Ranch. Without them, we could not exist.

A very special thank you to outgoing President, Larry Wright, who fulfilled his term with passion, dedication and hard work! We appreciate everything you have done, and are grateful for your acceptance to continue with the organization as VP.

Another special thank you to Jon Heitland, outgoing VP of our group. Jon's dedication to the organization is very much appreciated!

Also, a special thank you to Lee Wright who is our outgoing secretary. She keeps us in line, provides us with a permanent record of what is happening in the organization and will continue to serve us as backup in this position.

We appreciate each and every volunteer - so many work behind the scenes - writing our newsletter, completing research, working on indexing obituaries, writing grants, providing tours, caring for plants, weeding beds, cleaning, filing - the list goes on and on. Each of you fill a role and give so much towards the success of this organization. We salute each and every one of you....

And need we say that we have a place for YOU to volunteer. YOUR skills will only make us stronger. Join us?

Ackley Heritage Center's cover photo

It's a little muddy in front of the Depot Museum....Still, we'd love to have you drop in and see all the wonderful treasures on display here!

To entice you, we'd like to remind you that we have Ackley Heritage Center T-shirts ($12 each) and Sweatshirts ($20 each). These make great gifts, AND help us keep preserving Ackley's past for the future!

[02/16/18]   Our Monthly meeting for the Heritage Center is scheduled for
Monday afternoon, Feb. 19 at 4:30 at the Soda Fountain.This will be our election of officers. Please plan to attend

What treasures can YOU find at the Heritage Center? Come and find out!

Sure, it's snowing. And blowing. And cold. But it's absolutely beautiful outside today! Venture out, take a walk and see how beautiful historic Ackley is in this weather! See you in the snowflakes!

Ackley Heritage Center's cover photo

Have we got a special for you! Take advantage of it while you can!!!!!

In 2007, the Ackley Heritage Center published 'Reminiscing Ackley'. The volume marked Ackley's Sesquicentennial and is a treasure of tales and photographs from the 1920's to 2007.

Originally, the volume cost $45..... And we're marking that price to absolute rock bottom - just $5! YES, just $5! (This price does NOT include shipping if books are to be mailed out.)

To get yours, call us at 641-847-8070 or stop by the Depot Museum from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. each Tuesday, Thursday or Friday.

Thanks to everyone who braved the cold to come in for Spec n' Dicken! We are blessed to have your support!

FYI - we had visitors from Ackley, Alexander, Aredale, Austinville, Aplington, Bradford, Chapin, Eldora, Geneva, Grundy Center, Hampton, Iowa Falls, Kesley, Latimer, Parkersburg, Steamboat Rock and Wellsburg....

Ackley Heritage Center's cover photo

Ackley Heritage Center

It is time for Spec n' Dicken! To bring good luck, the meal should be eaten as the last meal of the outgoing year and the first of the incoming year! (Not to mention that it's just yummy and you'll want to have it twice!)

Join us for our annual Spec n' Dicken tradition planned for Sunday, Dec. 31 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. AND again on Monday, Jan. 1, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Civic Center on Ackley's Main Street (AKA the Senior Center!)

Enjoy traditional Spec n' Dicken or plain pancakes, applesauce, juice and coffee. Just $7 for adults and $5 for children. Children under 5 eat free!

See you there!

Ackley Heritage Center's cover photo

[12/27/17]   It is time for Spec n' Dicken! To bring good luck, the meal should be eaten as the last meal of the outgoing year and the first of the incoming year! (Not to mention that it's just yummy and you'll want to have it twice!)

Join us for our annual Spec n' Dicken tradition planned for Sunday, Dec. 31 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. AND again on Monday, Jan. 1, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Civic Center on Ackley's Main Street (AKA the Senior Center!)

Enjoy traditional Spec n' Dicken or plain pancakes, applesauce, juice and coffee. Just $7 for adults and $5 for children. Children under 5 eat free!

See you there!

[12/12/17]   Our Monthly meeting for the Heritage Center is scheduled for
tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon at 4:30 at the Soda Fountain.

Ackley Heritage Center's cover photo

First off, we'd like to thank each and every one of you who helped us celebrate our 30th anniversary! What fun it was to see you all enjoying the Settlement and all it has to offer our community! Your support is key to our success and is very, very much appreciated! As we find time in the next few weeks, we'll get photos of the event up for you to peruse and share with your friends and family. Again, we are so happy you could join us as we mark this milestone!

Secondly, a reminder for anyone interested. Memberships to our organization are just $20 per year. If you are interested in keeping Ackley's heritage, history and past alive, please join us! Call us at 641-847-8070 to find out how.

And finally, a reminder of our monthly meeting, which is planned for Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 4:30 p.m. in the Soda Fountain. We hope to see you there!

A special thanks to Corey Meints of the Ackley World Journal/Times Citizen for covering the event in Becky's absence. The photos are wonderful!

[09/19/17]   Organizations similar to ours - the Ackley Heritage Center, are given an 8 year lifespan.....It is with great pride, and through the wonderful support of our members and our very special volunteers, that we will mark our 30th - YES! 30th anniversary in just a few short weeks.

Please mark your calendars for our anniversary Appreciation Picnic which will be held on Saturday, Sept. 30 at the Settlement on the Prairie. We have many special events planned. Each building on the settlement, from the 'I' House, school house, and barn will be open for visitors to tour; music will be provided by Bill Quibell; Ackley K-9 Lexer and his handler, Officer Matt Jones will be on hand; a special WWI Exhibit is planned; there will be BINGO and prizes. We'll be serving a meal of hot dogs, chips, cookies, lemonade or hot cider and more. And, oh YES! there will be funnel cakes and Sky Kone ice cream! Join us from noon to 4 p.m.

We'd love to share this very special anniversary with you and your family. Please plan to join us.

[08/11/17]   We're up to something good! Keep your eye on this page and on the Ackley World Journal! A fall open house is being planned and you don't want to miss it!

[08/07/17]   Our monthly meeting will be held this Wednesday, Aug. 9 at 4:30 p.m. at the Depot Museum. Ideas are needed for the entertainment celebration of the 'Settlement on the Prairie' planned for September 30. See you there!

Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting

Liz Porter and some of her friends pooled their scraps and made itty bitty Shoo Fly blocks to swap. This quilt, made from those shared scraps, has all the charm of a vintage scrap quilt. ***SEE IT HERE:*** #ScrapQuilts

Don't forget to stop by tonight for a fresh, hot funnel cake! Mmmmm.

We have the best neighbors!!! Ackley heritage has the funnel cake stand open for Ackley Sauerkraut Days and we got to try the first one!!

[06/26/17]   We have a new phone number! We can be reached at 641-847-8070! Our new email is Call us, email us, visit us!

[04/11/17]   Regular Heritage Center meeting is Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 4:30 p.m., at the Depot. Please try to attend as we will be reviewing our presentation for the City Council meeting which begins at 7 p.m.

Please read the letter to the editor in Wednesday, April 12th of the Ackley World Journal written by Heritage Center Vice-President Jon Heitland.

[03/13/17]   It has come to our attention that an unauthorized post appeared on this page yesterday. The Heritage Center does NOT endorse or publish political comments on our page.

There's still time to visit the Soda Fountain today, Saturday, March 11 (open until 2 p.m.) for brat and kraut samples AND kraft beer samples. Don't forget to browse the display - German Iowa in the Global Midwest. AND, wish Jefferson Fosbender a happy birthday while you're there!

There's still time to visit the Ackley Soda Fountain for Authentic German Tea! Serving will continue until noon today. Tomorrow (Saturday, March 11) the Soda Fountain will again be open for the final day of the German Heritage display. Samples of kraft beer, brats and kraut will also be served (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) Donations for the exhibit and samples will be accepted, but are not required.

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120 State St
Ackley, IA

Opening Hours

Tuesday 13:30 - 16:30
Thursday 13:30 - 16:30
Friday 13:30 - 16:30