When Iowa is quirky, it's quirky in a powerfully subtle way. The familiar made strange is much scarier than the strange made strange. Coming upon a three-headed monster from outer space doesn't hold a candle to the shock visitors get from the 13-foot giant sloth wearing a Santa suit in Iowa City. Iowa is the most normal place on the planet, so the people and places covered in this book will be as everyday as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on white bread, but as twisted as a corn dog dipped in horseradish. As film maker David Lynch ("Blue Velvet," "Eraserhead") shows in his movies, it's what's beneath the surface that's really tells the story. As for Iowa's story, well, we'll let the facts speak for themselves.
Your round-trip ticket to the wildest, wackiest, most outrageous people, places,and things the Granite State has to offer. Whether you’re a born-and-raised New Hampshirite, a recent transplant, or just passing through, New Hampshire Curiosities will have you laughing out loud as Eric Jones takes you on a rollicking tour of the strangest sides of the Granite State. Meet the state’s Official Gull Harasser (Uh-huh, it’s a government job); a man who made 2,850 consecutive ascents of Mount Monadnock; and Dean Kamen, New Hampshire’s very own twenty-first-century Thomas Edison. Lament the passing of the state-sponsored Roadkill Auction, where the frozen carcasses of everything from bobcat to black bear were available to the highest bidder—until a rabies outbreak put an end to this time-honored tradition. Visit the Exeter UFO Festival—an annual event in the town that saw one of the most impressive UFO sightings on record, in September 1965—and the 1804 grave of a soldier’s amputated leg.
For most Americans, Iowa brings to mind endless acres of corn fields, one of the country’s longest-running state fairs, and American Gothic, but few may know how it serendipitously became the birthplace of the most iconic apple, why thousands of cyclists brave the Midwestern heat and humidity to cross the entire state one week each year, or how a former Des Moines sports announcer became one of the White House’s most popular residents. It Happened in Iowa goes behind the scenes to tell these stories and many more, in short episodes that reveal the intriguing people and events that have shaped the Hawkeye State.
Discover Nebraska's curious underside with this oddly entertaining little guide! Travelers with a taste for the bizarre, tacky, and hilarious can visit the Avoca Quack-Off, learn about the inland Linoma Lighthouse, view a Roller Skating Museum, and pay a visit to the world's largest covered wagon. Only true Cornhuskers could capture the essence of these and other authentic Nebraska phenomena, and Rick Yoder and David Harding do their home state proud.
If you believe in ghosts, you're in good company. Haunted Histories brings America's most ghostly locales to life, illuminating their role in shaping America's history and detailing how they became the nation's most feared places. Haunted Histories takes readers on a state-by-state journey across the United States, exploring the nation's most feared places. Along the way, the text introduces readers to new ghostly tales and takes a fresh look at familiar stories and locations, with an eye to history. From well-known spooky spots like Salem, Massachusetts, to such lesser-known ones as the Shanghai Tunnels of Portland, Oregon, where spirits are supposedly trapped, readers will discover not only where America's most haunted places are but also why they are said to be haunted. The ghosts of the doomed Donner Party allow readers to experience the arduous and often deadly journey of America's westward wagon trains, while different kinds of "spirits" haunting old distilleries allow readers to discover how whiskey almost derailed the new American nation before it was born. This book can be studied for academic purposes as a historical reference, used as a source for classroom assignments, or simply read for the pleasure of a great story. Combines entertaining ghost stories with the history that inspired them, resulting in a highly readable and informative reference text for both students and adults Serves as a well-researched and useful resource for teachers seeking to supplement their curriculum or develop class projects Brings lesser-known stories to the forefront in lively sidebars Brings ghost stories to life in photos of haunted locales Helps readers to find specific information in cross-reference guides Provides information for site visits, along with video references, in a "Ghost Tour Road Trips" section
Generation after generation, families of vacationers have returned to northwestern Iowa’s Okoboji and the Iowa Great Lakes for summertime rest and recreation. From the earliest pioneer days to the Spirit Lake Massacre to the first rustic outdoorsmen’s accommodations, this deep glacial lake and its sister prairie lakes have been embraced by visitors for more than 150 years. Slow growing until rail service in 1882, the area saw investment in the form of the Orleans, the grandest hotel west of the Mississippi, which was demolished a scant 15 years later. By then, though, word had gotten out, and Lake Okoboji’s wooded bluffs and sandy beaches became places of quiet repose for vacationers. Resorts of all sizes drew the wealthy and modest alike. Among the area’s attractions were Arnolds Park Amusement Park; the Roof Garden; the Casino, Central, and Inn ballrooms; thrilling boat rides; skating; and summertime “bathing” in the revitalizing waters. Now largely given over to private residences of all sizes, the many marinas and public areas still draw summertime visitors intent on forging their own indelible memories.
Many different Indian tribes have lived in Iowa, each existing as an independent nation with its own history, culture, language, and traditions. Some were residents before recorded time; some lived in Iowa for relatively short periods but played memorable roles in the state’s history; others visited Iowa mostly during hunting trips or times of war. Stimulating and informative, Lance Foster’s The Indians of Iowa is the only book for the general reader that covers the archaeology, history, and culture of all the different native nations that have called Iowa home from prehistory to the present. Foster begins with a history of Lewis and Clark’s travels along the Missouri River adjacent to western Iowa. Next, he focuses on the tribes most connected to Iowa from prehistoric times to the present day: the Ioway, Meskwaki, Sauk, Omaha and Ponca, Otoe and Missouria, Pawnee and Arikara, Potawatomi, Illinois Confederacy, Santee and Yankton Sioux, and Winnebago. In between each tribal account, “closer look” essays provide details on Indian women in Iowa, traditional ways of life, Indian history and spirituality, languages and place-names, archaeology, arts and crafts, and houses and landscapes. Finally, Foster brings readers into the present with chapters called “Going to a Powwow,” “Do You Have Indian Blood?” and “Indians in Iowa Today.” The book ends with information about visiting Native American museums, historic sites, and communities in Iowa as well as tribal contacts and a selection of published and online resources. The story of the Indians of Iowa is long and complicated. Illustrated with maps and stunning original art, Lance Foster’s absorbing, accessible overview of Iowa’s Indian tribes celebrates the rich native legacy of the Hawkeye State. It is essential reading for students, teachers, and everyone who calls Iowa home.