The Ottumwa Courier

October 11, 2012

Thanks for making the History Walk successful


OTTUMWA — The Main Street Ottumwa Promotions Committee would like to express its gratitude to everyone who came out and supported our second annual Main Street Ottumwa History Walk. Approximately 185 people braved cold temperatures and brisk winds to enjoy the hour-long tour. While much preparation goes into an event such as this, we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the following, for without their participation and support, this event would be impossible.

To our presenters: Miriam Kenning as Lucille Ball, Mark Eckman as train conductor at the Depot; Brian Morgan as Harold Akerman; Tim McKay, who provided 1950s tunes at the AmericInn parking lot; Bill Schiller as a gas station attendant; Crystal James as a diner waitress and her customers, Melissa and Lizzie Simonson; Dr. Kent Walker as Dr. Steven Fox; David Barajas as Paul Ward, owner of Ward’s Pharmacy; Julie Schuck as Bessie Ullman; and Tom Konrad as Phil Taylor Sr.

Michael Lemberger graciously permitted us to use his photography at this event. His pictorial account of Ottumwa life in the 1950s added so much to our tour.

We thank the Vintage Cruisers Car Club, Marilyn Copeland, Chris Cobler and Lester Den Hartog for arranging the mini car show that everyone enjoyed on the tour. Thank you to the Wapello County Historical Society for opening their wonderful museum for the evening, Ron Henderson for sharing his building and Akerman Auto mementos and to the Heartland Humane Society volunteers who provided concessions for our event. The Taylor family has quite a history here in Ottumwa, and they graciously shared their Coca-Cola memorabilia and recollections with our committee. We received much anecdotal information from the residents of Pennsylvania Place, as well as memories provided by various community members that were invaluable to our presentation.

Kudos to Chelsea Davis and Mark Newman for their excellent Courier coverage of our event.

Last, but certainly not least, a huge thank you to all of our Main Street volunteers and Main Street friends who helped us with the History Walk behind the scenes and otherwise. We hope to see you at Main Street’s History Walk 2013.

Fred Zesiger

board president

Main Street Ottumwa