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diorama ornament

May Your Holidays Be Shiny and Bright

Posted on December 23, 2020

December 23, 2020 These festive baubles are mid-20th century Christmas tree ornaments from our historic artifact collection. This collection features two very popular types of ornaments, the iconic Shiny Brites and imported mercury glass. The…

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jack-o-lantern

Halloween in Iowa: History of Mischief

Posted on October 11, 2018

October 11, 2018 As Iowa heads into fall, our museum looks forward to the many simple pleasures the season brings us. Ripe corn, cool mornings, coffee on the woodstove, and fuzzy wool overcoats. It’s also…

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Flynn Mansion in the snow

New Year’s Calling

Posted on December 30, 2015

December 30, 2015 It is almost 2016! Many people are planning a New Year’s Eve party on December 31st and then a solid day of parades and football watching on January 1st. In the 1870s,…

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card game in tangen parlor

Fun and Games

Posted on December 23, 2015

December 23, 2015 Everyone is getting into the holiday spirit by now, and starting to make time for festivals, soirees, and visits amongst friends. These are often full of food and revelry, and sometimes friendly…

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decorated tree at tangen home

Trees that Glisten

Posted on December 2, 2015

December 2, 2015 We see them everywhere in December, twinkling with lights and full of colorful ornaments, but have you ever stopped to think about how old the tradition of the Christmas tree really is,…

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Thanksgiving meal

19th Century Thanksgiving

Posted on November 23, 2015

November 23, 2015 Thanksgiving is one of America’s favorite holidays. Generally filled with food and family, and often football, it is a time to reflect on the blessings of the year and share our table…

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1870s illustration - holiday celebration

Americanitis and the Holiday Hustle

Posted on November 3, 2015

November 3, 2015 It’s the first week of November. For many people, this is the beginning of a wonderful harvest and holiday season running all the way into January. For many others, this is the…

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1900 farm

Spotted: Fourth of July Menu

Posted on July 3, 2013

I’m sure many of you are looking forward to celebrating the Fourth of July tomorrow with your friends and family, especially all the delicious food that’s sure to be on the table! While fireworks and “Stars and…

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1900 farm

Happy Birthday America!

Posted on June 28, 2012

Next week we celebrate the birth of our nation. Right here in Urbandale there is an annual parade, carnival, and fireworks. Families will come out to celebrate, not unlike families of the 19th century.  Sarah…

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1900 farm

Happy Mother’s Day!

Posted on May 8, 2012

This coming Sunday many people all over the nation will celebrate their mothers.  While each family has a unique way of honoring mom, there is no denying that Mother’s Day is a day when “Mother…

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