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About the Rural History Buffs of Marion County, Iowa

The goal of the Rural History Buffs of Marion County is to mark the hidden history of Marion County by making signs for sites that are no longer visible: rural schools, churches, coal mines, flour mills, native settlements, old towns, steamboat landings, ferry crossings - and returning names to roads like these.

Look below for our story,
how to join us, how to help us, and how to contact us.

Long Lane with A Davis et al
Harvey RR Bridge 2 walking
Marigold Springs sign 8-10-15, Bob&Irma mid range
Kimball Livestock Yards 11-8-015 revised

Click on a photo to enlarge it.

The Beginning

Two rural history lovers met in late 2010 to develop a way to mark the sites of almost forgotten places: country schools, coal mines, ferries, bridges, livestock yards at old train stops, etc. They soon invited other rural history lovers and early in 2011 became the “Rural History Buffs of Marion County Iowa” with bylaws, a logo, 501C3 status, an elected board, and a commitment to identify rural historic sites of significance, including roads that were named in the past, old towns that no longer exist, bridges, settlements of the native people, churches, and other rural historic sites. They would mark them with signs, establish a map showing them, and provide some written history.

Their first sign marked Highway G76 between Pleasantville and Highway 14 as “Stringtown Road” and their first tour in September 2012 was featured in the Des Moines Register by Kyle Munson.

That first Board was: Charlotte Shivvers – President; Will Prather – Vice President; Janet Ritchie – Treasurer; Peggy Terpstra – Secretary; and Helen Boertje, Larry Brown, Marilyn Brown, Abie Davis, Susan Prather.



The Buffs, as we are known, have now erected dozens of signs all over the county, have conducted historical tours, and are spearheading the community effort to remember our historic past. 



10:00 a.m. , 3rd Thursday of every month

Marion County Extension Office, 

210 N Iowa Street, Knoxville, Iowa.

Membership Dues
$  25 individual annual
$  45 family annual
$  50 organization annual
$  200 lifetime

Contributing to Signs

If you are interested in contributing to a special sign, stand-alone signs for schools, mines, etc. are $100; add-on signs to return the original name to roadways are $45.


Our Board

President Peg Terpstra, Vice-President Nancy Dittmer, Secretary Carl Nollen, Treasurer Sandy Agan.  Members: Helen Boertje, Abie Davis, Dustin DeMoss, Jim McCoy, Charlotte Shivvers, and Dee Wright.

To join or donate to Rural History Buffs of Marion County, Iowa, CLICK HERE to download the application or complete the form below and a board member will contact you soon! If you prefer the US Mail, our mailing address is: 2109 Old Highway 92, Knoxville, IA, United States. We look forward to hearing from you!


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