Calliope Village Museum
Historic Hawarden and Calliope Village
On Thursday September 20, 2007, Wilma J. Vande Berg of the Greater Sioux County Genealogical Society, visited Hawarden and Calliope Village. A very informative tour of the Historic House (1block east of Main Street) and historic Calliope Village was hosted by JaNohn Wasser and Lois Dawson.
Both ladies are ardent volunteers and supporters of Calliope Village as well as the local historic society. Both have lived in the Hawarden area for many years and were teachers in the Hawarden school system.
The Historic House has been restored by the Big Sioux River Valley Historical Society. The present president is Kathy Keltz. Most of the efforts currently are spent by the committee for the Calliope Village project.
The Historic House is open to the public at the Big Sioux River Days on Labor Day weekend every year, and possibly other events. The House has been beautifully restored and is furnished with antique and period furniture from the late 1880’s through mid 1900’s. It was very clean and well kept. The upstairs houses galleries of old Calliope and Hawarden pictures and mementos.
Hawarden Historic House
The Kitchen and the Kitchen Phone
The Parlor, Dining Room and Bedroom
Upstairs in the Historical House are lot of old photo galleries. Pictured below are Lois Dawson and JaNohn Wasser in the main gallery room. There is a medical office in one of the other rooms.
Calliope Village Museum and Pioneer Buildings
The Calliope Village Committee, is very active and progressive in maintaining and promoting the grounds. Volunteers have spent many hours putting the village together with the many museums and buildings that are completely set up as in days gone by.
During the Big Sioux River Days held on Labor Day week-end each year the Village is alive with tours and activities. Among these activities is a music stage set up on the back side of the barn with a tent to house the music concert attendees. Special displays are set up for the enjoyment of the public. The members of the Calliope Village man the grounds during the event.
Calliope Community Church
As a tribute to early church work in Calliope, this replica of an early building used as a Baptist and Presbyterian Church and public school was erected as a museum of the pioneer church. Furnishings and momentos of local churches complete the simple sanctuary. The building may be used for small weddings or meetings of local organizations. Most of the furnishings came from Chatsworth Lutheran Church.
The Log Cabin is a replica of the original court house of Sioux County. The founders of Sioux County made their fortunes speculating on land and developments of a new territory back in the 1860’s. But when the Dutch immigrants moved to the western reaches of the county and wanted a say-so in decision making, Calliope bristled. When the patriarch of the Dutch, Henry Hospers, was elected a County Supervisor in 1871, the folks from Calliope refused to seat him.
Complicated political maneuvering followed with the Dutch wanting to move the county offices to a more central location in Orange City. When all else failed they rode into town one frigid January day in 1872 and forcibly removed the safe with the county records to Orange City. The safe was recaptured several years ago and stands in the Log Cabin in Calliope Village. Orange City is still Sioux County’s seat of Government.
The infamous County Safe that has traveled
W. E. Rowe Building
This store originally stood at the north end of Hawarden’s Main Street. W. E. Rowe had his harness shop in the south end until 1906. The south end held a coffee shop for many years. Lettering on the façade was uncovered during the restoration and was repainted as it was. The coffee shop area now contains the interior of an old Hawarden Post office which had been placed in storage for over 60 years. The mail sorting bins have the names of area families along the original mail routes around Hawarden. The north room contains a small reception area and museum.
Old mail cart
Scott School House Museum
The Scott School, the Village’s school museum, was originally erected near the Adam Scott homestead across the Big Sioux River in Dakota Territory. In 1872 farm families just west of Calliope went to Sioux City to buy $140 in lumber to build the school. The school enrolled 14 pupils with an average attendance of 8. The school year was only 60 days long. Furnishings have been gathered from area schools to portray school life at the turn of the century. An original Sioux County school house, the Shoemaker School is the largest museum in the village and is located along with several other buildings across the railroad tracks just to the west of the Calliope Village proper.
Bring back memories? Old Merry-Go-Round, Old Water Pump, Old Pot-bellied Stove!
The Medical Building
Calliope did not have a physician for many years. W. C. Walton died following a hunting accident waiting for the doctor to arrive. Pharmacists were the first medical professionals in town, but doctors soon followed. This building was originally a house located one block east of the old ball park. It had been moved in there after 1926.
The Calliope Bank Building
The bank was one of the most important features of the prairie town. Calliope’s banks are honored with this reconstruction of an early financial institution. The back room houses a lawyer’s office, equally important for carrying out the legalities of buying and selling and managing the complexities of settling in a new land. This building was located across the street, one block south.
Originally built as the jail for Chatsworth, Iowa, the building gives us a glimpse of the grim nature of pioneer incarceration. It was used well into the 20th century. Built of stacked lumber and lined with metal, it afforded housing for the town scamp or any apprehended desperado.
The Jesse Akin Homestead
Akin settled in the Big Sioux Valley one mile west of Calliope in June 1878. He lived in a haystack for a few months until he could build a small cabin to house his family. The building was moved from the Akin farm to represent life for homesteaders on the prairie. Note the bricks and plaster used to insulate the frame construction. The two rooms were supplemented by a loft. It had a dirt floor.
The Calliope Village Stagecoach is housed in the barn, together with a refurbished antique water wagon. The barn stood for many years on the east side of Hawarden just off 10th Street and housed the Miller Greenhouse. It was moved to the site in 1986. Back of the barn is the original pump used by the family living in the stagecoach depot.
Because the stage coach and water wagon were inside a full picture could not be produced
The Stagecoach Depot
Local folklore claims this building was a depot for a stagecoach run between Sioux Falls and Sioux City. Historians say the building was most likely built in 1882 by Phillip Mosher as a restaurant and gathering place for a booming Calliope. When the train depot burned, it was used for a while as a depot and hack drivers, Cab Belcher and Pinkie Davie, hauled their frieght and customers from its doors. The building stands on its original site and has been restored as a depot. Note the original paint in the south room. Original windows are found in the south room.
The Carlson House
Built in 1886 by C. D. Pritchard, the home stood several blocks to the south before it was moved to the Village in 1986. During its 100 year life, it was home to many families until it was donated by the C. E. Carlson family. They lived in the dwelling from 1919. It has been furnished it as a typical village home at the turn of the century. A millinery shop and seamstress work area are found in the home.
W. C. Walton Merchant
The building housing the Village General Store was built in 1881 by W. C. Walton as his home. Walton was a hardware merchant until 1882 when he sold his store and opened a book store and news depot in Calliope. He also offered the sale of organs and sewing machines. Mr. Walton died in 1896 following a hunting accident. This home was restored as a general merchandise establishment with living quarters. It was located one block east of Calliope Village.
Shoemaker Museum (School Building)
The Shoemaker Museum is one of the largest museums on the Village grounds.
The picture above (second from bottom on right) shows what the mound with trees that is just to the north of this Shoemaker/Wasser building was used for at the time. Trucks would drive up on the ramp and dump their loads on to a waiting rail car.
The model stagecoach that is in this museum was made as a birthday gift to Lois Dawson by her brother.
~Check out this link to Shoemaker School Memories of former students.
Calliope City Hall
This is one of the last acquisitions to Calliope Village. I believe it stood in McNally at one time. The interior is devoted mainly to a military display and dedicated to the men who have served our country.
Shoemaker Museum on the right of the picture. Interior of the City Hall at the Village.
The sign that greets the vistor at Calliope Village