The Iola Historical Society’s May 26 meeting focuses on the history of local government.
The program will begin at about 7 p.m., after the society’s regular monthly business meeting, in the Helvetia Town Hall at the Iola Historical Society complex on Depot Street.
Several individuals will share their knowledge of the history of the Helvetia Town Hall, including Scott Bestul, who in 2002 helped move the original town hall building from County Road GG to its present site on the grounds of the Iola Historical Society on Depot Street.
A special invitation is extended to anyone who has a story to tell about growing up in Helvetia or any town hall memory.
The hall was originally built in 1919, was in active use for 75 years, when a new town hall was built.
After remaining vacant for several years, it was acquired by the Iola Historical Society in 1996, and eventually moved to its current site in 2002. The building’s interior was renovated to look as it did in its heyday, including retention of the original decorative tin ceiling.
The old town hall outhouse also made the move. It is now located behind the original building, although it is no longer used for its intended purpose.
In addition to the Helvetia Town Hall presentation, the Iola Historical Society will also recognize and hear from Iola ski jumper James Cady.
Cady’s ski-jumping medals and other memorabilia have been on display at the town hall since 2010, as part of the Iola Winter Sports Club’s (IWSC) 100th anniversary, which occurred in that year.
The IWSC is the longest continuously operating ski-jumping club in the United States. The club’s anniversary and history is recognized with Historic Iola Marker No. 1, which is affixed to the front of the IWSC chalet on County Road MM just north of town. It is one of six historical markers the Iola Historical Society has installed throughout Iola and the area.
The presentations are part of the society’s continued efforts to educate residents about Iola’s history and are spearheaded by IHS member Lee Halverson.
There is no admission charge to attend the program, although free-will offerings are always accepted.
For more information on the Iola Historical Society, go to www.iolahistoricalsociety.org.