What can be done with a $1,000 grant from the Tama County Community Foundation (TCCF)? It can be used to buy a computer and two external hard drives which store mementos of what life was like 70, 80, even 100 years ago in early Dysart. The Dysart Historical Society has used this interactive computer technology to bring the past to visitors of all ages.
The Dysart Historical Center has three buildings; the Agriculture Museum was finished in fall 2011. TCCF also provided grants in 2010 and 2011, totaling $12,000, to help pay for and finish the trim inside of the building. Volunteers Dennis Wieben and Marvin Monroe were responsible for completing the interior oak wood work. The Agriculture Museum was built with the help of other funding, which includes: Iowa Great Places Grant, Mansfield Grant, bequest funds from the City of Dysart, and generous donations from local organizations and citizens.
The interactive computer is located in the Agriculture Museum and has the videos of senior citizens who were videotaped by the Dysart Historical Society and the program My American Farm, produced by Pioneer and the Farm Bureau Federation. This program engages the users of all ages in interesting activities as they become "farmers".
The Dysart Historical Society Board members are still working on finishing some displays and want to create an agricultural timeline. The timeline will be placed as a border around the top of the walls; it will include major agricultural events and innovations, and how these events affected the people who worked the land.
"The three Tama County Foundation grants which the Dysart Historical Society has received, beginning in 2010, have helped make the new agricultural museum and interactive programs a reality and an enriching educational resource for the Dysart community. The Dysart Historical Society is very grateful for the generous support received from the Foundation," stated Catherine Wieck, Dysart Historical Society Board Member.
The Dysart Historical Center is open on Sundays from May through September and at any other time by appointment. The museum has held several well-attended events where people shared their experiences of growing up on farms in rural Tama County in the 1920's and 1930's.
The Tama County Community Foundation is pleased to be able to help the Dysart Historical Society with the interactive computer technology project. For more information about the TCCF, contact Brian Sokol, Chair of the Tama County Community Foundation, 641-484-2980, or Mary Fasse-Shaw, TCCF's Development Associate at 641-751-5251.