Farm family picking tomatoes. Warren County, 1945.


Think about what you were doing one year ago. 

Talk to someone who remembers living on a farm in Iowa during the Great Depression in the previous century. 

Consider what it was like for the first pioneers on the prairie nearly 200 years ago.

It all seems like a long time ago. 

Now try to imagine Iowa 12,000 years ago. That’s about the time the first humans lived in the area that became Iowa. And that was a long time ago.

About 12,000 years ago humans began to share common religions, cultures, locations and experiences in the land that became Iowa. Those early inhabitants were the first to live, work and play on the land. They lived in groups similar to today’s towns. There were dads and moms and kids. There were people who thought of new ways of doing things. Men and women had different jobs. New people moved into the area. There were conflicts between groups of people. 

Since this time people have continued to move to and through the state. Groups have brought unique cultures and traditions to share. Individuals have inspired others. The contributions of Iowans have shaped the state and the world. Their experiences tell the story of who we are as Iowans.

As you explore the lives and experiences of people from the past, ask yourself how today is different…or the same. How does knowing about the experiences of past help people today and in the future?