The year 2014 marks a significant milestone in our community’s history. Ames will celebrate its sesquicentennial.
We’ve come a long way from our humble beginnings as a modest railroad town established on swampland. The first 12 blocks of Ames were platted and recorded on Dec. 17, 1864, and our city has changed dramatically in the years that followed. As the home of Iowa State University, Ames is recognized as a national leader in science and technology, and our city provides residents with quality of life amenities second to none. Just recently, we were named a top 100 community by Livability.com, a national website that ranks America’s small and mid-sized cities. Clearly, Ames is a Smart Choice! In 1863, John Insley Blair and Massachusetts Congressman Oakes Ames traveled into Iowa as far as the railroad line went, and then traveled by stagecoach farther west. Blair was with the railroad and selected the marshy property between the Skunk River and Squaw Creek as a future train depot location. In 1864, Blair was deeded land from a local resident, Cynthia Duff. Blair named the town after his railroad friend, Oakes Ames, who never actually set foot in town.
To acknowledge this historic year, the Ames 150 volunteer steering committee has been established. Celebratory events, public education opportunities, and legacy projects for future generations are in the early stages of planning. The year will be celebrated through a series of Ames 150 signature events, as well as through legacy projects that will be visible reminders of the this historic milestone.
Check out the live entertainment line up for the 4th of July!
Aug4Monall-day Business Signs From Past Times @ Octagon Center for the ArtsBusiness Signs From Past Times @ Octagon Center for the ArtsAug 4 – Sep 27 all-dayAmes Historical Society and the Octagon Center for the Arts present a sesquicentennial exhibit – Business Signs From Past Times. On display in the Community [...]all-day Defining Ames: 150 Historic People, Places, and Events, 1864-2014 @ Octagon Center for the ArtsDefining Ames: 150 Historic Peop… @ Octagon Center for the ArtsAug 4 – Oct 25 all-dayAmes Historical Society and the Octagon Center for the Arts present a sesquicentennial exhibit – Defining Ames: 150 Historic People, Places, and Events, 1864-2014. On [...]Sep18Thu7:00 pm Culture Under Canvas: Chautauqua Comes to Ames by Train and Tent @ Octagon Center for the ArtsCulture Under Canvas: Chautauqua… @ Octagon Center for the ArtsSep 18 @ 7:00 pm“Culture Under Canvas: Chautauqua Comes to Ames by Train and Tent” presented by Dr. Charles Kniker, Emeritus Professor of Education, Iowa State University Imagine you [...]Sep21SunSep26FriOct2Thu7:00 pm The Ames Connection to WWII’s Manhattan Project @ Octagon Center for the ArtsThe Ames Connection to WWII’s Ma… @ Octagon Center for the ArtsOct 2 @ 7:00 pm“The Ames Connection to WWII’s Manhattan Project” by Kathy Svec, daughter of a Project researcher The desperate, top-secret race during World War II to master [...]Oct4Sat9:00 pm Blue Sky Day Run @ Iowa State University CampusBlue Sky Day Run @ Iowa State University CampusOct 4 @ 9:00 pmLSI’s annual Blue Sky Day Run will happen at night this year. It will be a glow run, with the theme “Ames Lights Up the [...]Oct6Mon7:00 pm A Conversation with Jane Smiley @ Sun RoomA Conversation with Jane Smiley @ Sun RoomOct 6 @ 7:00 pmJane Smiley is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Thousand Acres. Her new novel, Some Luck, begins in 1920 and follows an Iowa farm family [...]Oct16Thu7:00 pm Ames Has Been Home to Many @ Octagon Center for the ArtsAmes Has Been Home to Many @ Octagon Center for the ArtsOct 16 @ 7:00 pm“Ames Has Been Home to Many” by Sharon Wirth, Historic Old Town Neighborhood Association, and Peter D. Englin, Ph.D., Director of Residence at Iowa State [...]Oct19Sun2:00 pm Ted Kooser Poetry Reading and Book Signing @ Octagon Center for the ArtsTed Kooser Poetry Reading and Bo… @ Octagon Center for the ArtsOct 19 @ 2:00 pmTed Kooser Poetry Reading and Book Signing Born in Ames, Iowa, in 1939, Kooser earned a BS at Iowa State University in 1962 and an [...]