Monday, January 4, 2021

Eastern Iowa Landmarks: Oelwein Log Cabin (Built 1852) + Log Cabin History

Eastern Iowa Landmarks

I've always been interested in history.
Sometimes it's easy to overlook the historical landmarks that are in our 
own neighborhoods and surrounding communities.
Hopefully we'll discover spots that you weren't aware of, or maybe even 
learn more about those you do see but gloss over.

Oelwein's Log cabin
Location: Orville Christophel Park
1st Avenue and 1st St SW, Oelwein

J.B. Burch built the cabin in 1852.  
The construction has often mistakenly been attributed to the Oelwein family, who the town is named for.  

Unfortunately I can't find dimensions, but my 11 year old is a good reference for size.
It's SMALL - and therefore obvious where the term cabin fever comes from.

Thankfully the log cabin is now in better repair than the last of the postcards.
It's located across the street from the Coliseum Ballroom, which I'll mention in a future post.

Log Cabin History

Scandinavia deserves credit for the creation of cabins.
Zook Cabins, in Pennsylvania, offers great insight about the evolution of these humble homes.  

"Thank The Swedes For Our Beautiful Country"

"Unbeknownst to the Swedes and Finns, their innovative wood construction techniques benefited the colonization of the New World log cabin history immensely. The Swedes and Finns brought generations of construction experience of building with timber and simple hand tools. Once they arrived on the banks of the Delaware River and settled in the surrounding region, they knew exactly how to deal with the lack of available housing.

(photo from Pinterest)

The New World had familiar timber, so they built log cabins. Their building techniques were soon copied by the British, Scottish, and Irish immigrants. The ingenuity of the log cabin was that the construction was extremely simple and required no more than an axe and saw. The pioneers could simply stack the logs one upon the other, and they weren’t restrained by the need for nails or spikes to keep the structure together. Plus, the log cabins could be constructed by one person in a couple of weeks. If there were two or more people available, the construction of the log cabin could be completed in just a few days.

The Log Cabin Empowered 
The Colonization Of North America

The availability of timber, the simple tools required for construction, and the possibility of individual construction caused the log cabin to be a significant factor in the success of the New World colonization. The log cabin became the well-known architectural choice for all pioneers and settlers during the 1700 and 1900s as the New World expanded across what is now known as the United States of America, etching itself another chapter in log cabin history.

Humble Beginnings To National Recognition

The log cabin has not only impacted America’s beginnings, but this wooden home has also influenced America’s political and social culture. In the early American Frontier days, the log cabin was meant to offer temporary housing until the pioneers could build bigger, more comfortable timber board houses. The original log cabins were simple, hastily constructed makeshift structures. Not only were log cabins viewed as temporary and humble, they also coincided with the incredible hardships faced 
on the North American Frontier.
(photo from Pinterest)

I hope you enjoy a little information about a landmark
that's near where I grew up.
If you know of points of interest in your area, email or text me so I can 
check them out and share with others.
~ Judy
(319-551-3170  or

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

The Senior Scoop: Memory Problems? What To Do Next.

Memory Problems?  
What to do next
by Jim Miller, Senior Advocate, The Savvy Senior

Dear Savvy Senior,

My mom, who’s 76, has become more forgetful lately and is worried she may be getting Alzheimer’s disease. What resources can you recommend to help us get a handle on this?

— Oldest Daughter

Dear Oldest,
Many seniors worry about memory lapses as they get older, fearing it may be the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease or some other type of dementia. To get some insight on the seriousness of your mom’s problem, here are some key warning signs to be vigilant of and some resources you can turn to for help.

Warning signs:
As we grow older, some memory difficulties — such as trouble remembering names of people or places or forgetting where you put your glasses or car keys — are associated with normal aging. But the symptoms of Alzheimer’s are much more than simple memory lapses.

Knowing the early warning signs is a good first step in recognizing the difference between typical age-related memory loss and a more serious problem. To help you evaluate your mom’s condition, here’s a checklist of some common early symptoms to watch for:

Asking the same questions repeatedly.

Getting lost in familiar areas.

Failing to recognize familiar people.

Having difficulty following directions.

Misplacing items in inappropriate places, for example, putting keys in the microwave.

Having difficulty completing familiar tasks like cooking a meal or paying a bill.

Having trouble remembering common words when speaking or mixing up words.

For more information, see the Alzheimer’s Association list of 10 early signs and symptoms at

Another good tool to help you evaluate your mom is the Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam (SAGE test) that was developed at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. This free test helps identify mild cognitive impairment and early dementia and can be taken at home in about 10 to 15 minutes. The SAGE test can be taken online at

Get help:
If you would rather have professional assistance in evaluating your mom, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America ( is another good resource to turn to.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday they provide free, confidential virtual memory screenings done via video chat in real time. Your mother will need a phone, tablet or computer with a webcam and Internet capability to complete the screening.

The screenings are given by healthcare professionals and take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Once the screening is complete, the screener will review the results with her and let her know if she should see a doctor for further evaluation. To set up a memory screening for your mom, call 866-232-8484 and make an appointment.

If you find that your mom does need further evaluation, make an appointment with her primary-care doctor for a cognitive checkup and medical examination. Depending on what’s found, she may be referred to a geriatrician or neurologist who specializes in diagnosing and treating memory loss or Alzheimer’s disease.

Keep in mind that even if your mom is experiencing some memory problems, it doesn’t necessarily mean she has early-stage Alzheimer’s. Many memory problems are brought on by other factors like stress, depression, thyroid disease, side effects of medications, sleep disorders, vitamin deficiencies and other medical conditions. And by treating these conditions she can reduce or eliminate the problem.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

New Linn-Mar Listing Ready for Immediate Possession!

1275 Elm Street, Marion
New Listing - $139,000

Have a look at this cute split-foyer that's ready for a new owner.
3 bedrooms, 2 baths
Screened porch
Fenced yard for your pup + raised garden beds
Hardwood floor on main level
New Carrara tile tub surround in main bath
Rec Room
Additional parking pad
Whole house fan
Radon Mitigation system already installed
Steps from the trail system
Walking distance to parks and school
Built in 1970
Yard: 70'x125'x64'
Net Taxes: $2740
Bowman Woods, Oak Ridge, Hazel Point, Linn-Mar

Single car garage but there's the benefit of an additional parking pad.
A welcoming foyer for guests - bright and light filled,
plus there's a storm door.
You'll enjoy the open feel of the living room and kitchen.
Lots of natural light in the main living space.

Hardwood flooring ties the upstairs together for a seamless, classic feel.
Sliders to the screened porch off the kitchen and living room, 
and the kitchen is just around the corner.
Cute and cheery white kitchen.

Hallway leading to the bath and bedrooms.
There's a whole house fan in the hallway.

Main bathroom has been updated with a newly installed 
Carrara tile tub surround.
The master bedroom is at the back of the house.

Second Bedroom

3rd bedroom

Rec Room downstairs, plus it's large enough for a home office space.

Laundry Room
Basement Bathroom

Screened porch - a favorite feature of the sellers.

A nice-sized backyard with fencing, and even a small hill for sledding for the littles. 

A map of the trails and route to school. 
Proximity to the trail system and parks has been one of the 
features the sellers love and will miss greatly.

Thanks for having a peek!

~ Judy


Saturday, December 12, 2020

New Marion Listing! 2135 Northview Dr, Marion

 New Marion Listing!
2135 Northview Dr.

It's time for a new owner for this beloved home.
The seller is the original owner and has lived here for 59 years.
Desirable Linn-Mar schools, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths
Oversized 2 stall garage
Updated windows
Whole house fan
New Roof on house and garage
New siding to be installed
Home Warranty
Immediate possession
Schools: Wilkins, Excelsior, Linn-Mar
Lot size: 70' x 120'
Net Taxes: $2370
House is sold as-is.

A new roof on the garage and house since the storm.
New siding is scheduled and it's on a waitlist.

Enjoy the neighborhood from the front deck.
  The kitchen and living room have lots of natural sunlight.  
An eat-in kitchen and breakfast bar truly keep this the heart of the home.
The light and sunny living room.

If you appreciate retro, the bath maintains that feel with 
the original colored fixtures.
Yes, it even has a laundry chute!

Bedroom 1 - the bedrooms have hardwood floors and nice-sized closets.

Bedroom 2 is the master bedroom.

Bedroom 3

Note the whole house fan
Handy utility sink, plus appliances stay, though they're not warranted.
Nice sized space to create a rec room.  
The basement has great potential as a family hangout space -
a Rec Room, workout area, plus there's a big workshop.
Basement bonus room would be a great office or craft room.

3/4 bath in the basement.
A great space for a woodworker or hobbyist.  
Double-wide door to room. There's even a rack to hold lumber.

Oversized 2 stall garage.
Garage has bump out for bikes, the snow blower, lawn mower and more.
Slider from the eat-in kitchen leads to the patio, yard and garage.

Thanks for having a look at this Marion home.

Any and all offers due by 5:00 p.m. on  
Tuesday, December 15th.

~ Judy