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Fall in Love with Junk

According to the Oskaloosa Area Chamber & Development Group, Fall in Love with Junk will be held on Saturday, April 28 at the Downtown Square in Oskaloosa from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. For more information, please call 641-673-7004.

Easter on the Oskaloosa Square

The Bethesda House has reserved the Oskaloosa Town Square on Easter – Sunday April 1, 2018. They are having family-centered events throughout the day. The schedule is as follows:
• 6:00 AM: Sunrise Service;
• 7:15 AM: Juice & Doughnuts @ Bethesda House (201 High Avenue East);
• 1:00 PM: City-wide Easter Egg Hunt (divided into age groups 0 – 12 years old);
• 3:00 PM: Raffle drawing.

2017 Holiday Craft & Vendor Fair

2017 Holiday Craft & Vendor Fair

Penn Central Mall, 200 High Avenue West, Oskaloosa

Saturday, November 25th  10 AM – 5 PM

Sunday, November 26th  12 PM – 4 PM

Come out and start your holiday shopping with us:

3CZ Crafts, Tastefully Simple, It Works. Norwex, Thrive, Unique Beads, Scentsy, Pampered Chef,  Walnut Hill Designs, Everwood Creations, Adorn Boutique, Tupperware, Thirty One, Pink Zebra, Usborne Books, Stephanie’s Paracord Accessories, Crafts by Heidi, English River Decoy Works, Lularoe, Young Living, J Will Designs, Grannie B’s Embroidery, Energy Lite, Damsel in Defense, Color Street, Ruby Ribbon, Bath Fitter, Maskcara Beauty, Mueller Chiropractic & Wellness, Jackie & Ruth Johnson, Do Terra, Kasal Kreations, Nu Skin, Yoli and many more!


Don’t forget about the…

FREE Holly Jolly Kids Festival on Saturday, November 25th from 11 am – 3 pm

Visit with SANTA 11 am – 2 pm

Free activities for kids including: make & take ornaments, Santa ring toss, snowball throw, build-a-snowman, Christmas bingo, ducks in snow, pin the nose on the snowman and cookie decorating.

Bring the family and the kids can play while you shop!


Stop in at the East Entrance table on November 25th & 26th to sign up for the FREE $10 coupon give-aways.  This coupon is good for $10 in items at any vendor table during the 2017 Holiday Craft & Vendor Show.  Tickets will be discarded at the end of each day, so stop in both days to sign up for a chance to win a FREE $10 coupon.

*Full details available at mall on the days of the Vendor & Craft Fair.

A Glimpse Into Oskaloosa History

Driving through Oskaloosa Downtown square, you are immediately take back by the beautiful brick buildings and intricate detailing on the facades.

The first resident of Oskaloosa was William Canfield in 1844. From there, a trading post was erected and by 1853 the small town of 13 cabins grew to over 1,000 residents. Oskaloosa transformed into a mining mecca within a span of two decades.

By 1873 Penn Academy – later named William Penn College- was built and later that same year the first band stand was constructed. Within five years, the first courthouse was built on what is now the east side of the square – which is still in use to this day! In 1903, the Carnegie Library was opened and the YMCA that was once in the square was dedicated by President Teddy Roosevelt.

Fast forward over a century later and you can see the history behind each stone and brick in downtown Oskaloosa. Recently, the city council and Oskaloosa Main Street approve the Facade Improvement Project. This project addresses the restoration of 18 downtown building on the north side of the square to preserve the non-historic and historically significant buildings.

One building in particular that is currently being restored is at 120 North Market Street. This building was once distinguished by having a front blue boarded facade with tan brick work on the second story.

Images from the architectural plans for the facade improvement project for 120 N. Market Street. (oskaloosaiowa.org)

After crews removed the lower blue tinged wood, a dated store front sign was revealed.

“Iowa Dress Club, Inc.”

After a little bit of digging, going through archived photos and requesting information from the Iowa Historic Preservation, the response was scarce. The Iowa Dress Club, Inc. building dates back to roughly the year 1900. Back when this building was first founded, the address was 303 A Avenue East. The store specialized in dry cleaning services as well as selling wedding dresses and other forms of attire.

As you glance through the downtown square of Oskaloosa, one cannot help but wonder all the memories and history each building holds under the surface.


Editor’s note: Hoping that with the updating and restoration of the facades, I can provide you with more information and background of the timeless treasures and hidden gems of Oskaloosa. 

Featured image is provided by the Wilcox Library Digital Archives.


Parking Regulations in Downtown are Slated to Change

A topic at many city council meetings within the past two months has been the issue centered around parking in the city, specifically in the downtown square. On Monday, September 5th, the Oskaloosa City Council opened the floor for public comments where five residents stepped forward. 

Each of those that made comments owned businesses around the square and were in attendance at the meeting to share their thoughts about the changes that council intends to make regarding the regulations that are currently in place.

Julie Wells, owner of Julie’s Cafe on S. Market, stepped forward first and addressed her concern with the council.

“We’re concerned with the two-hour parking. The concern that 72-hours, that it would go to if you got rid of the 2-hours, would be too long,” Wells stated while in attendance with her husband Terry.

This is not Wells’ first time addressing the council about their plans to alter the parking regulations. As she has was before the mayor and council members a month ago on August 7.

Other business owners also approached the council: Debbie Sedrel from Merle Norman Cosmetics; Glenda Booy from True Value; Brian Meyers from Brown Shoe Fit; and Jerry Slobe with Timeless Treasures.

“I talked to five business owners today,” Slobe said as he addressed the city council, “and they were all opposed to taking the signs down.”

The aforementioned businesses were Brown Shoe Fit, Taso’s Steakhouse, Big Ed’s BBQ, True Value and MidWestOneThree.

After hearing from the public, the council began the regular agenda. One of the last items in the agenda was the consideration of parking regulations and two-hour central business district parking. The council quickly came to an agreement on the third and fourth piece, but had questions themselves regarding the first and second piece.

Councilman Doug Yates, noted that the decision to enforce or not was a split decision after the community had been surveyed.

Tom Walling had mentioned that the city, “only got five complaints in a year. Yet we heard five complaints tonight, easy.”

The initial idea was to take all of the parking signs down to reduce the number in downtown, however, realized it was too costly and unnecessary. Other questions arose about enforcing the limits and regulations.

City Manager, Michael Schrock, suggested that they do sporadic enforcement. Once or twice a month sometimes more or less to transition to consistently enforcing the limits.

After nearly a half hour discussion on the item, the council came to an agreement after some advice from Police Chief Jake McGee.

“I think two hours is too short, that’s based off my experience from the people that get tickets. ”

With Chief McGee’s experience over the years, he knows that visitors – or the average shoppers – are the ones that normally get ticketed. Because the normal offenders know when enforcement goes out to chalk and the call goes around, most vehicles get moved.

When asked by Mayor David Krutzfeldt, Chief McGee said that most cities around Oskaloosa have three-hour parking rules.

In conclusion, the city council agreed to move the two-hour parking limit to a three-hour limit starting at 9 AM until 5 PM. 

This is, however, only the first reading of the regulation changes. Yates would like the public to voice their thoughts about this change as the next month progresses and the city council finishes the reading of the changes to parking.

Friday After Five

Join us in Downtown Oskaloosa for the last Friday After Five for 2017.  Country Artist, Cody Hicks will have everyone dancing in the streets!  This is a family friendly event includes games for the kids, food for everyone, and adult beverages for those wanting to kick back and relax after a long week at work!


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