News Column

Ames celebrates its history on the 4th

July 5, 2014

By Melissa Erickson Associate Editor, Ames Tribune, Iowa



July 05--The Ames 150 celebration continued Friday with music, historical presentations, food vendors and games spread throughout downtown Ames.

Residents and friends visiting Ames for the Fourth of July mingled around Main Street sampling food, visiting the Ames Fire Department's "Squirt House with Sparky," listening to live music performances and enjoying presentations about the history of Ames Friday following the morning's parade.

The city's annual Independence Day celebration took on new significance this year as the Fourth of July celebrations were all closely tied in with the 150th anniversary of the platting of Ames.

Part of the afternoon included historical presentations about Ames, including a local film, "Stitched Into Time: A Video History of Collegiate Manufacturing Company," about the nationally-known Ames business that made college and school pennants, banners and sportswear, as well as their trademark "personality pets."

CMC began in Ames in 1904 as Tilden's Department Store and produced collegiate merchandise for universities and colleges across the country. During World War II, the company created outerwear such as raincoats and ponchos for soldiers, before shifting back to banners and pennants once again after the war ended. CMC was in Ames for more than 60 years.

Kathy Svek, of the Ames Historical Society, also gave a presentation on "Women in Ames History." Svek profiled 14 women from throughout the town's history that made large contributions to the community.

From Cynthia Duff and Mary Greeley to Dr. Jennie Ghrist, who was the first woman doctor in Ames starting in 1899, Svek shared the stories of women who helped shape Ames' history.

Svek told of Ada Hayden, who was the first woman to obtain a doctorate degree from Iowa State University in 1918, and Neta Snook, who was the first licenced female pilot of record in Iowa. After leaving Ames, Snook became a flight instructor in California, where one of her pupils was Amelia Earhart.

"This is a wonderful and proud heritage for all of us who live in Ames to know about these courageous women," Svek said in concluding her presentation.

The Ames 150 events continue today beginning at 10 a.m., with the Chautauqua tent at Bandshell Park, more presentations from the Ames Historical Society, and live music, food vendors and games on Main Street and Douglas Avenue.

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(c)2014 the Ames Tribune, Iowa

Visit the Ames Tribune, Iowa at www.amestrib.com

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Source: Ames Tribune (IA)


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