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Plans for a Local History Museum in Muscatine

Muscatine County Historic Preservation Commission

The state of Iowa may help open a museum for local history in Muscatine. It's awarded a 9,600 dollar grant to the Muscatine County Historic Preservation Commission to plan the renovation of the Old Muscatine County Jail.

Bill Koellner, chair of the commission, says the jail was built in 1857 and closed in 1996. Since then it's been used for storage by his group and the county.

"It's in perfect condition on the outside, structurally it's sound, and the inside needs to be upgraded and modernized so that people can be in it."

The commission has also applied for additional state money, 125,000 dollars, to pay for the renovations, which would allow the commission, for the first time, to open a county history museum. Currently its records and artifacts are stored in several different places, making access difficult.

Koellner says if the commission wins the state grant, then Muscatine County would contribute 53,000 dollars for the project.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.