Dyersville local, Christy Deutmeyer, was recently named the new office manager at the Dyersville Area Historical Society.
The Historical Society was created in 1983 by a group of individuals wanting to preserve the history of Dyersville. The Historical Society office contains documents on the history of Dyersville. The walls are covered with shelves that contain information on local people and businesses. In that collection are binders of newspapers, obituaries, church histories, wedding announcements and various photos from the community. They also contain information about Dyersville businesses, maps of the town, yearbooks, family history books and lots more.
The Society also has a large genealogy library which helps people learn more about their family history. Over the years, they have kept records of obituaries and cemetery locations of local people in the area. All you have to do is schedule an appointment and volunteers will help you trace documents of your family members, some of which date back to the 1800s.
Their resources are also used locally for other purposes. “The Historical Society preserves our area’s history and has done displays about some of our veterans, wedding dresses and presentations on the main street businesses,” Deutmeyer explained.
Deutmeyer’s job at the society will be to manage the office operations and the Dyer-Botsford Historical and Doll Museum. She also aides with the genealogy services that the society provides. Before Deutmeyer became manager of the Historical Society, she served as manager at the Dyer-Botsford Historical and Doll Museum in 2018.
“I was looking for a part-time job in the summer and the manager position came up for the Dyer-Botsford Historical and Doll Museum. I interviewed and was hired. I have always been interested in history and family genealogy. When Judy Weber decided to retire (as the Historical Society Office Manager) the Board approached me about doing both manager positions.”
Judy Weber worked at the Society for roughly 20 years. Despite her retirement, she will continue to volunteer her time and aid in research and tours.
The Dyer-Botsford House is a historical museum located in downtown Dyersville, with exhibits that contain antique items and historical Dyersville treasures. It also contains a large antique doll collection with over 2,000 dolls.
Before her job with the museum and office, Deutmeyer spent 30 years dedicating her time to education in the area. She has taught preschool in local Catholic schools and worked the past 11 years as a paraprofessional at Epworth Elementary.
“I am still involved in education but in a different way when giving tours and helping with research,” Deutmeyer explained.
One of the things they’ve worked on earlier this year was trying to connect local schools with the museum, to teach a curriculum about local history. Students were then able to get hands-on experience by visiting the exhibits at the Museum. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, this was not able to happen this spring. Deutmeyer is hopeful that it will continue with future classes.
Besides learning about her family and local history, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling with her husband and reading.
She looks forward to learning more about Dyersville’s local history and educating others along the way.
The Historical Society is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment time, contact the Historical Society at (563) 875-2504.