The Dyersville Area Historical Society was organized in 1961 for the purpose of preserving Dyersville history. Photos, memorabilia and historical items were collected and displayed in a cabinet in the library. In 1982, the society was reorganized and now, after 30 years, can boast about some awesome projects that were undertaken and completed.
A major project was the purchase of the house that the founder of Dyersville, James Dyer, built in 1850. It was saved from the wrecking ball and is now a beautifully-restored Victorian home housing a doll museum and many wonderful antiques and items significant to the history of Dyersville.
If you have never seen the inside of the house, one of our volunteer tour guides would love to show you around. The house is open every day. On Mondays through Fridays, the hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and on weekends, the house is open from 1-4 p.m.
A genealogical and historical library was a project that spanned many years and continues today. Many resources are available to family historians, including a collection of about 27,000 obituaries, cemetery information, photos, maps and much more. Dyersville area history is also being researched and organized. The office is located upstairs in city hall and is open on Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Another project undertaken by the Dyersville Area Historical Society was the relocation of the Christoph Stone House. It was moved from the Diesburg farm north of Dyersville to the Commercial Club Park in the fall of 2004.
Michael and Anna Barbara Christoph and their five children came to America from Germany in 1844. After staying in the St. Louis area for two years, the Christoph family was one of the first German Catholic families to come to this area and homesteaded a farm just north of what would later become Dyersville.
About 1860, when Michael Christoph died and one of the sons and his wife moved into the farmhouse, a little stone one-room house was constructed for Anna Barbara.
In 2002, when word got out that the stone house, which was being used as a feed shed, was slated for demolition, several Christoph descendants led an effort to save the structure. In partnership with the historical society, the house was dismantled, stone by stone, and reconstructed at its present location.
It is amazing that the Christoph Stone House survived all those years and now it is preserved for present and future generations. The house is located just north of the Dyersville Aquatic Center.
On Sunday, June 28, the Dyersville Area Historical Society will have the Christoph Stone House open to the public from 1-4 pm. Board members Judy Boeckenstedt and Joan Wilwert will be there to show the rustic, antique furnishings and to tell the story of the little historic house.
If you have always wondered about the little stone house in the park, take advantage of the open house on Sunday. You will find it interesting.