The Kitchen Table Historian

I am an author and historian who writes about long-forgotten and out of the way events and places. I love the bizarre, the unusual, and the downright weird. I write a regular blog at my website, www.johnbrassardjrcom.wordpress.com, and also manage a facebook page about things of historical interest called The Kitchen Table Historian.

A City Stands Still: The Death of William Bettendorf

Last week, I told the story of the Joseph Bettendorf mansion and how its history is forever intertwined with the history of the city of Bettendorf. This week, I’d like to share with you all the story of when the very same city came screeching to a halt – the day William Bettendorf died. Early …

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The Joseph Bettendorf Mansion

               All places have history. What deems that particular history important is largely subjective, depending upon the person who is viewing it. Do they have a personal connection? Do they have a connection to the event that took place there? Any variety of factors can determine how interesting a place is to an individual.                 …

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The Final Word: The Clinton County Feud Over a Courthouse – and a Bell

              Have you ever been on the losing side of an argument? Not just any argument, but one that you felt so strongly about that no matter how things turned out, you still felt that you were right? It sucks. Most of us have probably been there, but even though you don’t like it, you …

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Sitting in With the Iowa Lincoln Highway Association

                This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the quarterly meeting of the Iowa Lincoln Highway Association. As some of you who follow my blog know, I’ve written some about the Lincoln Highway in the past, mostly about a stretch of road that passes through Clinton County, Iowa. This length of road includes …

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Desecration: Cemetery Vandalism and Grave Robbery

               When I was a kid, I remember my Dad taking me to City Cemetery in Davenport, Iowa. A big history buff, Dad used to take me to all kinds of cemeteries while doing family history, or just some personal research on something.                 One of the older cemeteries in Scott County, City Cemetery is, …

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Help! The Need for Volunteers in Historical Organizations

                A while back, I worked with an organization in Clinton, Iowa called the Catholic Historical Center. They are dedicated to the preservation of the remaining original Catholic Churches of Clinton, as well as the preservation of the history of Catholicism in Clinton County.                 At the first meeting that I attended, I met their …

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Unsung Heroes: Small-Town Museums and County Historical Associations

             Very recently, I wrote a blog about an original section of the Lincoln Highway in Clinton County, Iowa. One of my readers had a question about it, so I told them that I would get in touch with the Lincoln Highway Association and get an answer.                 I wrote them an e-mail introducing myself …

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The Same War, But Different: The Civil War in the Dakota Territories

                Mostly when we think about the American Civil War, we think about a man who lives in one of the Northern states marching south and fighting gigantic battles against a raging Confederate army. While this was the case for thousands of young soldiers, there were battles fought against other adversaries on different fronts, as …

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