Museum Dedicated To Preserving Cedar County History
Located east of Iowa City, nested among the hills and farms of Cedar County, you will find the town of Tipton. Many of the buildings have unusual and historical backgrounds. On the west side of the square across from the courthouse, you can find such a building at 421 Cedar Street, the 1883 site of the Grand Army of the Republic, William Beaver Post #110. Several years ago, Pam Garwood Freet bought this building with the hopes of starting a business. She has always been interested in antiques and the stories they could tell. As the investigation began into the history of the building, it became clear that the building's original use needed to be preserved for future generations.
Throughout the Civil War, wounded veterans, widows and orphan children needed help and support from their community. It was for rights and freedom of their friends, neighbors and families that these men and women fought and died. In 1861, the Cedar It County Soldier's Relief Association was formed. But after the Civil War was over, it became clear that the Veterans needed a place to share their experiences with others that would understand.
It was at this time that the Grand Army of the Republic post was formed in Tipton to be named after the first soldier for this community who died as a result of that conflict. In March 1862, William Beaver fell near New Madrid, MO. When they became engaged in several skirmishes and they lost their first men to rebel bullets. William Beaver left behind a wife and five children in the Tipton area. We hope in this brief introduction that we have peaked your curiosity . The success of Pam Garwood Freet's project depends on you and we hope to see you soon.
Of course none of this would be possible without the love and support of Jim and Norma Jean Garwood. They are the two people that taught Pam that anything is possible if you can dream, work hard and believe that it can be done.