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New History Plaques in Downtown Colfax!

Scott Miller from The Colfax Public Library preparing to install the library's plaque. The historic library was built in 1913.

Take a look at these gorgeous new aluminum history plaques which are popping up on buildings in downtown Colfax! One of the goals of the Colfax Main Street program is to promote the historic preservation of Colfax’s downtown architecture. We believe that our unique historic buildings are a commercial and cultural asset to our community, and our volunteers have been developing educational resources that promote and interpret the history of our downtown. One of these resources is the Spring City Stories Historic Walking Tour, which is a self-guided walking tour of downtown Colfax’s Spring City Commercial Historic District. This walking tour uses pamphlets, posters, and aluminum plaques to educate participants and passers-by about the unique history of our downtown buildings. In July of 2018, Colfax Main Street received the Community Betterment Grant from Prairie Meadows Racetrack, Casino, and Hotel of Altoona, Iowa to create four additional history plaques for our walking tour. Prairie Meadows had also previously granted Colfax funds to create our first four history plaques in 2016, which you may have already seen in downtown Colfax.

Prairie Meadows has had a long history of supporting local historical resource development projects such as Colfax's walking tour. Prairie Meadows Director of Communication, Julie Stewart said about our project, “As a nonprofit organization, Prairie Meadows fulfills its mission by giving back to organizations that support arts and culture, education, economic development, and human services. We are excited to see the impact this project will have on our Central Iowa community.”

Colfax Main Street would like to thank Prairie Meadows for graciously gifting us funds for this project.

One of the new history plaques on 1 West Howard Street in Downtown Colfax

Over the past year, Colfax Main Street Board Member and CMHS educator Korie Whiteman spearheaded the project and compiled a large amount of research about Colfax’s buildings to write the content of the plaques. She was assisted with research and editing by local volunteers Karen Russell, Judy Sullivan, Karen Cross, Brad Magg, Brian Kern, Joe Dvorak, Dave Mast, Jill Miller, Stuart Patterson, and Cindy Van Dusseldorp. Local Jasper County historian Larry Hurto also helped provide information and historic photos of the buildings. Crew members from The Colfax Public Works Department and volunteers from The Colfax Public Library used their skill and expertise to properly install these plaques on the buildings. Colfax Main Street would like to thank all the volunteers that pitched in time and effort to make this project possible.

You can see these new plaques on The Colfax Public Library Building (25 W. Division St.), The Cain/Cross/Magg Building (1 W. Howard St.), and The Old Masonic Hall/Briggs’ Building (112/114 N. Walnut St.). The plaque for the Ford Garage/Star Theatre/Triangle Lanes Building (20 W. Howard St.) will be installed at a later date once the building’s renovation into Colfax’s new City Hall and Police Station is completed.


This project was funded by the Community Betterment Grant from Prairie Meadows Racetrack, Casino, and Hotel of Altoona, Iowa.

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