McGregor resident launches historic walking tour

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Joe Brooks

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

McGregor resident Joe Brooks is launching a guided walking tour of the community—an effort he hopes will connect locals and visitors alike with McGregor’s past.

“There’s so much history here,” Brooks said, “but it gets forgotten so easily. This will be a way of bringing that history out.”

The guided historic walking tour will be based around the booklet “Take a Walk Through Historic Downtown McGregor,” which was released a few years ago. It is available for purchase at several locations around town and contains history about many of the city’s buildings, homes and parks. Brooks hopes to enhance that.

“The tour will take participants around to the buildings, but it will also talk about the people: Samuel Merrill, Alexander MacGregor, Diamond Jo Reynolds,” Brooks explained. 

A McGregor native, Brooks will also pull from his own memory bank. His grandmother did much the same when she gave tours through her volunteerism with the McGregor Historical Museum.

“A lot of the buildings have stories, and they’re familiar places I remember,” said Brooks. “A lot of my family history is here. Maybe others will find bits of their own history that’s here.”

Guided tours will be offered every weekend. Brooks said there are no set times; interested people can set up a tour by signing up at the McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce Office (146 Main St., McGregor) or calling him at (563) 873-3674. 

Tours will start at Triangle Park, head to the riverfront, then back up Main Street to the McGregor Historical Museum and McGregor Public Library. The only fee will be the small cost to purchase the booklet.

Brooks is hopeful the tours will contribute to the McGregor experience, especially for tourists.

“It will add to the spice of McGregor,” he remarked. “It’s something more to do and participate in—something they can take back with them.”

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