In 1982/1983, the Society became active in the continuing preservation of the old Stagecoach Depot, which eventually led to the organization of the Calliope Village Project in 1983.


Calliope Village was on the radar of Ron Zachary Hill who as early as 1975 had a vision of a historical village in Hawarden.  Ron took on the task of securing funding and resources to restore “Grandma Carr’s” house back to the original old Stagecoach Depot.  With the help of Ron’s fellow Boy Scouts, Troop 209, the City, and several other volunteers, the restoration was completed.  Read the story Eagle Scout Project Turns the Past into a Landmark for Hawarden (click here).  This is just one of 50 stories by Mary Johnson and Cathy Noble to acknowledge the 125th birthday of Hawarden Iowa (2012). In total, Mary and Cathy wrote 50 stories that were published in the Hawarden Independent/Ireton Examiner.

Today there are 19 buildings in the Village.

CLICK HERE to check out the Calliope Village Interactive Map where you can click on a building to hear a brief history! 

Summer, 1976 This is a photo of the site of the former town of Calliope (1861 thru early 1900’s). At the time this photo was taken, this building, the old Stagecoach Depot, was the only building that still existed from the original town. Behind the Depot is the W.C. Walton Store. The photo was taken at the intersection of Highway 10 and 19th St.
Spring, 2020 Calliope Village as it looks today. This photo was taken on the same spot as the 1976 photo. Looking north you see the Stagecoach Depot on the corner, the W. C. Walton Store, the Carlson House, the Log Cabin, and the Aiken House. Nineteen buildings are now on the site of the former town of Calliope.
July, 1987 Calliope Village Committee Members. Back row, left to right: Lois Jean Dawson, Phyllis and Clarence Heuer, Jahnon and Hobart Wasser, Ione Miller, Marilyn and Don Dowdey, Ray McCarthy, Lester Janssen, Pete Heubner. Front row, left to right: Lawrence Muth, Louise Holtkamp, Helen & Ralph Gregg, Fritz Mellberg.

Most of the remainder of the buildings in the reconstructed Calliope Village are not part of the original Calliope.  They were either moved to the site or constructed on this site, but the Calliope Village Committee has attempted to be true to the 1870s style.  The buildings of the village come alive with period furnishings and hundreds of historical artifacts collected from around the community.

This resurrected Calliope Village is a labor of love undertaken by scores of Hawarden citizens and organizations over many decades with a strong desire to preserve our heritage for those who come after us. It is a chance to relive our history. It is a work in progress, always looking for another building or another artifact.

Lois Jean Interview by Jerry Mennenga.  Jerry is a former daily newspaper photographer who worked for various papers throughout the U.S. for over 27 years.  He now resides in Sioux City, Iowa and travels about Siouxland sharing stories about people and places he encounters such as Lois Jean Dawson, one of the co-founders of Calliope Village, on his website, lostinsiouxland.com.


Jerry met Lois Jean by chance (May, 2015) when he stopped in Hawarden to check out Calliope Village, something he had passed by several times traveling to other destinations but never stopping. Jerry later scheduled a sit down chat with Lois Jean and created this video on how Calliope Village came about and the history behind the area.  To hear the interview click here!

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