History for the future

Friday, September 13, 2019

Main News Photo

Hans Madsen

Members of the Leadership Fort Dodge 2019-20 Class got a look at some of Fort Dodge’s rich history and a preserved historic home Thursday during the first of their nine monthly sessions.

The series of daylong learning sessions, sponsored by the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, will each focus on a different aspect of the community.

Jill Nelson, community development director for the Growth Alliance, said the program has several goals.

“We’re hoping that throughout the program they find an area that they’re really into that they can get involved and get engaged with,” Nelson said. “We hope they take on leadership roles or volunteer roles.”

One of their stops Thursday was the Ringland-Smeltzer House at 1019 Second Ave. S.

“Every year this is a participant’s favorite,” she said.

During the tour, the participants learned both about the home, and its last resident, Ann Smeltzer, from Nancy Griffel.

“She gave a lot of art for the Blanden,” Griffel said. “She helped put Fort Dodge on the map.”

Smeltzer liked to read, too.

“There’s over 5,000 books in the house,” Griffel said.

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