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Bed 1.HEIC

Room Histories


Barry Kemp

ate in the Pattee Hotel at night... It was kind of cafe style and as hotels have a tendency to do there tended to be mostly older people that were there. It wasn't really frequented by businessmen or things like that downtown. It tended to be people who retired that would come in. Guys who were retired would sit in there and have coffee and talk or they would sit in the lobby and talk and it was summer and it was hot and not everything was air-conditioned but the hotel was. So I think it was a place where people could come in and get cool. It was a little bit of a gathering place from that standpoint."

During his early years in high school, Barry took part in such theater productions as "The Wizard of Oz," "Thurber Carnival," and a one-act version of "Inherit the Wind."

Barry honed his burgeoning talent into a degree in Speech and Dramatic Arts from Iowa and just six years later was writing for "Taxi." In 1981, Barry created a show for Bob Newhart called "Newhart" which earned him two Emmy nominations. Then, in 1988, Barry had another hit on his hands with "Coach" which continued to score in the Neilsen Top 10. Barry purchased the Long Beach (California) Ice Dogs, the result of a lifetime love of sports, cultivated in the Midwest.

Barry Kemp Room

Most people will find Barry Kemp's credentials familiar - writer for the hit television show "Taxi," creator of "Newhart" and "Coach," owner of professional hockey team, the Long Beach Ice Dogs. Fewer people are as familiar with Barry Kemp's originals - distinctly Midwest.

Born in Hannibal, Missouri and educated at the University of Iowa, Barry Kemp spent more than two years (1963-1965) living in Perry and, for a short time, called the Hotel Pattee home. In 1963, Barry's father was transferred to Perry to head the Oscar Mayer meat processing plant. While waiting to move into their new home on Willis Avenue, the family took up residence at "The Hotel" as Barry remembers it. Only 13 at the time, Barry familiarized himself with the town through self-guided walking tours. "The hotel was very old, I  remember there was a kind of musty smell to it. I remember the transoms above the doors and the carpet was kind of  flowered. It was a very old hotel," Barry remembered. "We 

1913 Farmhouse

No one ever said life on a farm was easy, but it was good.

The farmer was up at dawn, tending up to 120 acres by himself with nothing but his horses for help. A variety of cast iron and steel implements, courtesy of the industrial revolution, helped somewhat, but it was hard work.

In more than 50 years, farming had grown considerably, with farm size tripling. In 1913, farmers found themselves in the middle of a farming boom with demand far outweighing supply. This was known as the "Gold Age of Agriculture." Farm


families produced everything they needed for survival, and during this time, they were able to produce excess and sell for profit. Progress had changed everything, even the farmhouse.

Farmhouses were no longer made of log but framed, and brightly painted. The house was filled with manufactured and hand-made furniture, cooking utensils, pottery, and other items ordered from mail order catalogues. The tasks of the house fell to the wife and her work day was never done. After breakfast was prepared and consumed, school lunches packed, and the children sent off to school, the real day began. Monday was wash day, Tuesday for ironing, and Wednesday for baking.

1913 Farmhouse Room

It seemed that almost as soon as the farmer and the children were out of the house, they were back for the midday meal, the largest of the day. They dined on what they could produce: corn, potatoes, pork, beef, oats, chicken, fruits, and vegetables. Family and farming were the farmers basic social unit. Trips to town were reserved for once a week.

The work day ended when the work was done and the sun disappeared. Dinner was prepared on a large wood-burning stove and eaten in the wood-floored kitchen. The living room, where rugs covered the wood floor and the comfortable furniture was displayed, was saved for company and special occasions.

In addition to the farmhouse, other buildings on the farm included a corn crib, hog house, chicken house, machine shed, outhouse, and a windmill pump.

Bill Bell

They come from all over Iowa and surrounding states: Des Moines, Ankeny, Iowa City, Knoxville, Tennessee. They are tuba players who "just enjoy music" and who want to "honor the greatest tuba player who ever lived." This tuba player is Bill Bell, and he is honored every year in perry, Iowa at the annual William Bell Memorial Tuba and Euphonium Day.


In ancient Rome, the word tuba was defined as a four foot straight trumpet. The tuba as we know it was not built until 1835 by Johann Moritz. Long known for the oom-pah style music and the stereotypical player, the tuba gained a new found respect because of the artistry of Bill Bell.

Born on Christmas day 1902 in Creston, Iowa, Bell has been quoted as saying he was attracted to the tuba for its "bigness and brightness." Having learned to play the instrument as an eight year old boy, his first professional job and debut was made with the W. W. Norton Chautauqua band in 1917 at the age of fifteen. He then went on to study at the University of

Bill Bell Room

North Dakota for two years before joining the famed John Philip Sousa Band.

After playing with the NBC Symphony Orchestra from 1937 to 1943, Bell reached the top of his profession he joined the New York Philharmonic in 1943, a position he held for eighteen years. During this time, he also maintained teaching positions with a number of organizations: The Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Columbia Teachers College, Julliard School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, and Indiana University. While playing with the NBC Orchestra, its director Arturo Toscanini was quoted many times as saying that Bill Bell was the greatest tubist in the world. Although Bill Bell's credentials included universities, schools of music, and philharmonics and even though he raised the level of the tuba and tubists to new heights, he never tired of the sheer pleasure playing the tuba brought him.

Bill Bell died on August 7, 1971 in Perry, where his sister, Ruth Rankin, lived. He is buried in the Violet Hill Cemetery.


In 1959, a devastating typhoon struck the Japanese state of Yamanashi. With its vast amount of natural resources, Iowa

Japanese Room featuring a new quilt by a member of the Perry Piecemakers Quilt Guild

responded to Yamanashi's cry for help with Jersey cows, breeding hods, and 100,000 bushels of corn. This sparked what was to become Iowa's first sister state relationship. The favor was later reciprocated by Yamanashi when, in 1993, Yamanashi sent thousands of dollars in aid to Iowa when the state was nearly incapacitated by floods.

These are only two of the many examples of the long-standing and durable relationship between Iowa and Yamanashi. Iowa's sister state associations are characterized by a strong emphasis on education and it is no different in the case of Yamanashi. Educational exchanges made it possible 


for students of all ages from both Iowa and Yamanashi to experience decidedly different cultures.

Japanese Room

Yamanashi Prefecture (or state) is a picturesque area located southwest of Tokyo. At the time, home to 840,000 people. Yamanashi Prefecture is also home to waterfalls, rivers, lakes, orchards, vineyards, and the northern face of Mt. Fuji.

In addition to Iowa's sister state alliance with Yamanashi, six Iowa cities have had sister city relationships with Japan: Des Moines and Kofu (the capital city of Yamanashi known for its production of crystalware and grapes), Muscatine and Ichikawadaimon, Le Mars and Sutama, Marshalltown and Kushigata, Keokuk and Ryuo, and Ames and Enzah.


As early as 1510, Dutch ships were venturing into United States waters for trading purposes. In 1625, they established the colony of New Amsterdam on the Atlantic coast. By 1644, New Amsterdam was a bustling metropolis boasting eighteen languages, 120 houses, and a population of 1000 people. However, the Dutch never stopped clashing with English and Swedish traders in New Amsterdam. The ownership of this new colony flipped back and forth between the Dutch and the English until 1674 when the British captured New Amsterdam and renamed it New York.


This development all but stopped Dutch immigration into the United States until 1820. Between the years 1820 and 1920, the United States saw 340,000 immigrants arrive from the Netherlands. In 1900, there were 105,000 Hollanders in the United States and 30,000 of these were found in Michigan, 22,000 in Illinois, and 10,000 in Iowa. By 1910, 30,000 more had arrived, and by 1915, there were 12,638 Dutch in Iowa, making it the United States' fourth largest immigrant group. The cause of this mass immigration to the United States was similar to that experienced by most ethnic groups at the time: poor economies, social unrest, and religious persecution.

Dutch Room

In 1847, a Hollander named Dominie Hendrik Pieter Scholte arrived in Iowa with 800 followers and purchased 18,000 acres in Marion County. Seeking a new home and religious freedom, these new settlers founded the city of Pella, located southeast of Des Moines. The census of 1856 recorded 2,112 Dutch in 31 counties in Iowa. By 1860 that number had increased to 2,615 and by 1870, there were 4,513 Dutch in Iowa (or one-tenth of all Dutch in the United States). Eventually the 1950 census would rank Iowa sixth in the nation in terms of Dutch population with 6,078 inhabitants.

Evidence of Dutch life can be seen throughout Iowa. The community of Pella, complete with Klokkenspel (clock tower), tulip festivals every May, and Delft factories, is a prime example of the type of culture that the Dutch brought with them to the United States. Dutch influence in Iowa can also be seen in the presence of three Dutch universities: Dordt College in Sioux Center, Central College in Pella, and Northwestern College in Orange City.

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