After the railroad company platted the town of Kalona a few businesses quickly moved from the surrounding pioneer towns to get a foothold in the new “railroad town”. The majority of lots platted were owned by the What Cheer Land & Coal Company and eventually sold to entrepreneurs starting their own businesses. The third exhibit will occupy 75% of the newly built Wahl Museum space. A small scale replica of the town of Kalona will be created. The original streets of Manatt, Myers, Barnes and Shaver will divide the area into six blocks, each block consisting of three to five stores. The stores in the first two blocks will depict the 1879-1900 time period. The 1900-1925 time periods will be depicted in the next two blocks and the 1925-1950 time periods will be depicted in the last two blocks. The store fronts will be modeled from authentic photographs of the stores during the appropriate time period and the interior will be created also using photographs for guidance and authentic artifacts currently in storage at the museum.
Over the past two years research, interviews and consultation with experts in the field have been conducted to ensure the historical representation of our local history is accurate and as complete as possible. The connections between people and events have been a focus to provide more relevance and significance to the project.