DeWitt Iowa

Saturday Mom and I went to breakfast at the Sunrise Cafe.   Upon entering we saw a table full of Red Hats and knew we were in a place with good food.  Red Hat ladies often know how to cook good food, and I trust their judgement in the places they choose to eat at.

We seated ourselves and the waitress came over like jiffy on the spot.  I asked her (loudly) if she was from DeWitt and could she recommend things for us to do in town.

A couple right behind us, Dean and Lori Holst, pipped right up and said they could help suggest a few places.  They own Holst Construction and are avid fans of DeWitt.  Dean has volunteered time to help move a building from Germany called the HausBarn and then reconstruct it in their historic park.  This building was used as a home on one end, and animals were stored on the other end.

The HausBarn now hosts the DeWitt Chamber of Commerce on the home end, and is a museum on the animal end.  The roof is thatched (about a foot deep) and the building is made from brick.  When they rebuilt it, they also added a full basement underneath.   We drove over to view it, and Dean showed up and gave us a brief tour of the exterior.

Dean and Lori also suggested we visit the grand opening at the new school.  DeWitt, Grand Mound, Low Moor and Welton all attend Central Community Schools DeWitt.  They’ve built a new school to house students 4th through high school.  Mom is a retired school teacher, and we thought this might be a lot of fun.  We were right.  As expected the school had a brand new beautiful gymnasium, student sitting area and nice classrooms.  What was not expected, and we were happy to see, was their auditorium.  I walked in and just wanted to sit down and see a play.  The stage is raised, the seats tilt up on their way back, the backstage area is huge and no mics are needed to perform.  Also in the new building are new music and drama classrooms.  I think the Arts will be alive and well in this school – and you know that makes for well rounded educated children.   The local community raised 4.3 million dollars from private donations – what a great testament to the education of their students!

Lori also told us to go to the True Value store and get the keys for the Opera House next door.  The Opera House shows live plays and movies.  Their current play is August 4-6 and they are doing Harvey.   We spoke to the actor Mr. Pritchard and the director.  30 years ago they performed Harvey and there is now a 94 year old woman in this version – who performed 30 years ago as well.  That is the joy of community theatre – anyone can be involved and everyone supports you.  Here’s an interview with the director Brian and actor Lou.

Mom and I give a thumbs up to DeWitt Iowa – and recommend it as a place on Lincoln Highway in Iowa you should visit!

Deb Brown and Shirley During are working on a book called Lincoln, Mom and Me.  They travel the Lincoln Highway in Iowa, take pictures, make movies and write about the people they meet and the stories they hear.  This mother daughter team love to travel and listen to stories along the way.  You can find just a few of these visits and stories here on  Simply search for Lincoln in the search box. 


  1. Lorie on August 13, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    I love it Deb!! Look forward to reading more of your and Aunt Shirley’s adventures!!

  2. Jade on November 12, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    I stumbled across this rather late, but I wanted to say thank you for such a nice write up about my hometown. Dean and Lori are my parents and I’m so glad they had a chance to show you the beauty of DeWitt 🙂

    • deb on November 18, 2013 at 12:05 am

      you are welcome! Glad you found it, and they were wonderful.

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