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The Road I Grew Up On
a documentary project by Helen D. Gunderson

index to posted portions of the book

Note: Most of these chapters had their final editing and formatting around 2004,
and no substantive changes have been made since then except to tighten but not
change the meaning of one section.

indicates new postings made in December 2011



Cover, parts of the front section, and table of contents

A preface in three parts
Personal reflections about engaging in the road project.

Setting the Stage
An 1804 map of the Louisiana Purchase and a Midwestern regional history.

Early Landowners
A1908 editorial from the local newspaper, The Rolfe Arrow, and a history of early large, land-owning families in the area of the road.

A Story about Baby Pigs
A meandering recollection of childhood events, using baby pigs as the theme but actually dealing more with a child's developmental issues.

Introduction to the Road
The text is the same as the script for the video

The First Farm along the Road
Traces the ownership of the property from when it was owned by the United States government and features two families who lived on the farm in the 1930s and 1940s.

Blue Ribbon Memories
Reflects on the lifestyle of a family who lives in the area and farms the first farm along the road.

The Next Farms along the Road
Interviews with two women who lived on the farm owned by the Brinkman family and a look at the Reigelsberger family and its farm.

The Farm Where I Grew Up
A look at the Gunderson farm.

The Middle Farms  
A look at the Cornwell, Harrold, and Howard farms.

The Last Barn
Photographs of the barn at the Howard farm. It is the last barn standing
along the road.

Wrestling with a Heritage
Explores a love-hate perspective in relation to a range of issues, including that of what was interpreted, rightly or wrongly, as male privilege.

Farm Equipment
A survey of changes in agricultural equipment during the Twentieth Century. (Permission for Internet use received for three archival images were unblocked on February 4, 2009.)

A Harvest Walk
A sequel to the previous chapter. It questions the impact of modern agriculture.

The West Farms
Includes the farm where the Jordan family lived, the land owned by the Shimon and Grant families, and the farm at the end of the road.

Dealing with Death
Some of the material in this chapter was originally written on September 14, 2001, on the national day of mourning following the September 11 attacks on the United State. The chapter also tells of how the family of Don Grant, one of the key story-tellers in the road project, dealt with his death.

People and Their Stories
Contains an introduction, then is solely a collection of thoughts transcribed from taped interviews with people associated with the road.

Includes an outline prepared in 1995 of the people who lived along the road in various eras. There is also an article, The Swamplands, written in 1884 and included in R.E. Flickenger's book The Early History of Iowa and Pioneer History of Pocahontas County published in 1904 by the Fonda Times.


The final chapter has not been written.

All rights reserved, Helen D. Gunderson, 2012.

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