Featured History

Featured Boone Historical Person

Kate Shelley

July 6, 1881 is a date forever embedded in Boone County’s history. As midnight drew near and a wild storm raged, a girl of 15 crawled across the widely-separated ties of the railroad bridge that spanned the Des Moines River. She needed to tell railroad officials that an engine had crashed into Honey Creek on the other side of the river when the trestle gave way in flood waters. The lives of four men hung in the balance.

After inching her way across the dangerous bridge while thunder, lightning, and trees crashed around her, Kate Shelley staggered into Moingona’s Chicago and Northwestern Railroad Depot, told officials about the crashed engine, and warned of the peril faced by the passenger train due later that night.

After relaying her urgent information, Kate found the strength and determination to lead a rescue party back across the bridge to the place where the survivors were clinging to life, and the two men who were still alive were saved.

Kate Shelley

Featured Boone Historical Place

Camp Hantesa – A Camp of High Ideals

For over 100 summer seasons, Camp Hantesa has been building self-reliance and confidence in young people from Iowa and many other surrounding states. 

This display doesn’t show you the sparkle in a child’s eye as they discover something new, as they look through candlelight on Magic Hill, their surprise at a bird call in the woods, their faith as they take their counselor’s hand, or their smile when they have done something well.

What’s kept this camp thriving? The commitment to diversity and inclusion, incorporating youth’s voice into all they do, and their intentional efforts to reflect, evolve, and use cutting-edge research to best meet the needs of today’s families, plus remarkable alumni and supporters.

“Hantesa” in the Native American Lakota language means “red cedar.” Just as the needles on a red cedar tree point upward, so does the promise of the next century. In today’s technology-focused age, with more and more stress being put on families and youth, Camp Hantesa has become even more important to accomplishing Camp Fire’s mission.

Camp remains a place where youth come to feel safe, to disconnect from technology, to experience nature, to make friends, to have fun, and to contribute to a community. The aim for the next century is steadfastly up – to reach more young people from more places, to link adult tradition with youthful discovery, and to exercise all of the creative flexibility for which their programs are known. 

Kate Shelley

Featured Historical Photos