Ira Sturdevant House

Ira Sturdevant House


Preservation of Stucco on the exterior of Ira Sturdevant House is being completed by two of CUNA Mutual Group teams.
📷: Wartburg Wrestling is keeping Waverly great with our service project. We helped restore the oldest house in Waverly, the historic Ira Sturdevant House. ‬
The historical Sturdevant House (1855-56) is looking for volunteers for Heritage Days Events Saturday, July 20 and Sunday, July 21st at the house at 502 1st St. SW. Most activities start at 12 noon both days.

1. We are looking for tour guides to be at a station along 1st. St. SW to read a script of your historical area or site (all you have to do is greet people on the tour and read your script.
2. Cooks. To bake a pie or a pan of bars for our donation luncheon on Saturday, at the house.
3. Willing to donate supplies for said luncheon-sturdy paper plates and dessert plates, plastic forks, napkins.
4. For the Garden Tour and Garden Party on Sunday, donate flowers from your yard to be made into a bouquet or donate a bouquet to sell. We will give recognition to the buyer of who donated it unless you tell us otherwise.

5. Make treats for the Garden Party. Mini sandwiches (cucumber cream cheese, or any open face sandwich or dainty sweet treats.

6. Or maybe you would like to be a hostess either day and greet visitors or help sell historical items/food at the house.

7. Help with the food serving on either day, at the house.

Let me know or invite others to message me that you think would be willing to help. This weekend is one of the biggest fundraising events the Ira Sturdevant House Board has done to help pay for restoring one of the oldest houses in Waverly for example, the new roof that was put on last week.

We are a Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area site, that helps preserve historic agricultural landmarks. The SW Sturdevant Addition including the Ira Sturdevant House Site in Waverly was once a vital ag area and tells a story and is a history lesson of early settlers and their contributions to making Waverly what it is today.

The Ira & Asenath Sturdevant House: A Living History Project New England Yankee Pioneers

Ira H. Serving as a militiaman under Capt. In 1857, he added a barn.

Sturdevant was born in Tinmouth, Rutland County, Vermont, on April 28, 1793. His parents were Caleb Sturdevant, a veteran of the American Revolution, and Miriam Howe. Altogether, Caleb and Miriam had eleven children, of whom Ira was the fifth. Ira’s Building Skills
In February 1813, Caleb moved his family to Ellisburg, Jefferson County, New York, which had recently been opened for settlement.

Operating as usual


United Way Day of Caring TruStage Helpers. Sept. 13, 2023 Creating a historical 1800s garden. See final outcome in comments.

Another group of volunteers from TruStage Insurance is at Ira Sturdevant Historical House today providing landscaping.
Ira Sturdevant House

Photos from Ira Sturdevant House's post 09/14/2023

Thank you to the United Way Day of Caring volunteers from CUNA Mutual (Trustage) for helping to revamp and plant our new 1800s Historic Garden. Thanks to our Board Members for their planning, organizing, and laboring!! An antique brick path will finish it off. Looking for a horse hitching post to add to it; if you know of one, message us. We hope to someday have funding to put a smaller historical sign explaining the plants/flowers and what gardens were like in the 1800s.


Help us raise money for the restoration of the Ira & Aseneth Sturdevant Historical House (502 1st. St. SW, Waverly) by just eating at Applebee's, Waverly, Iowa.
"Together We Care Tuesday" fundraising event.
***Tuesday Sept. 12. 11AM-Close***
Mark your calendars, tell all your friends, family, coworkers, etc. Go and enjoy one of the tasty meals highlighted on the flyer.
fyi: This event is good only at the Waverly, IA Applebee's location and funds raised only ON menu items identified on the poster.
Have a group that needs a meeting place that day? Choose Applebee's/Waverly. Don't feel like cooking? Don't feel like Dine In? Order ahead for pick up or CarSide to Go orders, also qualify.

Photos from Ira Sturdevant House's post 07/18/2023

THANK YOU to all who attended our Open House Event this past weekend! The Ira Sturdevant Historical House 502 First St. SW hosted locally famed, teen musician James Aissen at the house, for tours, music and a “slice of summer." If you're interested in being a volunteer to help with events, donations, or for a private tour please message us!

Sturdevant House to host local musician July 16 07/13/2023

We will also be serving a slice of pie and watermelon for a donation and fundraiser to fix a cracked wall in the historic structure.
The Ira Sturdevant Historical House 502 First St. SW will host locally famed, teen musician James Aissen at their open house, for tours, music and a “slice of summer” this Sunday, July 16, 2023 from 1-4 p.m.

Sturdevant House to host local musician July 16 The Ira Sturdevant Historical House 502 First St. SW will host locally famed, teen musician James Aissen at their open house, for tours, music and a “slice of summer” this

Photos from Ira Sturdevant House's post 07/11/2023
Photos from Ira Sturdevant House's post 07/11/2023

Press Release, for immediate publication: 7-10-23
The Ira Sturdevant Historical House 502 First St. SW will host locally famed, teen musician James Aissen at their open house, for tours, music and a “slice of summer” this Sunday, July 16, 2023 from 1-4pm. See what the Sturdevant House will be as a working museum and what artifacts they have found already in the 1856 house. The Sturdevants were one of several founding families of Waverly and the house is located on historical First Street S.W., formerly Water Street, and has many historical sites identified already. Take a stroll to the Sturdevant House, pick up a walking tour brochure, ice cream coupons, and listen to some great folk music, by local pianist, James Aissen. Music was an important part of the Sturdevant Family, and like James, Frank Sturdevant played for many public events, weddings, funerals, at church and for entertainment at home. Frank Sturdevant comes from a long tradition of musical talent in the family, including playing music for and serving, in World War I with his cousin Dorlan Lovejoy. Sturdevant started playing violin when he was three years old. In 1852 William and Lafayette Sturdevant and his younger brother LaFayette, came to Iowa from their home in Illinois to scout out a place to use Ira’s War of 1812 Bounty and Claim for land. The men worked for a time near Quasqueton-Buchanan County, working on the prairie land. Nearby Indians had talked about the beautiful valley on the Cedar River, several miles above Independence, Iowa; so the Sturdevant Brothers set out to find this mecca. -They traveled through the Big Woods section of Bremer County coming out on a knoll on the Eastern side of Waverly, overlooking the Cedar River with a beautiful sight of waving grass and prairie flowers, wooded areas and the beautiful river before them, today known as Lover’s Lane or Cedar Lane Road; where there is currently a tucked away park. It made an impression on them. So they returned home to tell their families with the hopes of settling in Waverly soon after. And the next year they did just that. Building cabins in the now rural area of Waverly.-In the Spring of 1854 William Sturdevant and his brother LaFayette, brought their family to Waverly and that Fall, their father Ira, his wife Asenath, and their family, joined them. -In December of that year LaFayette and Sarah Ogden became the 12th couple to be married in Bremer County. The Ogden Family were also early settlers of Waverly.-As the “village” of Waverly was just starting, Ira entered a homestead of 40 acres in the city limits, calling in his claim for his war service. Here he had a small working farm, a carriage house barn, and one can only imagine, a garden, fruit trees, outhouse, cistern, and more. His elder son William bought 80 acres, Both men “allowed” the city to later make streets and alleys within the acres platting out what are still to this day, the SW neighborhoods of Waverly. This is still known as the Ira Sturdevant addition, in SW Waverly, from the river to the East side of 4th St. or old highway 218 and the William Sturdevant addition, the land is now SW Waverly on the Western side of 4th St. or old highway 218. William also built the first bridge over the Cedar River for crossing from West to the East side of Waverly, but it was lost in a flood the following year. -Ira built the old brick house at 502 First St. SW (then known as Water Street) in 1856. Rough measurements of the layout and family history back up this construction date, with an addition put on several years after that. Family and Waverly History states that the Indians knew they had a friend in the Sturdevant Family, and would often, when traveling North, stop at the Ira and Asenath Sturdevant House for a place to sleep at night in front of the hearth and a warm breakfast the next morning, before crossing the river or the ford, that was not far from Ira’s house, to proceed North. -Ira died in the house on April 12, 1862. Photo: in text message: Frank Sturdevant and his violin ABOUT THE MUSICIAN: James Aissen is 17 years old and lives in Clarksville, Iowa. He began playing the drums at an early age. In October 2016, James started taking piano lessons and hasn't stopped playing since. He found that he really enjoyed playing the piano and that it came easily. Along with piano, James currently plays the guitar, bass, drums, and organ. In September 2017, James began composing and notating his own original songs. In January of 2019, he released his first album, “The First”. It includes 12 solo piano originals. In November 2019, he released his second album, “Winter Dreams," which is a holiday album. It includes four originals, and eight Christmas Classics arranged with a Mannheim Steamroller feel. In July of 2021, he released his third album, “Lighter Than Air,” which consists of 13 original songs and one arrangement. Many songs are multi-instrumental, and three feature James playing guitar and drums. James’ musical interests include Orchestral, Jazz, Progressive Rock, Contemporary, Pop, Classic Rock, Classical, and Hymns. James' musical influences include Mannheim Steamroller, “Trans-Siberian Orchestra,” Yanni, Havasi, David Lanz, Van Halen, Pink Floyd, “Emerson, Lake & Palmer,” and Dream Theater. James plays at a variety of public and private events, as well as at churches around the area. James is in the process of releasing his fourth album and plans to have it out on CD and streaming platforms by the summer of 2023. More information about James can be found on his website:


Join us! Details forthcoming. Have you looked at our website recently?

The wait is finally over!!😁💥Here is our full schedule for the weekend. Can't wait to see you July 13th-16th at Waverly Heritage Days

KWAY WaverlyKWAY Waverly
Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier
Waverly Newspapers
City of Waverly

Photos from Ira Sturdevant House's post 07/21/2022

Thank you to all who came out last night for the Celebration of the History of Early Southwest Waverly: the Farmers Exchange-Rock Island Depot- South Riverside Park-and Ira and William Sturdevant Historic Districts and of course, a historic celebration of the Rock Island Railroad. We heard lot's of stories and many relatives of former RR depot/station conductors and station masters attended. Including the descendants of Waverly's RI RR Shortline Conductor Mitchell. September 1919 – Short Line conductor Milton G. “Mitch” Mitchell retired. He had been the conductor since 1891 and had landscaped the park surrounding the passenger depot. In 1926, a granite monument honoring Mitchell was placed at the trunk of a tree he had planted near the riverbank. Mitchell died in Waverly on 8 December 1921 and
was buried in Harlington Cemetery. The new Rock Island agent at Waverly was Ben H. Van Heel, who remained on the job until his retirement on 31 January 1955.
Thank you to the Ira Sturdevant Historical House board and members for helping!

Photos from Ira Sturdevant House's post 07/20/2022

Rick Sturdevant, PhD, is the descendant of Waverly founders. His current position is as the First Command Historian of STARCOM, an expert in space history. Tonight (6:30) at Waverly's Farmers Exchange he will share the historical patterns of Sturdevant ancestors who developed Southwest Waverly in the age of river and railroad transportation, and talk about the history of the Rock Island Railroad in this part of Waverly.


This is a picture from the Web rather than my own, but I wanted to share that we saw our first ever white-tailed fox squirrel at Ira's house today!

Photos from Ira Sturdevant House's post 07/16/2022

The Ira and Asenath Sturdevant House will be open for tours after the Waverly Heritage Days Parade, today, Saturday, and Sunday, July 17, 2022 from 2-4pm.

A historic celebration of the Rock Island Railroad, reconstruction of the Farmers Exchange and Co-op area of South Riverside Park, and a railroad history presentation, will take place on Wednesday, July 20, 6:00 p.m. Formal program at 6:30pm. Sponsored by the Ira Sturdevant House (National Register of Historic Places), historian and southwest Waverly native, Rick W. Sturdevant, Ph.D., will share the colorful history of the area in a presentation at the historic Farmers Exchange Building on the corner of 1st. St. S.W. and 2nd Ave. S.W., starting at 6:00 p.m. with a formal presentation at 6:30 p.m.

Wartburg College graduate and former Waverly Historic Preservation Commission Intern, Zachary Brunkhorst, did the research and graphic design of the new historic signs and has designed several more, if funding becomes available to have them made. Donations toward this or the Sturdevant House renovation projects can be made at the event. Zachary also created smaller posters housed inside the Farmers Exchange Building, of the co-op and exchange histories.

Residents are asked to bring their stories of the area, and possibly be recorded for use on the city’s historic preservation webpage, which can be reached with a QR Code, via smart phone or tablet, for more information. Listen to and exchange stories of the Rock Island Railroad and this historic First Street SW area. Travel down the street to tour the Ira and Asenath Sturdevant Historical House at 502 1st. St. S.W., then check out the new Green Bridge Memorial and Stereoscope project in South Riverside Park. Refreshments will be served.
The Ira Sturdevant Historical House will be open Saturday after the parade and Sunday 2-4p.m.

Photos from Ira Sturdevant House's post 09/26/2021

Thank you to everyone who came for pie and the bake sale. What a lovely afternoon. The bugs got bad for a little bit then the breeze blew them away. It was wonderful working with the Bremer County Historical Society (Museum) on this car cruise project. Slowly but surely, we will share all the great stories of Waverly's/Bremer County's history. Thank you all! Barb Lovejoy Hess, Teri Heimann, Terry Lindell, Zachary Brunkhorst, Karalynn Brunkhorst, Elizabeth Hartmann, Gary Emkes, Rosemary Weidler, and more!

Photos from Ira Sturdevant House's post 09/26/2021

Sturdevant House Board is having a bake sale today, at 1:30pm-? as a part of the BCHS Classic Car Cruise. Bake Sale open to the public, car cruise you must RSVP for.

Photos from Ira Sturdevant House's post 09/25/2021

Thank you to local volunteers who have helped us spruce up Ira's House! We appreciate you all!

Photos from Ira Sturdevant House's post 07/19/2021

Join History Professor Kathy Sturdevant as she explores the writings of Fredrika Bremer (yes there has been controversy over the spelling of her name), how she is tied to the naming of our county, and a brief introduction of her from a short Wartburg Student Capstone Senior Documentary, produced in part by Ira Sturdevant House junior board member, Zachary Brunkhorst. Wednesday, July 21, 6:30pm, Trinity United Methodist Church-Waverly.Swedish author Fredrika Bremer (1801-1865) was so popular a visitor to America in 1850 that Iowa’s governor named Bremer County after her. Yet she did more than enthusiastically praise America in her books. American literati and politicians bent over backwards to impress her. She then characterized Americans culturally and politically, with sharp and humorous awareness of racial, class, and gender distinctions. She directly interacted with African slaves and Indigenous cultures, not just Northern and Southern Whites. Americans and Europeans relished her sharp, witty portrayals of society. Through her books and direct activism, she was one of the first European women to openly campaign for gender equity, and her reputation lent women’s rights new respect.
-About the presenter: Katherine Scott Sturdevant is Professor of History at Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs. She is known in Waverly for preservation, especially of her husband Rick’s ancestral home, the Ira Sturdevant House. She also served as Historical Editor for the State Historical Society of Iowa. She has published two books, many articles, and is a popular speaker. She will be speaking this year at the national conference of the Society for the Study of American Women Writers, comparing Fredrika Bremer with Harriet Beecher Stowe on behalf of the Stowe Society.

Photos from Ira Sturdevant House's post 05/22/2021

Celebrating May Preservation Month with tours along historic First Street S.W. Waverly today, including the Ira Sturdevant House. Stop by the newly renovated Farmers Exchange Building in the 200 block, read the new historic sign by 4 Queens (The Depot), tour the old Waverly High School/Jr. High building, or pick up a brochure and take a walking tour of any of the historic neighborhoods, especially the William Sturdevant Addition. 11/23/2019

This would be just awesome to do along 1st St. SW historic corridor in Waverly and in the Ira House neighborhood!!!


Thanks to the Wartburg Wrestlers and coaches for all your hard work for the United Way Day of Caring spruce up at the Ira Sturdevant Historical House!

Left to right, back row:
Michael Lundin, Kobey Pritchard, Brady Fritz, Max Forsyth, Coach Keller, and Nick Meling. Front row: Coach Dolly, Ahmad Eftin, Joaquin Bautista, Zayren Terukina, and Bronson Harmon.

📷: Wartburg Wrestling is keeping Waverly great with our service project. We helped restore the oldest house in Waverly, the historic Ira Sturdevant House. ‬


The Bremer County Historical Society invited Rick and Kathy Sturdevant to ride on its float in the Heritage Days parade this year!


Thanks to all our supporters!!

We had a great weekend of events at the Ira and Asenath Sturdevant House this past weekend. History is alive in Waverly!


Thanks to all our supporters!

We had a great weekend of events at the Ira and Asenath Sturdevant House this past weekend. History is alive in Waverly!

Heritage Days Weekend at the Ira Sturdevant House 07/25/2019

We had a great weekend of events at the Ira and Asenath Sturdevant House this past weekend. History is alive in Waverly!


Remember the Ira Sturdevant House when you shop on Amazon, as a percent of your purchase goes to fund the restoration of Waverly's oldest house. You must shop through this website, pick the charity-Ira Sturdevant House, as your charity. You can also add this specific site to your google toolbar.

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Photos from Ira Sturdevant House's post 09/10/2017

Remembering and honoring Jeanette Grant, who passed today at 101. She was the "queen" of the Ira Sturdevant House. No supporter was more determined that it succeed. Jeanette came to meet and hear us the first time we spoke to Waverly as a presentation about the house history. She fondly remembered her mailman of so many years, Frank Sturdevant. We have loved her ever since. Prayers and blessings to her family, including ISH Board members Elizabeth and Catherine.

Timeline photos 06/28/2016

This is the most amazing news! We just learned that the southwest section of Waverly, Iowa (which was founded on the land claims of Ira and William Sturdevant) is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Sturdevant Southwest District. This includes the Ira Sturdevant House, and therefore qualifies both the house and the district for recognition and grants. Having the house on the NRHP is a dream come true. Having a historic district (named Sturdevant even!) was a wonderful result of experts and community leaders pulling together. It's still a long road ahead but Yippeeeeeeeeeeee!

Photos from Ira Sturdevant House's post 03/26/2016

Praises to Zachary Brunkhorst for completing his Eagle Scout project with today's hanging of the Victorian post sign and the previous placement of the historical sign at the Ira Sturdevant House! Thanks also to his family and to Nagle Signs for the historical and Lisa Downing for the artistic!


Honoring a good man in Waverly, Iowa, who was the first in city government, along with then-Mayor Ike Ackerman, to respond to our first inquiries about whether the Ira Sturdevant House (oldest house in town) was in danger of demolition after the 2008 flood. Duane Liddle was also the one to come over when Rick Sturdevant was working alone in the house, to pick up a tool and help out. He had the vision of a historic district and soon it will come to fruition as the Sturdevant SW Historic District. We are sad to lose him as a member of our board, a man dedicated to preserving historic Waverly and to maintaining a citizen's voice in government.

Photos from Ira Sturdevant House's post 12/12/2015

Ira's team was even on KWAY!

Christmas on Main 2015 12/11/2015
Timeline photos 12/11/2015

And more!

Photos from Ira Sturdevant House's post 12/11/2015

More from Christmas on Main!

Photos from Ira Sturdevant House's post 12/11/2015

Thank you to our amazing team for the Ira Sturdevant House in Waverly, Iowa! Wartburg Professor (and ISH Board Member) Terry Lindell and new Board Member Karalynn Brunkhorst posed for lovely "past and present" display windows tonight in Waverly's "Christmas on Main." Thanks also to Board VP Kris Brunkhorst, the designer of our contribution, and to our Lovejoy cousins, who got together to prepare fundraising envelopes for visitors. God Bless You Every One!

Photos from Ira Sturdevant House's post 10/26/2015

Another sign will be going up soon, thanks again to Zach Brunkhorst for the post!

Photos from Ira Sturdevant House's post 10/25/2015

The maple at Ira Sturdevant's house is glorious in the fall. Thanks to Kris Brunkhorst for the photos.

Photos from Ira Sturdevant House's post 09/21/2015

As of today, our historic sign is up in front of the Ira Sturdevant House!!! Rick and Kathy wrote it, but thanks so much to Zachary Brunkhorst for all of his fundraising and organizing efforts to sponsor it as his Eagle Scout project, and thanks to Kris Brunkhorst, Bob Brunkhorst, Karalynn Brunkhorst, fellow descendants Teri Lovejoy Heimann and Barbara Lovejoy-Hess, Trinity United Methodist Church - Waverly, Iowa, and all others who helped make this happen!

Photos from Ira Sturdevant House's post 08/19/2015

The Ira Sturdevant House was blessed this summer with the Eagle Scout project of Zach Brunkhorst and his family Kris, Bob, and Karalynn, who all pitched in to make Open House a success, with the prototype of our forthcoming historic sign, cookies, and the best Dutch-oven cobbler! Thanks also, as always, to Ira descendants Teri Lovejoy Heimann and Barbara Lovejoy Hess, who serve the project in so many ways! The cobbler was historic--the first cooking we know of on Ira's property since before the flood of 2008!

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502 1st Street SW
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