Layers of Maquoketa?

Let me tell you a story...

Throughout 2016, Maquoketa was in the midst of major upheaval. Main Street -- pavement, sidewalks, utilities -- was torn up. This was a long-overdue much-needed project to rebuild and upgrade streets, sidewalks, amenities for pedestrians, and utilities and connections to downtown businesses. 

But there was a surprise. In excavating sidewalks, workers discovered long-hidden and mostly forgotten stairways that provided access to the basements of downtown commercial buildings. Not delivery access, but access for customers to those businesses.

In consulting with local historians, the community learned about -- or rather, revived the knowledge of -- how downtown businesses in the late 1800s and early 1900s were organized: barbers, shoe repair shops, and other trades in the basements; retail establishments (or saloons!) at ground level; lawyers, physicians, dentists, and other professionals on the second floors; and lodges or dance halls on the rare 3rd floors of buildings.

In observing this, we re-discovered that there is more to our community than might be apparent upon first look.

In uncovering the physical hidden layers of the downtown streetscape, we realized we could provide an opportunity for all the other Layers of Maquoketa, whether known or whether hiding in plain sight, to become re-surfaced and celebrated.

Layers of Maquoketa is a community-wide project...

...discovering and highlighting stories, thoughts, images, audio, video, etc. posted by people with a connection to Maquoketa about any aspect of life in Maquoketa - past, present, future, or something completely imagined.

It brings together people from all walks of life to talk about what gives us a sense of place about this city we call home.