Cedar Valley Memories
18791 Hwy 9, Osage, IA
Cedar Valley Memories was established in 1990 when the Mitchell County Historical Society entered into a 99-year lease with the Mitchell County Conservation for the original 3.9 acre site that would become Cedar Valley Memories. The first building was constructed in 1991. The 66' x 16' x 150' structure was to be home for the Smolik Brothers collection donated by Ed and his wife Evelyn Smolik and brother Ray Smolik, all are now deceased. Ed and Ray were well known for seeking and acquiring some of the most unique steam engines, vintage machinery, early farm implements and tools. The featured steam engines include the fully functioning 1878 Blumentritt, a 1910 Phoenix log hauler, a rare 1912 Reeves 40-140 Cross Compound, a 1913 Case Model 110, and a 1922 Advance Rumley 32hp. On display in the Smolik Exhibit building is Osage’s own 1901 Frazee automobile, the first gas-powered car manufactured in Iowa, and the only one ever made, designed and assembled in Osage. Countless generous benefactors have donated their collections to expand the original Smolik Brothers exhibit. In 1996 the office/classroom addition was completed and a Dedication Day/ first Cedar Valley Memories Power Show was held on Sept. 7th.
The Annual Cedar Valley Memories
- our spectacular event to "Step Back in Time", is held the 2nd full weekend in August when the buildings are opened, displays and engines come to life for visitors to experience History in Action.
A Bittersweet Year...
2020 was supposed to mark our 25th Anniversary. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic the event was postponed to August 2021.
1878 Blumentritt (Click for more info)
The 1878 Blumentritt was not the first steam traction design (with double cylinders) Joseph Blumentritt built but he was considered the first to build a steam traction engine west of the Mississippi. His design was made in 6, 12 (like ours), and 24hp with double cylinders.
The Frazee (Click for more info)
A Keynote feature at Cedar Valley Memories is the 1901 Frazee, the first registered gas-powered vehicle in Iowa. George T. Frazee, an Osage jeweler, designed and built the 1901 Frazee at his home on the corner of 9th and Pleasant Street in Osage, Iowa. The two-cylinder car was handmade except for the wheels and tires which were purchased locally. Parts for the motor were cast at the Kelly-Morgan Iron Foundry in Osage. The 1901 Frazee was the first gasoline powered automobile manufactured in the State of Iowa. The only one ever made and was the 10th car ever registered (licensed) in Iowa. It was the only model ever made. It still runs and has been driven in local parades.