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Release: Aug. 7, 2001

UI State Fair exhibit features Wettach photos, prehistoric artifacts

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Artifacts and icons will tell the story of Iowa's communities and people at the University of Iowa's State Fair booth, whose theme this year is "Building Communities From Border to Border." Artifacts from prehistoric ruins, A.M. "Pete" Wettach photos of mid 20th Century farm life and Iowa's Big Ten Basketball Tournament Championship trophies will be featured at the booth, Varied Industries Building, Aug. 9 to 19 in Des Moines.

The UI exhibit is located at the southwest end of the Varied Industries Building on the fairgrounds. Fair hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Visitors to the UI booth can imagine community life from prehistoric days to the early 20th Century as they view 800- to 1,000-year old artifacts from an O'Brien County excavation site, one of 20,000 sites uncovered by the Office of the State Archeologist in Iowa. These sites range from single finds of ancient Ice Age hunting tools to entire town sites of Euro-American and African-American pioneers and settlers in Iowa.

Wettach, a 1935 employee of the Farm Security Administration, captures Iowa's mid-20th Century rural community life in a series of photos on display at the UI booth. These valuable photos went unnoticed until 1999, when staff from the UI's Institute for Rural and Environmental Health discovered some of Wettach's images that had once been used for an academic presentation.

Big Ten Basketball Championship Tournament trophies will also be on display and Herky the Hawk will visit the booth Aug. 18. Visitors can get a temporary tiger hawk tattoo and smile and wave at the webcam while friends and family view their images on UI's web site at The site also lists the activity schedule at the UI booth.

Health Iowa and College of Public Health will provide body fat checks and screenings for lung function and blood pressure. The University Hygienic Lab will present "What's Bugs Got to Do With It?" and provide science tables for kids. And visitors can use an on-site computer to access the UI's new website, Community Partnership and Outreach, at

The site lists a variety of UI resources available to communities across the state.

Athletic schedules, posters and a variety of informational brochures will be available at the UI booth, and admissions staff, volunteers and site coordinators will be on hand to assist fairgoers.

UI units participating in this year's State Fair include the Alumni Association; Athletic Department; College of Public Health; Health Iowa; Office of Admissions; Office of the State Archaeologist; University Hygienic Lab and University Relations. UI's neighboring booths in the Varied Industries Building are UI Health Care and Iowa Hawk Shop. Fairground transportation will be provided for free on tram cars sponsored in part by the UI.

For more information about the 2001 Iowa State Fair, visit the official web site at