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Marshalltown’s Bohemia Hall
April 14, 2014 - Mike Donahey
Mr. William Hill of Albion has joined the ranks of many who have driven past the large two-story building on the southwest corner of South Third Avenue and East Anson Street (also known as Highway 14) and speculated about the building's history.
Hill knows more than others — it was once called Bohemia Hall, he said.
That was corroborated by Jay Carollo, a Marshalltown historian and researcher.
And many will remember Little Bohemia tavern, which at one time occupied the lot directly behind the hall.
“Little Bo” as it was called by some, 905 S. Third Ave., merited a listing in the 1993 Marshalltown City Directory with Rosie Stiegielmeier as the contact. Little Bohemia was torn down a number of years ago.
Bohemia is a historical country of central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague.
Marshalltown and Belle Plaine were once home to sizable Czech and Slovak populations, according to Gail Naughton, president and CEO of the National Czech and Slovak Museum Library in Cedar Rapids.
(Naughton is the sister of Rich Naughton of Marshalltown).
Many Czechs lived on and around East Boone Street, years ago, according to Carollo.
Hill and Carollo said auctions used to be held in the hall.
Readers, do you have stories about Bohemia Hall and Little Bo tavern, especially those relating to Czech and Slovak heritage?
Write me at the Times-Republican, P.O. Box 1000, Marshalltown, Iowa, 50158 or email firstname.lastname@example.org