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Local parishes represented in photography exhibit

By MICHELLE DELANEY, Globe staff reporter

Our past and our heritage is something that should not fall by the wayside and be forgotten. Marcia Poole, director of the Sioux City Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center and the Betty Strong Encounter Center, used this belief as a catalyst for the center’s current exhibition.

“Think of all the stories of your heritage, your roots and the things that give you an identity. That is such a big part of what this center has become. Stories of us,” said Poole.

The center’s exhibits explore the history of this area. From telling the story of Lewis and Clark’s expedition, to Sergeant Charles Floyd’s burial in Sioux City, to exploring the stories behind local churches and cemeteries.

The first post-flood exhibit is titled “Remember Us.” The show consists of pictures of almost forgotten gravesites and churches. Remsen’s St. Mary Church and the Catholic cemetery in Salix are represented in this show.

Jim Lee took all of the photographs for the exhibit. Lee currently works as a photographer for the Sioux City Journal. Originally from Roland, Iowa, Lee has won more than 80 awards in national, regional and state competitions. Tim Gallagher, reporter for the Sioux City Journal, wrote the descriptions for the photographs.

“With this project, I got to spend a lot of time on it. The cemetery shots were taken over one and a half to two years. I took some photos that I am really proud of,” said Lee.

The opening segment spotlights Salix’s cemetery. It is not a picture of St. Joseph’s cemetery today, but rather it is an image of the original St. Joseph’s cemetery located three miles north of Salix. As described next to the photograph, the cemetery dates back to 1884.

Here, Theophile Bruguier, an early Sioux City settler and son-in-law of Chief War Eagle originally was buried, before his remains were moved near War Eagle’s grave in 1926.

After relocating the cemetery to another part of town and moving most of the graves, the original site soon became desolate and run down by years of neglect. Eventually, an effort was taken up to restore and preserve the historic site.

Another aspect of the exhibition is photos of St. Mary Church in Remsen.

“I was so overwhelmed with the whole grandeur of the church. I tried to find a way to capture it. I’m still not sure if the photo does justice to the church’s beauty,” said a modest Lee.

The photos and the description of the church highlights the different cultures represented. The church was constructed between the years of 1902 and 1904 in a neo-gothic manner. Special interest was paid to the hand carved Stations of the Cross, not only for their beauty but since they are in German.

“The thing about St. Mary’s in Remsen, as noted, is the stations of the cross in German. That was one of the big things that helped us pick this church. That was very striking,” said Poole.

Poole also notes that the first things immigrants did was build their church and then their school. This exhibit commemorates the history of the area.

The exhibit will be available until April, tentatively. Admission is free.

As a result, from the flooding in Sioux City, the center is currently closed for repairs. Poole is hopeful that the center will be open the day after Thanksgiving. She urges people to call ahead of time before coming. The number to call is (712) 224-5242.

Also, be on the lookout for a special presentation in which Jim Lee will be talking about the show and answering questions. Information can be found on the center’s website, www.siouxcitylcic.com.

The center’s hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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