2012 National Historic Landmark Designations
The Davis Oriole Earthlodge Site:
The Davis Oriole Earthlodge Site, located near Glenwood in Mills County, Iowa, contains the exceptionally well-preserved intact remains of an earthlodge, the predominant Plains Village Pattern dwelling type. It embodies all the distinctive characteristics of homes built by indigenous farmers around 700 years ago and typifies Native American sites of the Nebraska Phase of the Central Plains Tradition (AD 1250-1400). The site is also nationally significant for the important archeological data it possesses relating to a dynamic period of increasing agricultural intensification involving corn, beans, and many other native crops, and to the inception of a sedentary lifeway.
Mills County, Iowa
Black Jack Battlefield:
The three-hour conflict of June 2, 1856, represented a turning point in the march toward the Civil War. The Battle of Black Jack marked the culmination of escalating violence of “Bleeding Kansas,” and was the nation’s first military conflict fought over the issue of slavery using accepted military practices. The encounter would be the first of a series of armed conflicts, and reflected growing national friction over slavery. Both the battle and subsequent national press coverage introduced John Brown to the nation. The battle was a spark that propelled Brown toward ever-increasing levels of violence. His call for armed resistance to slavery, and the actions that began at Black Jack, moved the national debate over slavery from one of words to one of violence.
Baldwin City, Kansas
Following World War I and II as public sentiment swelled in response to returning soldiers in need of treatment and therapy, the Federal government pushed for the modernization of health care for veterans across the nation. The Central Branch, National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers (NHDVS)/Dayton VAH represents an evolution and shift in Federal care for veterans starting in World War I (1917), the end of an era in veterans care under the NHDVS model, the consolidation of veteran’s benefits and the establishment of the Veterans Administration (VA) in 1930, and into the 1950s when the Dayton campus underwent an extensive building program to modernize medical, surgical, and domiciliary care for a new wave of veterans.
Dr. Bob's Home:
Dr. Robert Smith, known in Alcoholics Anonymous as “Dr. Bob,” was the second known person to achieve permanent sobriety using the Alcoholics Anonymous principles. He is therefore considered, alongside Bill Wilson, as the co-founder of the movement, which started in 1935. The Smith’s home is located in the town that is popularly considered the birthplace of Alcoholics Anonymous. Smith’s wife, Anne Smith, along with Lois Wilson, is credited with nurturing the early movement among family members that eventually led to the founding of Al-Anon Family Groups.
The Republic (daily newspaper) building is nationally significant as an exceptional work of Modern Architecture and one of the best examples of the work of Myron Goldsmith, a general partner in the firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), also a leader of the Second Chicago School of Architecture and a highly respected architect, architectural theorist, writer, and educator. It is an important example of the firm’s work and its contributions to the development and organization of large architecture firms after World War II. SOM was responsible for the architecture and engineering of the building, the choice of the site and the landscape design, creating the building’s interiors, and providing guidance for its art program. The Republic, completed in 1971, was a small building for SOM, and few buildings of this size received so much attention by SOM.
Originally published in "Exceptional Places" Vol. 7, 2012, a newsletter of the Division of Cultural Resources, Midwest Region. Written by National Park Service Staff.