Parks and Recreation

Contact Information
Parks & Recreation Department

Northwest Recreation Center
1340 11th Street NW
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52405

Phone: 319-286-5566
Fax: 319-538-0020
Weather Cancellation Hotline: 319-286-5700

Mon - Fri 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Sat 12:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Sun 12:00 - 4:00 p.m.

City Services Center (CSC)
500 15th Avenue SW
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404

Phone: 319-286-5566
Fax: 319-540-8843

Mon - Fri 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Department Contacts

The Real Ushers FerryA photo of Henry A. and Mariah Usher

The "real" Ushers Ferry was not actually a town, but a ferry boat crossing located approximately a quarter of a mile up river from the current village site. The Usher family was among the earliest settlers in Linn County, with Dyer Usher arriving in the valley as early as 1836. He established a ferry across the Cedar River that operated until the 1860's. The Village features the home of Dyer's cousin, Henry A. Usher, the first landholder of the ground the village sits on today. Originally built near the site of Dyer's ferry landing, the house was moved to farmland Henry owned across the river near Covington. It was moved back to become part of the historical village in 1983.

Ushers Ferry Historic Village

Ushers Ferry Historic Village is a facility operated by the Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation Department. It was created in 1973 by Cedar Rapids Parks Commissioner Stanislauv Reinis and opened to the public in 1975 as "Pioneer Village." It was renamed "Ushers Ferry Historic Village" in 1986. The Village operated as a Department of the City of Cedar Rapids under the Parks and Recreation Commissioner and was governed by a six member volunteer commission until 2007, when the City of Cedar Rapids restructured from a Commission to a City Manager form of government.

Our Story1855 Henry and Mariah Usher Home located at Ushers Ferry

The village that you see today was not an actual town site, and all of the historic buildings featured here were relocated from other places. However, the close proximity of the Cedar River would have made this a likely place for settlement. Historically, this ground was a favorite camp site of Native Americans both before and after the arrival of white settlers. Rivers were an essential component to the development of many early Iowa communities as they provided not only water for agriculture, but power for mills and a natural transportation route in a time when roads and bridges were still being built.

Ushers Ferry has taken the opportunity to revisit the days of rural “Township” governments, when farmers graded their own roads, and the nearest law or jail might be hours away at the county seat. Take a step back to a time when the most basic elements of a community were forged together by the presence of a church, a school, a business or two, and a few simple homesteads from which citizens practiced their trades.

Contact Information
Ushers Ferry Historic Village
5925 Seminole Valley Trail NE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa  52411
Phone: 319-286-5763
Fax: 888-423-2122

Office Hours
Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

© 2024  Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 101 First Street SE

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