About this new website platform.  It will be more of a static website solely for family and local history.  With the advent of Facebook and other social media there is no need to post current events here.  We will announce any new additions to the site and any family reunion gatherings where history will be discussed but that is where it ends.  There is no need to register for this site.

Virtually everything from the old website can be found here plus many new additions of historical Salem photos. If you have anything you would like to contribute, please contact Joel Garretson at

If you are interested in the Underground RR activity around Salem and East Grove, you will want to read O.A. Garretson’s article Traveling on the Underground RR, and the transcript of the Fugitive Slave case in 1850 in the SE Iowa History section.  Also check out the Salem Underground RR Tour section.

Local history can be found in the SE Iowa History section, Garretson Family History section, and in O.A. Garretson’s history articles section.  Historical photos can be seen in the Garretson family photo gallery section as well as the Salem Area Historical Photos section.  Be sure to check the Maps and Surveys section for documents dating back to 1837.   There is a table of contents in each section.   Articles can be found by scrolling down the page until you find the article you are looking for.

We hope you like the new format!

J.H. Garretson


Welcome to the new website!  This replaces the original site first published in 2001 that is dedicated to family and southeast Iowa history, in particular the settlement of the Garretson farm in 1837.  Garretson genealogy back to 1656 is included.  Contact for questions, comments, and suggestions.