Bess Streeter Aldrich was born in a house on this site on
February 17, 1881. The house she was born in was later demolished,
and the house that is currently on this site was its replacement.
Aldrich wrote 13 novels and 160 short stories during her
distinguished career. Her best-known books include Song
of Years, The Lieutenant's Lady, Miss Bishop, and A
Lantern in Her Hand. She attended school in Cedar Falls
and graduated from the Iowa State Normal School in 1901.
She taught in Boone, Marshalltown and Salt Lake City before
returning to Cedar Falls. She was assistant to the superintendent
in the Normal School's primary training school. She was
married to Charles Aldrich in 1907 in the house that stood
on this site. They lived in Tipton for two years before
settling in Elmwood, Nebraska.
Her first novel
was published in 1924, and she became a regular contributor
to the Ladies Home Journal and other magazines.
Several of her books were bestsellers. Most of them were
also translated into other languages and one was made into
a film, Cheers for Miss Bishop. Aldrich died in
Of the house
that stood here, Aldrich later wrote, “Our home in
Cedar Falls, Iowa, was plain and comfortable. It had started
out to be a white painted, white shuttered type of eastern
wing and ell house, but in my time, additional bedrooms
had been built onto it and atop it, so that its design was
no longer catalogued in any architectural books, its painting
a practical gray and the bedrooms numbering seven.”
The house that
stands on this site is a private residence.
Streeter Aldrich Bookshelf" at the Cedar Falls Historical
Society Museum, 303 Clay Street, is preserved by the local
chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution as a
tribute to one of Cedar Falls' and Iowa's best known authors.
you can visit the Bess Streeter Aldrich House and Museum
in Elmwood, Nebraska, at http://lincolnne.com/nonprofit/bsaf/.