Be A History Detective.  

What is this artifact and how was it used or what and where in Ankeny was this photo taken ? 


We will post a new photograph of a place or artifact every two weeks. Some will be easier to identify than others. Make sure you allow your children and grandchildren to guess also. It should make for some good discussions. 


Email your answers or guesses to  and we will post them on this page. 

Item 3 posted November 30th, 2020 This is a difficult one.

Hover the cursor over this sentence to see the latest answers.

(Don't peek until you send us your guess)

Item 2, Posted November 12, 2020


Hover the cursor over this sentence to see the latest answers.

(Don't peek until you send us your guess)

Item 1, Posted summer 2020

We received these responses :

Hi! I saw your new page on the website and thought I could help, even if the answers might already be readily available. This same picture is in "Images of America, Ankeny", and is captioned as follows: "Station attendant J.R. Calvin stands in front of the gas station on the northwest corner of Third and Southwest Cherry Streets in the early 1920s." While this organization helped publish the book and thus presumably already knowing this information, the questions were nevertheless posted on the website so I thought I would bring it to your attention. In addition, there does not seem to be a structure standing at that location on a 1938 aerial, so the photo might predate 1938 if the location is correct.

Good luck on finding more information!

- Evan Albaugh 

I suspect the gas station was at about the site of present day 214 Cherry St.  It was gone before I was born, and I know nothing more about it.  I lived briefly in the 214 house that was my grandparents.  Beneath it there was a mass of concrete that was said to be from a gas station.  The house in the background looks like the former 210 Cherry house that burned in Dec 23, 2001. Please inform me of any other data that comes about this picture.  


- J. Frederick Hall

Ankeny Area Historical Society

Bringing The Past To Life

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Physical Location: 301 SW Third Street, Ankeny, Iowa 50023

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1111, Ankeny, Iowa 50021 

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