America’s 1,400-ton National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (NCSML) was slid over steel rails on Sunday to a new location high above the level of the June 2008 flood that devastated much of the historic Czech Village neighborhood of its headquarters in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Al Zindrick and Bob Schaffer are two of the longest-serving business owners in the Czech Village district of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Both were devastated by a 2008 flood that heavily damaged their buildings and goods. In Part II of her series ‘Tales from Czech America,’ Rosie Johnston talks to these proud business owners about their efforts to pull up their bootstraps and rebuild the historic community.
Over the course of its 160-year-long history, many thousands of Bohemian and Moravian immigrants settled in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which is now home to America’s National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library. In Part I of her series on Czech and Slovak life and history in the United States — ‘Flood, Sweat and Tears’ — Rosie Johnston tours the city’s Czech Village quarter, once best known for its seedy goings-on.