Iowa City Public Library DHP
Iowa City Celebrities

Stage Ready

a Pelzer, Mildred Stage Ready Longfellow School 10-27-08 full image1.jpg

One of eight murals created in 1934 by Mildred Pelzer that depict historic scenes of Iowa City. The paintings were commissioned by the Jefferson Hotel and graced the lobby of the hotel located on the corner of Washington and Dubuque streets for many years before they were removed for renovation and never put back up.

“Stage Ready” is the sixth mural in the series and depicts the impending departure of a stage coach in Iowa City circa. 1855, as reported in Bob Hibbs's "Historic Scenes by Mildred Pelzer 1934." The original brochure that accompanied the mural's dedication describes the scene in this manner: “Band boxes and carpet bags were loaded on top and nine or ten persons wedged inside the four-horse Concord coach. The fare to Des Moines was $10 and at one tavern a breakfast of fried pork, dry bread, and spring water cost $.50. Note the driver--the horses are being changed, and the frontier minister is bidding his farewells. Along the stage route frequent stops were made to water the horses and ‘to brandy the gentlemen.’”

The painting is temporarily on display (May 2017-August 2018) at the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center while its permanent home, Longfellow Elementary School, is undergoing renovation.

The painting is “oil on canvas” and measures approximately four feet high by twelve feet wide.

This digital photograph of the painting was taken by Cheryll Clamon.


Lynch, Mildred Weenink Pelzer, “Stage Ready,” Iowa City Public Library DHP, accessed May 21, 2024,