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Some history

Wherein the publisher looks back at how we got this far...


I have operated a printing business, the Route 3 Press, since 1977. I've babied my obsolete letterpress equipment, nestled here in a rural setting, to produce a living, of sorts, from mostly small jobs in east central Iowa. My town of Anamosa lies 45 miles from the Mississippi River--mid-way between Cedar Rapids and Dubuque and 40 miles north of Iowa City.

From the age of 20 or so, I set my sights on my own publication. I loved working as a senior editor on the student daily at the University of Montana, and publication design and printing appealed to me.

The Almanac grew from the idea that the abundance of talented Iowa writers, artists and small business proprietors living and creating here in the mid-1980's needed a new forum for publishing and advertising. In the autumn of 1987 I mailed a statement-of-purpose letter to potential contributors and advertisers. I began to collect material and sell ads. With the help of my brilliant proofreader Marge Hummel and deeply competent linecasting operator Eldon Meeks (both still on board) I produced my first volume in May of 1988.

Iowa proved to be fertile ground for more than corn. That first issue sold out, and I received favorable comments and reviews on the Almanac (and its design) on its first year out of the gates. Other issues followed in 1989 and 1990. Through the 1990's I published bi-annually, but in 2002 I resumed annual publication of this 160-page collection of essays, fiction, reviews and various tidbits.