Soon after Iowa City pioneer – F.M. Irish – arrived in Iowa City in 1838/1839, he purchased land north and east of the city. Here, Irish built his first log cabin in 1839, and then in 1841 enlarged the home, adding 30 additional acres to the property. In 1849, F.M. built the house (you see above) called Rose Hill – a home that stayed in the Irish family until 1964.
Many believe Rose Hill was part of the Underground Railroad during the Civil War era, since the Irish family sided with the many anti-slavery abolitionists living in Iowa City at the time.
Back in the day, the forested prairie surrounding Rose Hill was simply called Irish’s Woods. In the 1960’s, the City of Iowa City purchased 17.5 acres of Irish’s Woods, making it into the first section of today’s Hickory Hill Park.
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