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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 24, 2017

North Liberty’s stretch of Highway 965 is renamed Ranshaw Way

By Mitchell Schmidt, The Gazette | Aug 28, 2017

NORTH LIBERTY — Highway 965, North Liberty’s most-traveled thoroughfare, has officially been renamed Ranshaw Way within city limits.

City officials, residents and members of the Ranshaw family earlier this month unveiled one of the street signs planned for installation along the highway.

The name pays homage to the Ranshaw House, one of the community’s oldest buildings, located near the highway at 515 W. Penn St.

“We wanted something that really was native to North Liberty, we wanted something that was really easy to use and easy to remember and was really of this place,” said Nick Bergus, North Liberty communications director.

Built in 1908 by Samuel Ranshaw, the Ranshaw House is on the National Register of Historic Places.

But while historic, the house had modern amenities almost unheard of at the time, including hot and cold indoor plumbing with soft and hard water, gas lighting, custom woodwork, classic columns and ornamental glass.

Bergus said that theme of respecting the history while looking to the future played a big role in renaming Highway 965. A committee of residents and city officials chose the name from options submitted by the public.

“We talked through a lot of different names and we just kept coming back to this name — Ranshaw,” he said. “It’s both honoring our history and looking forward.”

Harlan Ranshaw, Samuel’s grandson, remarked on the street’s renaming during an Aug. 11 unveiling of the first Ranshaw Way street sign.

“Our name on a street. How many people can say that?” Ranshaw said.

City employees will start installing Ranshaw Way street signs this fall and while signs will change, the renaming is honorary, which means business and residential addresses along Highway 965 will remain the same.

Even with new signs, Bergus acknowledged it will take time for the new name to catch on.

“I don’t think anybody believes it will be a quick switch for a lot of folks,” Bergus said.

Renaming the highway also concludes a legacy of former North Liberty Mayor Tom Salm, who died in 2014.

Salm, who served as mayor from 2007 until his death, often expressed a desire to rename Highway 965, City Council member Jim Sayre said during the Aug. 11 unveiling event.

“I think it’s pretty cool that we’re standing here doing this, sort of living up to one of the many great things and ideas (Salm) had,” Sayre said.

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