The factories in Dubuque’s Millwork District were, at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, the largest producers of windows, doors, blinds, and mill products in the nation. But by the 1960s the millwork industry in Dubuque started a slow decline as companies pulled out of the district one by one. The last plant shut down in 2014.
In 2014 Tim Olson photographed and interviewed over forty men and women who once worked in Dubuque’s Millwork District. An exhibit of the photographs will run from October 2 to November 22 at Gallery C, 900 South Jackson, in the Millwork District. Millwork Portraits, a book containing twenty-five of the photographs and interviews will be released October 2, 2014.
Support for Millwork Portraits provided by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support provided by Gronen Restoration and the Center for Dubuque History at Loras College.
To see individual interviews and larger versions of the photographs, click on the thumbnails below.