Engelbrecht paints memories of old Waterloo

From left, Gibault history teacher Matt Schweitzer, Waterloo Mayor Tom Smith, Lloyd Engelbrecht and city finance director Shawn Kennedy sit down to talk about Engelbrecht’s memories of the old city Monday afternoon. (Robyn Dexter photo)

Though he now lives nearly 2,000 miles away, former Waterloo resident Lloyd Engelbrecht is dedicated to helping preserve this town’s history.

Engelbrecht, who now lives in California, was back in town this past weekend for his Waterloo High School Class of 1949 reunion and took time to meet with public officials and teachers to talk about his works Monday.

Engelbrecht is the author of “Meet My Waterloo,” in which he has painted and outlined many buildings as they were when he was young.

He does all of his work from memory, and, sitting down with WHS classmate Charlie Metzger, the two recounted many of the significant buildings of downtown Waterloo in the 1930s and 40s.

Engelbrecht and Metzger met with Mayor Tom Smith and city finance director Shawn Kennedy to talk about old Waterloo.

Gibault history teacher Matt Schweitzer also attended because his students are researching old buildings in Waterloo.

Engelbrecht and Metzger swapped stories and ideas back and forth about what buildings along Main Street and Mill Street used to be, including dry goods stores, butcher shops and several taverns.

Engelbrecht told of City Hotel, which was located on Main Street, and working for his father’s tavern, West End Tavern, when he was young.

“On Tuesdays, he made turtle soup at the hotel after band concerts,” Engelbrecht said, recalling his father’s work.

Engelbrecht himself took care of the hotel’s laundry stove when he was around 10 years old.

“I got about a quarter a day for working there,” he said. “There was no money then, with the Great Depression and World War II.”

In addition to the Monday afternoon meeting, Engelbrecht also attended the Waterloo City Council meeting Monday night, where he was recognized for his work and dedication to capturing old Waterloo’s history in his paintings and sketches.

“Thank you for preserving history in Waterloo,” Mayor Tom Smith said to Engelbrecht.

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