Documenting history

Old Hamilton County Courthouse plays role in new documentary

—Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Adri Sietstra Angela Rottering, left, Loween Getter, middle, and Colleen Bradford Krantz scope out the upstairs of the original Hamilton County Courthouse Monday afternoon. The courthouse will be featured in an upcoming documentary.

Filmmaker Colleen Bradford Krantz visited Webster City Monday afternoon to scope out the scene for her documentary project “Unintended 1900.” Bradford Krantz, 44, toured the original Hamilton County Courthouse with several community members before she returns on Saturday to film.

“We’re doing some filming for a documentary that we have in production right now. It’s called ‘Unintended 1900’ and it takes a look at unintended pregnancies a century ago,” said Bradford Krantz.

The true stories centered in the documentary are based out of Iowa, according to Bradford Krantz.

“We’re using a couple films from Iowa and then probably a third from out of state that I’m still finalizing my choice of,” Bradford Krantz said.

Bradford Krantz chose to film in Webster City at the original courthouse after looking up its history online.

—Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Adri Sietstra Colleen Bradford Krantz takes notes from Cheryl Patrou Monday afternoon at the original Hamilton County Courthouse.

“We ended up coming to Webster City because I was looking for an old courthouse that would be the right time period. The county where one of the stories took place was Floyd County and there courthouse from that time period is now gone,” said Bradford Krantz. “So I looked online for all the other courthouses to see someone who might have something from the right time period, and I came across the original courthouse here.”

After reading about the courthouse’s history and seeing it in person, Bradford Krantz knew it would be a great place to shoot.

“Once I came and looked at it, it felt like the perfect fit for filming a scene from 1913,” Bradford Krantz said.

Bradford Krantz and her crew will be returning to Webster City on Saturday to shoot a few scenes in the upstairs and downstairs of the courthouse.

“Saturday afternoon we’re going to be filming a scene of a trial that was related to a death following an abortion. At the time, of course, abortion was illegal,” said Bradford Krantz. “We’ll be recreating some portions of that trial.We’ll have people playing the judge, the attorneys and local members playing members of the jury and audience.”

Bradford Krantz hopes to tell a piece of history through this film about the times of the early 1900’s and give viewers an in-depth look at this case.

“I think it’s important to know that it’s not an agenda-type documentary. I don’t have a political goal here except to maybe tell these stories and help people have better conversations around this topic,” Bradford Krantz said. “I think talking about that through history is sometimes more easily done for people.”

“It’s hard to find films about this topic that aren’t agenda based. A lot of them that I’ve seen are,” said Bradford Krantz. “I like the idea of doing something that lets people from any political viewpoint sit down and watch it and not feel like they’re having an agenda forced down their throat.”

With a return to Webster City within the week, Bradford Krantz is excited to begin filming and thankful for all the locals who helped make this possible.

“Thanks to the people with the community theatre and the city for all the help they’ve given in pulling this together really smoothly. This would have been a lot harder without them pitching in the way they did,” said Bradford Krantz.

According to Bradford Krantz, the film is not supposed to be completed until after the end of the year.


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