Enterprise replica.
Captain Kirk's ancestor, Bob Wieland-Kirk, watches the skies above Riverside for possible Klingon sneak attack.

Future Birthplace of James T. Kirk

Field review by the editors.

Riverside, Iowa

Another two centuries will pass before Riverside's claim-to-fame arrives, but that hasn't stopped this town from cashing in now on its future good fortune.

James T. Kirk, captain of the starship Enterprise, will be born in Riverside on March 22, 2228. A plaque behind a former barber shop marks the spot for present (and future) fans. Riverside wanted to put up a bronze James T. Kirk bust, but Paramount wanted $40K to license the image. Instead, a scale model of the "USS Riverside," which bears a remarkable (but not legally indemnible) resemblance to the USS Enterprise, is docked in the town park.

Future Birthplace marker.

Sharp-eyed residents, knowing they had a good thing, changed Riverside's summertime "Riverfest" to "Trek Fest," a belated celebration of Kirk's birthday (which happened in tourist-unfriendly March). Throngs of pale technonerds now arrive dressed in Starfleet uniforms or as Vulcans and Klingons, swelling the coffers of local businesses such as "Future Designs By Carol" and "Flower Trek" (Sadly, the Bar Trek saloon sold out and is no longer here).

Marketing is as keen as an Iowa reaper blade; the Trek Fest souvenir catalogue even sells vials of Kirk Dirt, dug from the birth site. The 2008 Trek Fest saw the opening of the Voyage Home Riverside History Center, with actor Walter Koenig (Pavel Chekov of "They put creatures in our bodies" and "AIEEE!" fame) on hand. The History Center is now the go-to place in town for all Kirk questions and alternate history disputes.

Now that Riverside's claim has been nailed down, the real challenge begins: Riverside must breed Kirk. This is a farm community; its people know about husbandry. Go to it, Riverside; where no man has gone before, if you must, but go! Invite Nobel Laureates and war heroes to move in and impregnate your women. And, just to be on the safe side, change the last name of everyone in town to Kirk.

Future Birthplace of James T. Kirk

Address:
361 E. 1st St., Riverside, IA
Directions:
I-80 exit 239A. Drive south on US Hwy 218 for 16 miles. Take exit 80 onto Hwy 22. Drive west 1.5 miles into town. You'll see a memorial park on the right; the "U.S.S. Riverside" mini-starship is usually parked there. The Kirk conception plaque is just down the street, on the right, under the pool table at Murphy's Bar and Grill, 71 E. 1st St. The birthplace marker is a block further, also on the right, behind the New Image Salon, 51 W. 1st St. (Look for the banner with helpful pointing arrow hanging from the lamp pole out front).
Hours:
Voyage Home Museum: Th-Sa 10-4, Su 12-4 (Call to verify)
Phone:
319-648-2226
Admission:
Free
RA Rates:
Major Fun
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October 31, 2014

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