Hidden behind the tiny town of Riverside's hair salon is the grave-like marker denoting the future birthplace of one Captain James Tiberius Kirk. Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry wrote in a book that Kirk will be born in the state of Iowa in 2233, and the locals took it upon themselves to declare Riverside his hometown. Roddenberry, thankfully, went along with it, and the rest is future history. The Voyage Home Riverside History Center even sells copies of Roddenberry's statement declaring it to be so.
“Star Trek's James T. Kirk born here in 2233”
James T. Kirk was born in 2233 in Riverside, Iowa. He was raised there by his parents, George and Winona Kirk. Although born on Earth, Kirk for a time lived on Tarsus IV, where he was one of nine surviving witnesses to the massacre of 4,000 colonists by Kodos the Executioner. James Kirk's brother George Samuel Kirk is first mentioned in "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" and introduced and killed in "Operation: Annihilate!", leaving behind three children. It is also stated that only he has ever called his brother by his childhood nickname, "Sam". Riverside is a city in rural Washington County, Iowa, United States, along the English River on Iowa Highway 22. It is part of the Iowa City, Iowa Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 993 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Highland Community School District.Riverside proclaimed itself the future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk, a fictional character from the television series Star Trek, with the agreement of Gene Roddenberry. Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, asserts in his book The Making of Star Trek that the character of James Tiberius Kirk had been born in the state of Iowa.In March 1985, when the city was looking for a theme for its annual town festival, Steve Miller, a member of the Riverside City Council who had read Roddenberry's book, suggested to the council that Riverside should proclaim itself to be the future birthplace of Kirk. Miller's motion passed unanimously. Although not considered "canon", at least two Star Trek novels had material based in the real city of Riverside. Best Destiny, an immediate sequel to the events shown in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, depicted Kirk's childhood in Riverside. The novel's opening chapter depicts a pre-teen Kirk, playing with friends in fields, in rushes and river wetland along the English River. Another novel, Final Frontier by Diane Carey, not to be confused with Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, was written as a prequel novel to the original series. Depicting the space adventures of James T. Kirk's father, Commander George Samuel Kirk, Sr., the opening and closing passages of the novel depict Captain Kirk, now an adult, mulling over his Starfleet career options shortly after his first five-year mission. The younger Kirk was also depicted, walking around the farmhouse owned by his family in Riverside. Its wrap-around veranda had views of both the English River and the Iowa River to the east, which mirror the site of the real "Kirk's Birthstone" marker. The film Star Trek, set in an alternate reality from the main Star Trek universe, shows that Kirk was born in space and raised in Iowa. Nearby are the (fictional) Riverside Quarry, where young Jim Kirk destroys a 20th Century Chevy Corvette in an act of vandalism, and the Riverside Shipyards, identified by name by Captain Christopher Pike as the construction site of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), and an embarkation point for Starfleet Academy recruits, including an older Jim Kirk. During a September 28, 2004, town meeting, the city learned that its residents had become the unwitting stars of a Spike TV reality show called Invasion Iowa inspired by the Kirk connection. Over a week earlier, William Shatner had arrived in the city under the guise of filming a science fiction movie called Invasion Iowa.
Having trouble finding the marker? Take the path on the right of the New Image Salon and head around back for Captain James T. Kirk's future birthplace.
For the true Star Trek aficionados—head up the street to Murphy’s Bar & Grille and look for a plaque in the back room marking the point where Captain Kirk will be conceived. The plaque was once affixed to the bottom of the pool table, but now hangs on the wall.
It anyone is having a hard time finding the monument, like it did. There is a small path to it between 41 and 51 West First street.
Trek fest still goes on the last week in June. I had a hard time finding the monument so I am posting a pic of the yellow hair salon that it is behind. The salon is between the larger buildings on Main st.
The last weekend of June each year there is "Trek Fest" which involves a parade, costume contest, and other city wide events. Other highlights for visiting: There is a rock pictured above which is tucked away behind a beauty salon in the town as well as a Museum with the USS Riverside.
Worth it for the photo op if you are a Trek fan. Not much else really in the area, and all this is is a marker. There is a museum nearby if interested, but the highlight for me was getting a picture with the monument.
You have to park and go behind the yellow cottage building, it’s a hair salon right now. I love that there’s a bench in front of the marker where you can sit and reflect on... idk Kirk’s legacy I guess? Or the life and times of William Shatner? Either way, I cannot recommend this stop enough. Hit up the museum a bit down the toad while you’re at it.
Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, asserts in his book The Making of Star Trek that the character of James Tiberius Kirk had been born in the state of Iowa. In March 1985, when the city of Riverside was looking for a theme for its annual town festival, the Riverside City Council decided their town was going to be the birthplace. So they put up a monument, started a festival and just claimed it. It's non-canon, but several references have since been made to it.
The marker is a nice marble affair that's situated in a little park behind a hair salon. You have to hike down an alley to find it. It's almost hidden. There's also a little museum that's heavy on the cheesy/homemade vibe, but with a lot of memorabilia. Heavy on the toys and books.
They also have their town history museum in the same place and are quick to herd you in there after seeing the Trek stuff. The town was also the unwitting stars of a Spike reality TV show in 2004 where Shatner came to town under the guise of filming a scifi movie. They took the joke in good spirits and made THAT memoribilia a part of their collection as well. I don't know if this town is just the most relaxed group of people in the world or if they'll pimp anything to bring a little commerce to town. Everyone in the town seems to send you on to the next business. The museum suggested the other museum, then the restaurant, who suggested the marker, etc.
OK, it was kinda lame but it gets a good laugh. I surprised my husband (big Trekkie) and he thought it was pretty fun. I do not recommend the restaurant, though. (There's only 1)
Live long and prosper! A must stop to every Star Trek fan! Look for a yellow little house.
The whole town advertises Star Trek and yet this place was hidden away. A fun stop.
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