Skip to main content

Welcome to Scattergood

Drawing of Scattergood

A drawing of the Scattergood Hostel by one of its guests

In a world of turmoil and uncertainty, there were few places of respite for refugees fleeing Nazi Germany. The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) provided such respite when it opened the Scattergood Hostel on April 20, 1939. During a period of almost four years, the Scattergood helped 185 guests. The refugees at Scattergood were known as "guests" during their stay, in order to remove the stigma associated with the word "refugee."

However, the guests had to drastically change their way of life. Many of them were members of the highly-educated bourgeoisie from an urban environment. The Scattergood Hostel was located on a small farm near West Branch, Iowa, which had a population of around 700 people. The Scattergood guests would have to quickly adapt to this unfamiliar lifestyle.

Welcome to Scattergood