State Historical Society of Iowa

State Historical Society of Iowa The State Historical Society of Iowa has been a trustee of Iowa’s historical legacy since 1857.

07/08/2019
#IowaArtifact - Foaminator

Talk about good clean fun: Bob Rees of Des Moines invented the Foaminator several years ago to add some suds to the plain old squirt gun. Just dip the nose of the battery-operated bubble blower into the soapy liquid, pull the trigger and an “explosion of up to 5 gallons of foam per dip!” We have a Foaminator at the State Historical Museum of Iowa, but if you want one of your own, try Amazon. ... And someday, maybe we'll get to try another Rees invention: bacon-flavored tofu. #IowaArtifact #IowaHistory

The mobile museum had a great turnout in Manning last weekend. Thanks to the great people of Manning for making this a g...
07/02/2019

The mobile museum had a great turnout in Manning last weekend. Thanks to the great people of Manning for making this a great trip and for coming out!
We'll be heading to Avoca July 5 & 6, so come check it out!
"Iowa History 101" explores the history of Iowans at home, work and play – and how that shapes who we are today. Like a visit to your grandparents’ attic, this exhibition unpacks the stories of Iowa’s past with dozens of artifacts from the State Historical Museum of Iowa’s collection.
The "Iowa History 101" mobile museum is part of a trio of exhibitions that digs into the bedrock stories that every Iowan should know.
#IowaHistory #IowaHistory101 #IowaCulture

Avoca Main Street, Inc.

07/01/2019
John Deere C-2 Building, Waterloo

The John Deere C-2 Building in Waterloo won the 2019 William J. Wagner Award from the State Historic Preservation Office of Iowa. The architectural firm INVISION planning I architecture I interiors won this annual award, which recognizes the year's best in historic preservation.

Waterloo's C-2 Building was built in 1947 as factory in a large complex for the world's largest tractor plant in the world, the John Deere Tractor company. Today, the six-story, 200,000-square-foot building is one of only three remaining original buildings from the former factory complex. This former factory was reborn in 2018 when a developer turned it into a hotel. One challenge of the rehabilitation was that the windows were too high to see out, so the architects raised the floor to allow hotel guests a better view and, simultaneously, hide the ductwork and wiring underfoot. The hotel, a Courtyard by Marriott, is an excellent example of adaptive reuse and provides a destination for business and family travelers. It also provides 120 jobs for the local workforce and houses a restaurant and bar.

#IowaHistory #IowaCulture

City of Waterloo, Iowa - City Hall Experience Waterloo Main Street Waterloo Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

Historic preservation, country schools and research authors got a boost last week when the State Historical Society of I...
07/01/2019

Historic preservation, country schools and research authors got a boost last week when the State Historical Society of Iowa awarded $538,000 in grant funding. Grant recipients will use the funding to preserve museum collections, rehabilitate Iowa's historical properties, research Iowa history and more. Check out the designations and grants here: tinyurl.com/y4ljokdk
#IowaHistory #IowaCulture #IowaArts #ProduceIowa

Attendees of the Iowa Equal Suffrage Convention held at Panora (Iowa), November 9-11, 1905.
06/28/2019

Attendees of the Iowa Equal Suffrage Convention held at Panora (Iowa), November 9-11, 1905.

06/28/2019

The American experiment in democracy scored one of its biggest wins a century ago, when women were finally allowed to vote nationwide. On July 2, 1919, Iowa became the 10th state to ratify the 19th Amendment -- just one day before Missouri and a full 85 years before Mississippi, which finally got the job done in 1984. But the campaign for suffrage was even longer. A ribbon at the State Historical Museum of Iowa celebrates the 40th annual (!) state convention of the Iowa Equal Suffrage Association in Perry in 1911. Persistence pays off.
Read more in the State Historical Society blog here: tinyurl.com/y2veje72
#IowaHistory #IowaArtifact
Carrie Chapman Catt Girlhood Home Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics League of Women Voters of Iowa League of Women Voters of the U.S.

Join The Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement and Heath Lee, the first of three authors participating...
06/28/2019

Join The Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement and Heath Lee, the first of three authors participating in the Institute’s Summer Author Series, on July 10, here at the State Historical Building. For more information and to register for the event visit: tinyurl.com/yy7hnede
#iowahistory #iowaculture

The first Norwegian immigrants came to Allamakee County as early as 1851 from an area called Norde Land in the Norwegian...
06/27/2019

The first Norwegian immigrants came to Allamakee County as early as 1851 from an area called Norde Land in the Norwegian county of Oppland, which extends into the mountains northwest of Oslo. A church they built in 1892 near Waterville, Iowa, has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Learn why this Norwegian-American church became one of Iowa's historic treasures. For more information visit: tinyurl.com/yxq57qg9
#IowaHistory #IowaCulture
Allamakee County Economic Development and Tourism

06/24/2019
IOOF-Erickson Buildings

The IOOF-Erickson Buildings in Northwood won the 2019 Adrian D. Anderson Award from the State Historic Preservation Office of Iowa. The annual award recognizes outstanding historic preservation of a project having total qualified costs of $500,000 or less.

The IOOF-Erickson building was built in 1896 and is the largest operating structure within the Central Avenue Historic District in Northwood, just a few miles from the Minnesota state line. It was designed by architect J.L. Rood of St. Paul, Minnesota, who also designed the Worth County Courthouse nearby. The rectangular two-story brick building is marked by two bays in the Italianate style, and its hollow tile brick was an innovation at the time. The IOOF half of the building was owned by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, which rented the lower level for a department store and maintained offices and a ballroom on the second level. The Erickson half was owned by John A. Erickson. As a whole, the building was a primary retail hub for hardware, general goods, restaurants and other retail stores during the 20th century. By 2015, the building was abandoned and in derelict condition with a deteriorating roof. But after three years of rehabilitation, the building now hosts events in the restored ballroom and houses the popular Worth Brewing Company.
#IowaHistory #IowaCulture
Worth County

06/21/2019
#IowaArtifact - Campaign Buttons

Remember Carly Fiorina? And Paul Tsongas? And Fred Thompson and Michele Bachmann and Dick Gephardt? No matter how crowded the race to the White House becomes, the State Historical Society of Iowa will always have room for the memories – and campaign buttons. Hundreds of buttons in our collection date to the first Iowa Caucuses, in 1972, all the way back to the late 1800s, when campaign buttons were first mass-produced. #IowaArtifact #IowaHistory #IowaCaucuses2020 Iowa Democratic Party Iowa GOP

This week’s #iowatimecapsule is an 1850s map of Des Moines  with sketches of some prominent landmarks at the time incl...
06/19/2019

This week’s #iowatimecapsule is an 1850s map of Des Moines with sketches of some prominent landmarks at the time including, Sherman’s Block (including the Hoyt Sherman Co.), the Savery Hotel, Iowa Central College and the Iowa Capitol building. View hundreds of historic maps at our Library and Archives Research Centers in Des Moines and Iowa City. #iowahistory #iowaculture #archives #library #historicmaps @ State Historical Society of Iowa

06/18/2019
William H. Meek House, Des Moines

The William H. Meek House in Des Moines won the 2019 Judith A. McClure Award from the State Historic Preservation Office of Iowa. The annual award recognizes outstanding preservation of a residential property.
Built in Des Moines' Woodland Heights Historic District before the so-called "bungalow craze" of the 1910s, the William H. Meek House was on the verge of demolition when Rally Cap Properties began rehabilitation work on it in 2017. A failing foundation wall, water infiltration and general neglect had left the property in disrepair. Rally Cap's restoration included removing siding and restoring cedar clapboard and shakes; opening the front porch; rebuilding the north foundation wall with a brick ledge and exposed masonry; repairing double-hung windows, leaded glass built-ins and transom windows; refinishing hardwood floors; recreating trim profiles; installing traditional half-round gutters; and refinishing an antique claw-foot tub. The project's success has already spurred additional preservation work in the neighborhood by Rally Cap and private homeowners nearby.
#iowahistory #iowaculture

The mobile museum had nearly 400 visitors at the Festival of Trails in La Porte City. Thanks for coming out!Next stop......
06/18/2019

The mobile museum had nearly 400 visitors at the Festival of Trails in La Porte City. Thanks for coming out!
Next stop... Manning, June 28 - 30.
#iowahistory #iowahistory101 #iowaculture
La Porte City FFA Historical and Ag Museum

Happy #IowaMuseumWeek! Take a trip back in time and check out the Steamboat Bertrand Museum, where a steamer struck a su...
06/16/2019

Happy #IowaMuseumWeek! Take a trip back in time and check out the Steamboat Bertrand Museum, where a steamer struck a submerged log and sunk in the Missouri River on April 1, 1865. More than a century later, in 1869, more than 250,000 objects from the shipwreck were hauled up from the deep and are now on display: tools, clothing, jars of pickles, you name it. … Find this museum and nearly 400 more on the free Iowa Culture mobile app, and visit us soon and often at the State Historical Museum of Iowa in Des Moines. #IowaHistory #IowaCulture www.iowaculture.gov/app (Photo: Chris Machian/Omaha World-Herald)

06/15/2019
National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium

What makes the Mississippi River so mighty? Find out during #IowaMuseumWeek at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in Dubuque. Part museum, part aquarium, part amphibious adventure, this is a must-see destination for anyone who wants to learn more about the river and all the life it supports. ... Find this museum and nearly 400 more on the free Iowa Culture mobile app, and visit us soon and often at the State Historical Museum of Iowa in Des Moines. #IowaHistory #IowaCulture www.iowaculture.gov/app

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium’s mission is to inspire stewardship by creating experiences where history and rivers come alive. Our vision ...

06/14/2019
#IowaArtifact - Soccer

Soccer looks a lot flashier at this month’s FIFA Women's World Cup than it did 100 years ago, but the essentials are still the same. Ernest Johnson, who played for the long-gone Des Moines Vikings soccer team, laced up these leather cleats and kicked around this leather ball during the 1930s. The Vikings won at least one citywide championship, sponsored by the Des Moines Playground Association.
#IowaArtifact #IowaHistory #IowaCulture
Des Moines Parks and Recreation Des Moines Menace

Well, that's a wrap for this year's #PreserveIowaSummit. Thanks to all the presenters (shout-out to keynoter Bernice Rad...
06/14/2019

Well, that's a wrap for this year's #PreserveIowaSummit. Thanks to all the presenters (shout-out to keynoter Bernice Radle), participants and hosts who helped us learn more about historic preservation and Get to Know Newton. ... See you next year: June 4-6, 2020, in Dubuque, Iowa!

06/14/2019
The Union Pacific Railroad Museum

During #IowaMuseumWeek, charge full-steam ahead to the Union Pacific Museum in Council Bluffs. Learn all about the 150th anniversary of the first transcontinental railroad, including the story of the famous golden spike and the not-so-famous workers who made it all possible. … Find this museum and nearly 400 more on the free Iowa Culture mobile app, and visit us soon and often at the State Historical Museum of Iowa in Des Moines. www.iowaculture.gov/app

#IowaHistory #IowaCulture

Experience more than 150 years of history at the Union Pacific Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Come see us! Admission is free. Learn more at http://...

Celebrate #IowaMuseumWeek with an eye-opening trip to the Sanford Museum & Planetarium in Cherokee. Ever since it opened...
06/13/2019

Celebrate #IowaMuseumWeek with an eye-opening trip to the Sanford Museum & Planetarium in Cherokee. Ever since it opened, in 1951, it has invited visitors to look up, down and all around to learn more about astronomy, archaeology, natural history and much, much more. … Find this museum and nearly 400 more on the free Iowa Culture mobile app, and visit us soon and often at the State Historical Museum of Iowa in Des Moines. #IowaHistory #IowaCulture www.iowaculture.gov/app (Photo: Jim Lee/Sioux City Journal)

It used to house dairy cattle near Muscatine. Today, it's one of Iowa's most treasured historic buildings. Built in 1926...
06/12/2019

It used to house dairy cattle near Muscatine. Today, it's one of Iowa's most treasured historic buildings. Built in 1926, the Muscatine County Home Dairy Barn with its distinctive Gothic roof is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The barn was part of the Muscatine Country Poor Farm – also known as the Muscatine County Home – and housed dairy cattle that produced cream for sale and milk and butter for residents. It's located near the eastern edge of Discovery Park.
Find more than 2,000 National Register of Historic Places in Iowa on the Iowa Culture mobile app, available from Apple and Google Play stores. iowaculture.gov/app
#IowaHistory #IowaCulture #nationalregisterofhistoricplaces

06/12/2019
The National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, IA

Sure, Iowa has hogs. But it also has Hondas, Suzukis and Kawasakis. Hit the highway during #IowaMuseumWeek and visit the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, which houses more than 450 examples of vroom-vrrrrrrroooming innovation. … Find this museum and nearly 400 more on the free Iowa Culture mobile app, and visit us soon and often at the State Historical Museum of Iowa in Des Moines. #IowaHistory #IowaCulture www.iowaculture.gov/app

The National Motorcycle Museum was founded in 1989 by people who love motorcycling and it thrives today because of their sound plan. Engineers, racers, bike ...

06/11/2019
Cedar Rapids Milk Condensing Company

An 1887 factory on the west side of Cedar Rapids was so run-down that people used to turn it into a haunted house for Halloween. But after a remarkable rehabilitation, the old Cedar Rapids Milk Condensing Co. now houses 18 high-end apartments and last week won one of the state's highest awards for historic preservation. Congratulations to Hobart Historic Restoration on a job well done!
#IowaHistory #IowaCulture
City of Cedar Rapids Iowa Government

Celebrate #IowaMuseumWeek with a jaunt to the French Icarian Village near Corning, where, from 1852 through 1898, a grou...
06/11/2019

Celebrate #IowaMuseumWeek with a jaunt to the French Icarian Village near Corning, where, from 1852 through 1898, a group of French immigrants established the longest, non-religious experiment in communal living in American history. Bon voyage! ... Find this museum and nearly 400 more on the free Iowa Culture mobile app, and visit us soon and often at the State Historical Museum of Iowa in Des Moines. #IowaHistory #IowaCulture www.iowaculture.gov/app

The names of three Iowa women who left their mark on history are joining the names of four others on the Iowa Women of A...
06/11/2019
Civil rights champion, women's suffragist, WWII veteran memorialized on Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge

The names of three Iowa women who left their mark on history are joining the names of four others on the Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge. At a small ceremony June 8 at the base of the pedestrian bridge crossing over the Des Moines River, three now-deceased women were recognized posthumously with Women of Achievement Awards from Women Lead Change for their roles in events that made history books. Learn more about Theresa "Billee" Davis, Willie Stevenson Glanton and Ola Babcock Miller from The Des Moines Register.

The names of three Iowa women who left their mark on history are joining the names of four others on the Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge.

Happy #IowaMuseumWeek! Did you know there are about 400 museums statewide, including the National Pearl Button Museum at...
06/10/2019

Happy #IowaMuseumWeek! Did you know there are about 400 museums statewide, including the National Pearl Button Museum at the History & Industry Center? A century ago, Muscatine folks annually carved 1.5 billion buttons out of pearly shells from the Mississippi River, producing more than a third of all buttons in the entire world! ... Check out more museums and other surprises on the Iowa Culture mobile app, and visit us soon and often at the State Historical Museum of Iowa in Des Moines. #IowaHistory #IowaCulture https://www.iowaculture.gov/app

06/07/2019
#IowaArtifact - Ice Cream

In many Iowa homes, first came electricity. Then came freezers. And then came ice cream! Pewter ice cream molds from the Fort Dodge Creamery, along with popsicle molds and plastic popsicle display models, are part of a State Historical Museum of Iowa collection that shows how the arrival of reliable freezer technology in the early and mid-20th century enabled Iowans to enjoy homemade and store-bought frozen treats.
#IowaArtifact #IowaHistory

Bring the kids out Saturday morning to the Bennett School - one of the last one-room schools to be built in West Des Moi...
06/07/2019

Bring the kids out Saturday morning to the Bennett School - one of the last one-room schools to be built in West Des Moines. You will get to tour the school and learn what classes were like for kids “way back when.” Just make sure you get there before the bell rings!

Goldie Takes Flight: Bennett School
Saturday, June 8
10:00-11:00 a.m.
Tuition is free and walk-ins are welcome.

Thank you to the West Des Moines Historical Society for partnering with us on this experience.

Follow in the footsteps of early travelers to Iowa at the Western Historic Trails Center in Council Bluffs.See what they...
06/06/2019

Follow in the footsteps of early travelers to Iowa at the Western Historic Trails Center in Council Bluffs.
See what they saw during their travels on the Lewis and Clark, Oregon, California and Mormon Trails.
Enjoy exhibits, films, maps and family-friendly events at the Lied Historical Building on the Path of Names. Walk or bike along the trails to the banks of the Missouri River and other destinations around Council Bluffs and Omaha, Nebraska. The National Park Service designed and built this as a center for exploration.
And, plan a trip across Iowa to visit all eight sites owned by the State Historical Society of Iowa and download the Iowa Culture mobile application to find the “State Historic Sites” featured tour for a handy guide on the road. Check out all the sites with the State Historic Sites passport – collect stamps from at least five sites and you can claim a small prize. For more information visit: https://www.iowaculture.gov/history/sites

#iowahistory #iowaculture

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600 E Locust St
Des Moines, IA
50319

General information

Library & Archives Research Centers Wednesday-Saturday: 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. State Historical Museum of Iowa Monday-Saturday: 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. iowaculture.gov/about-us/visit With a dual mission of preservation and education, the State Historical Society of Iowa maintains the document and object collections, State Historical Museum of Iowa, State Historical Research Centers, State Historic Preservation Office, and eight State Historic Sites. It preserves and provides access to Iowa’s historical resources through a variety of statewide programs, exhibitions and projects while serving as an advocate for Iowa’s past and connector to the future.

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