EXPERIENCE HISTORY

Experience The Jordan House, a stately Victorian home of Italianate Gothic design and Bennett School, one of the last one-room schoolhouses built in Iowa.

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MEMBERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

West Des Moines Historical Society is dedicated to the mission of historic preservation and to educate public about our historic sites in Central Iowa.

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MAKE A DONATION

Your tax-deductible contribution supports community enrichment through education, preservation, and celebration of the history of the greater WDM area

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HISTORY IS EVERYONE'S STORY.

EVERYONE HAS A STORY.

The pioneers who settled Iowa, the freed men and women who traveled across it and the families who now call it home. You’re invited to walk the hallways of the past, see Victorian elegance and hear stories of hardship and bravery as you become part of history.

THE JORDAN HOUSE MUSEUM TOUR TIMES

Tours of the Jordan House Museum are held Friday and Sunday, 11am & 1pm. The number of visitors will be limited at this time, and tickets must be pre-purchased for all tours.

West Des Moines Historical Society - Historic Buildings

THE JORDAN HOUSE MUSEUM

THE JORDAN HOUSE MUSEUM

The Jordan House, a stately Victorian home of Italianate Gothic design, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a member of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program....

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THE BENNETT SCHOOL MUSEUM

THE BENNETT SCHOOL MUSEUM

Built in 1926 or ’27 the Bennett School was one of the last one room schools to be built in West Des Moines and was in use until at least 1941. It was originally located on an acre of ground donated...

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Railroad

JORDAN HOUSE AND THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD

The Underground Railroad was a loosely organized system for helping escaped slaves from the southern states reach freedom in the North or Canada in the years before the Civil War.

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Recent News

New Blog Post- Juneteenth

On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger announced in Galveston, Texas, the end of slavery in accordance with President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth is our newest Federal holiday, but it’s considered the longest running African American holiday. Learn about the rich history of this celebration of freedom in our latest blog posting.

Awards Winning Videos!

Congratulations to our friend Conjunction Media – Creative Dave who was recognized with a 2021 Award of Excellence from the Iowa Motion Picture Association for his outstanding work on our Tales From Iowa History educational video series. WDMHS staff developed and created the scripts and visuals, and David made them shine! This series of 6… View Article

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