FOR OVER 50 YEARS THE WEST DES MOINES HISTORICAL SOCIETY HAS ADVANCED THE MISSION OF HISTORIC PRESERVATION, EDUCATION AND OUTREACH TO TEACHERS AND STUDENTS ACROSS IOWA AND VISITORS.

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 GUIDED TOUR TIMES

Friday & Saturday
11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. & 1:00 p.pm. to 2:15 p.m.

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

Watch “Pursuit of a Dream”

Thanks to support from the Friends Foundation of the West Des Moines Library and Conjunction Media, all the 2019/2020 Iowa Files programs can be watched online. Iowa pioneer James Cunningham Jordan was important in the development of the state and Central Iowa. Among many things Jordan was a family man, religious leader, stockman, politician, and… View Article

Holiday Open House

The decorations are up and you’re invited to tour the Jordan House and Bennett School Museums Sunday, December 1. Self guided tours, treats and family crafts will be offered from 1-4pm. New this year, visitors will have the opportunity to vote on the best decorations at the Jordan House! Tour fees to visit both properties:… View Article

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