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 we highly recommend pre-purchasing your ticket.

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

History Videos Now Available!

The West Des Moines Historical Society has created a series of educational videos on topics including the Underground Railroad in Iowa, One-Room Schools and Iowa in Times of Conflict. Originally created for use by public schools, we are now making them available to everyone with a passion to learn about history. Created with funding from… View Article

Network to Freedom Recognizes Two Iowa Sites

Thanks to applications researched and submitted by mentors and students who are part of the Forever Free Program, two Iowa cemeteries were added to the National Park Service’s Network to Freedom Thursday, September 29. In a ceremony to celebrate September as International Underground Railroad Month, the Network to Freedom added 18 new sites to the… View Article

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