West Des Moines At War

The West Des Moines Historical Society presents “West Des Moines at War”, a new exhibit at the Jordan House Museum, 2001 Fuller Road, West Des Moines.


Featuring items from the WDMHS collection as well as loaned objects from private collectors, VFW Post 8879, the Gold Star Military Museum, and the Fort Des Moines Museum, this exhibit tells the story of the contributions made by Central Iowans on the battlefield and at home during wartime.

“West Des Moines at War” can be viewed during weekly guided tours. Hours and admission information can be found here.


Supported in part through funding from





Profiles Of Courage: Iowa Women and the Underground Railroad

Profiles Of Courage is a project developed by the West Des Moines Historical Society and Valley High School Class of 2020 student and Jordan Scholar Lauren Gilbert. The focus of the project is showcasing the stories of four Iowa women involved in Iowa’s Underground Railroad. Visitors to the Jordan House Museum will learn the stories of these 4 amazing women!



The Dr. Is In! Vandenburg Drug Company & Medicine in Valley Junction

Chelious Vandenburg started Vandenburg Drug Company in 1912. It was first located at 134 5th Street. In 1940 this family business moved to 234 5th Street.

Visitors to the Jordan House Museum will learn about the Vandenburg Drug Company, see artifacts such as medical equipment, bottles of ingredients used to compound medicines and the book used by Dr. George Hanawalt to record deaths in 1880, the first year Iowa required such record keeping.


Rocks, Minerals and Fossils of Central Iowa

Now this is OLD West Des Moines history! You’ll see examples of petrified wood, septarian nodules, fossil corals and other common and some NOT so common items found underfoot!