Decoration Day this Sunday!

Patriotic music! Ice Cream from Hy-Vee! Tours of the Jordan House!

Join the West Des Moines Historical Society and WDM Parks and Rec for a celebration of Decoration Day Sunday, May 21 at the Jordan House (2001 Fuller Road).

The West Des Moines Community Band will be playing patriotic music, there will be childrens’ crafts and free ice cream, courtesy of Hy-Vee.

Buxton: Iowa’s Black Utopia

From 1895 to 1927, the coal mining town of Buxton, in Monroe County, was an oasis of racial harmony and integration in Iowa. This unique multi-ethnic community, with a racially diverse population of African Americans and white European-Americans, was at one point one of the largest cities in Iowa and the largest unincorporated


Purchase your tickets to Women & the Underground Railroad

We are offering reserved seating for early ticket purchases for “Women and the Underground Railroad,” a fascinating look at the involvement of Iowa women who were an integral part of assisting fugitive slaves reach freedom.

This program will be Sunday, October 2 at the Valley Junction Activity Center, 217 5th Street. Your ticket purchase also includes a tour of the historic Jordan House, one of the stops on the Underground Railroad, from October 2 through November 27.

Reserve your seat today


Walk Forever Free at the Jordan House

Barry Jurgensen is a history teacher at Arlington High School in Arlington, Nebraska. On June 1, he began a 500-mile journey from Nebraska City, NE to Chicago, Illinois that is being called, Walk Forever Free. Barry is retracing the foot steps of two women that escaped slavery in 1858. He’ll stop at Underground Railroad historic sites, including the Jordan House in West Des Moines, to teach about their amazing odyssey and raise awareness of contemporary slavery.

Barry will stop at the Jordan


Lawmakers Host Jordan Scholars

State Representative Ruth Ann Gaines and several local lawmakers hosted the James Jordan Scholars Leadership Institute for a program titled “State of Iowa: Then and Now”December 2nd, 2015. The scholars toured the Capitol, including a rare book viewing in the State Law Library, heard presentations from legislators and were able to ask questions on the procedures of state government. The Scholars are a class of 16 metro high school students who are learning about James Jordan’s role in local history.


Iowans & the Underground Railroad

Sunday, February 28

Presented by Douglas Jones
Iowa Freedom Trail Project Manager

Mr. Jones will discuss recent discoveries about events & people associated with the Underground Railroad in Iowa.

Join us at the only Central Iowa site on the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom for this fascinating presentation!  A tour of the historic Jordan House will also be offered one hour before the program.

2pm-3pm: Tour the Jordan House


Home for the Holidays

JH exterior ChristmasStep back in time and join us at the historic Jordan House
and Bennett School for a holiday celebration! 

Sunday, December 6 and 13