Free Tour in Honor of MLK Jr. Day in West Des Moines

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the West Des Moines Historical Society and the City of West Des Moines are proud to offer a free tour of the historic Jordan House Museum Sunday, January 16, between 11am-2pm.

In addition, each family or group will


Online Inventory Database

We are committed to providing access to West Des Moines’ history, and we are proud to launch our new online inventory database.
Many items at the Jordan House are incredibly fragile, so they aren’t on display, but they have a story to tell. This ongoing project makes these tucked away treasures


2022 MLK Jr. Day Awards

The Planning Committee for the 2022 West Des Moines Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is seeking nominations for persons who  demonstrate leadership and volunteerism while making significant contributions in the areas of promoting peace and understanding; celebrating diversity,


Iowa Files- Latino Lives in Valley Junction Recording Available

Vince Valdez, a lifelong West Des Moines resident, has spent decades researching and recording the history of Latinos in Valley Junction. Many families immigrated to Iowa to work on the railroads and stayed to raise families and contributed to our rich and diverse community!



Gift Certificates For Pathway to History

Looking for a one-of-a-kind gift for the history lover in your life? Cement their place in West Des Moines’ history by purchasing an engraved paver for the Jordan House Museum’s Pathway to History!

Pavers are available in 2 sizes: 4×8 for $50


Tours Available Friday, November 26


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 the State Historical Society of Iowa, Inc., and created by Conjunction


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 program, including Woodland Cemetery in Des Moines and Newton Union Cemetery in Newton.

Read more about this news on our

We Want To Hear From You!

As part of our strategic plan, we are examining programs, education opportunities, member priorities and future resources.

We’d greatly appreciate a few minutes of your time to let your opinions be counted! Please click on the link below for a short survey.


Iowa Files Livestream

You now have multiple ways to learn about Iowa history during the joint WDMHS/West Des Moines Public Library program, The Iowa Files. Thanks to our members, EMC Insurance Foundation, Friends of the West Des Moines Library and the Iowa Arts Council,


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