Free virtual school tours of the Jordan House Museum

Is your classroom learning about the Underground Railroad and Iowa history? Have them virtually walk in the footsteps of history through a live on-line tour of the Jordan House Museum, home of James C. Jordan and family, who were Central Iowa Conductors on the Underground Railroad!

Learn the story of radical abolitionist John Brown, and benefit from enhanced curriculum that will inspire students to bring history into today’s world through critical thinking skills, research and writing exercises.



Join the WDMHS Board!

Help us make history as part of the Board of Directors for the West Des Moines Historical Society!

Applications are now being accepted from those interested in serving on the WDMHS Board. To apply, please contact Executive Director Gale Brubaker at or call 515.225.1286.

The WDMHS Board of Directors comprises leaders from the nonprofit and for-profit sector who are dedicated to the organization’s mission. Offering the unique opportunity


September is Underground Railroad Month in Iowa

Governor Kim Reynolds has signed a proclamation declaring September 2020 “Underground Railroad Month” in Iowa.

This proclamation recognizes the significant Underground Railroad history in our state, and commemorates the courageous abolitionists, black and white, male and female, as well as the amazing men, women and children who bravely undertook the journey on the UGRR.

The City of West Des Moines will also issue a proclamation at the City Council meeting Tuesday, September 8.


Pathway To History

The West Des Moines Historical Society is building a path from the past to the future, one brick at a time.As we celebrate our 50th Anniversary, you can give a timeless gift to our community by purchasing a personalized


Tour the Bennett School Museum

Ring the school bell, it’s time for “reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmatic” at the Bennett School Museum!

Tours will be available Saturday, July 11, Friday, August 7 and Saturday, September 12. The doors will be open from 11am-12:30pm for up to 12 ticketholders.


HyVee Reusable Bag Program to Benefit the WDMHS in July

We’re excited to share that every $2.50 red “My Heart” Reusable Bag purchased in July at the HyVee located at
1990 Grand Avenue in West Des Moines will mean a $1 donation to the West Des Moines Historical Society!

The red “My Heart”


Public Tours of the Jordan House Resume

The historic Jordan House Museum will be open for self-guided tours every Friday and Sunday, beginning Friday, June 19. Due to COVID-19, no more than 10 people will be able to tour at one time. There will be two 75 minute opportunities Friday and Sunday; from 11am-12:15pm and 1pm-2:15pm. This will give staff time between tours to clean and sanitize handrails and other surfaces between tours.

Following CDC recommendations, all visitors and tour guides will be required to wear masks when in the


Closed through June 15


Share Your Stories

We are living in historic times. The West Des Moines Historical Society is collecting your stories of how COVID-19 has affected your daily life. From work closures to children home from school, from trips to the grocery store and social distancing, everything is history which needs to be recorded. What would you like future Iowans to know about what you are living through today?

Who should Share? EVERYONE! We want to share a diverse range of perspectives. All ages, all experiences.


All Tours Canceled

The health of our visitors, staff and volunteers is of great importance to the West Des Moines Historical Society. Following recommendations from the Iowa Department of Public Health and the CDC, all tours of the Jordan House Museum and Bennett School Museum are cancelled through March 31. This includes private and Open House tours.

The West Des Moines Historical Society will be providing live streamed educational programming and mini tours of both museums during this closure. Please watch our


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